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Mesa West Rotary Club is dark (we do not meet in person at our regular meeting place) on the 5th Thursday of any month which has five Thursdays.
Opening and Welcome to Meeting - President Colleen Coons
  • Mike Lutcher offered the invocation
  • Ray Smith led the Pledge of Allegiance
  • President Colleen thanked
    • Penny May for serving as greeter
    • Jeanie Morgan for handling check-in
    • Mike and Ray for leading the invocation and pledge
    • Ed Koeneman for handling the technology
    • John Pennypacker for handling room set-up
    • Olivia for bringing delicious cookies to sell to raise funds to support her Youth Exchange train trip
Introduction of Guests
  • Ted Williams introduced his guest, Reed Hittle
  • Jessica Payne was acknowledged, but would be introduced later as our speaker
  • Penny May was visiting from Alaska
  • Andy Bradford introduced his wife, Kim and their children, Ellie, Quincy, Zeke and Ike.
  • Joe Sweeney was visiting from the Prescott Rotary Club.  He introduced Lizzy Barron who he knew from their both being members of the Santa Clara Rotary Club in California where they worked together as Rotarians.  He's known her for 10+ years.
  • Polly Cady introduced Joe Sweeney as District Governor Nominee Designee.  She also introduced Youth Exchange student Olivia and Carla Rowe-Malcolm., her host mom who is a member of Gilbert Rotary Club.  There were still some cookies left at that point.
  • John Pennypacker introduced Gerry Paulus and Charlie Brown who were visiting from the Mesa Rotary Club.
  • Jeanie Morgan introduced Jenaya Rockman a visiting Rotarian from Hawaii - the big island.
  • Diane Ware, Mesa West Treasurer, experienced the loss of her father on February 14.
  • Melodie Jackson asked Colleen to announce there would be a memorial celebration of life for her husband Randy on March 9 at 2:00 in the afternoon at The Landing at Falcoln Field..
  • Jack Rosenberg was in the hospital.
Induction of Four New Members
  • Polly Cady was excited to give Eric Silverberg his new member packet.  She has learned a lot about Eric.   She said Allan had attended a District meeting in District 5500 and learned that when Eric was in that district he was someone who if you asked him to handle something, you could count on it getting done.  A Rotary accomplishment he was proud of was a Peace Pole project.  A Rotary Moment for him was when he heard a presentation about a Rotary International project in Bangladesh where women teach other women how to teach kids to read and write.
  • Allan Cady introduced Justin Failner.   Justin is married.  He has a 10-year-old daughter named Grace and a 3-year-old son named JJ.  He was previously with Manheim Auto Auctions, handling shipping for them.  He is now an account executive with Clearent - a payment processing company.  He also has a background in refereeing football and wrestling.  Allan believes Justin will be good for our club.  He is youthful and has a background working with young people.   He has a desire to serve.
  • Steve Ross, who was subbing for Jack Rosenberg who is the sponsor of Andy Bradford introduced Andy.  Andy is the chairman of the HOA in the neighborhood where he and Jack live.  Andy shared that he is a realtor with Realty One - Be The Good.  He and his wife promote blood donorship "Pints for Goose" to keep their daughter's memory alive.  She lost her life to Leukemia.  Before she passed, she had 113 blood transfusions.  Be the Good looks for ways to make a difference.  It ties in with Rotary.  "There is no need to recreae the wheel."
  • John Pennypacker introduced Liz Paulus.  Liz was a Lt Col with the Arizona National Guard is now retired.  Liz said her husband Gerry found Mesa Rotary through someone who was very gregarious in the National Guard.  Liz said it was a good marriage - Rotary and Gerry.  After she met Colleen through Mesa Leadership, she was inspired to jump on board with some of the initiatives of Mesa West - and she and Gerry would have twice as many Rotary friends.
The new members were welcomed by the club.  Eric and Justin were pinned by their sponsors, and Liz and Andy were pinned by their spouses, Gerry Paulus and Kim Bradford.  All four new members were welcomed by the membership with a standing ovation.  
District Friendship Trophy Presentation
President Colleen invited Charlie Brown, President of Mesa Rotary Club to come forward.  He presented Colleen with the District Friendship trophy.  They had met at PETS and became friends.  Charlie really respects Colleen and Mesa West Rotary.  He likes the idea of the clubs working together.  They came on board to help with McKinney Vento and will look at other ways to combine efforts.  Colleen was told she would have to wear gloves when accepting and handling the trophy so it would stay spotless.  Gerry Paulus helped with the presentation and the proper handling of the trophy.
Opening and Welcome to Meeting - AG Dan Coons
AG Dan Coons thanked
  • Andy Bradford for leading the Pledge of Allegiance
  • John Pennypacker for offering the invocation
  • Ray Smith for serving as Greeter
  • Dick Myren for handling the raffle
  • Diane Ware for handling check-in
  • Ron Thompson for serving as Sgt at Arms
  • Pam Cohen for serving as Chief Technology Officer
Introduction of Guests
  • Penny May was introduced as a visiting Rotarian from Alaska
  • John Pennypacker introduced visitors from Oregon:  Tim Mobley (a PDG classmate of John's) and his wife , LeeAnn Mobley who is also a Rotarian.  With Tim and LeAnn were their friend Eric Hodnett and Tim's brother and sister-in-law, Joel and Sue Mobley.
  • Eric Silverberg who has been elected as a new member, but not yet formally inducted, was introduced.
  • Polly Cady introduced Gilbert Rotarian Carla Rowe-Malcolm, and her Youth Exchange daughter from Sweden, Olivia as well as Thilde, inbound Youth Exchange student from Denmark.
  • Andy Bradford was introduced as a newly elected member who has not yet been formally inducted.
  • Carla Rowe-Malcolm said she had recently been going through a lot of old stuff which had been accumulated by her late husband.  She found a Rotary book dating back to 1981-82 where the spouses of Rotarians were listed as "Rotary Annes.
  • The speaker was acknowledged, but would be introduced later in the meeting.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Dick Myren
Happy Bucks - Sgt At Arms Ron Thompson
  • Ron took time to acknowledge some recently arrived guests - former member Warren Haeussler had arrived with a potential new member, Mike Whang and Sue Patterson.  
  • Don Rauh had also arrived since guests were introduced.  Don was a visiting Rotarian from Turkey.  Don and Ron were both fluent in German and exchanged a few words, after which Ron took Don up front where he exchanged club trading banners with AG Dan.
  • Warren Williamson contributed and shared a story about George, who was on his deathbed.  George's wife, Sara, was lovingly sitting with him.  George said, "Sara, we've been married over 40 years and going together long before we were married.  I can't remember a time when you weren't right at my side."  Sara said:  "You're right.  I was there!"  George said, "Times haven't always been easy.  Remember when I lost my job?"  Sara said, "I was there."  Then, George asked  "Remember when our house burned down and what a time we had fighting with the insurance company and getting it rebuilt?"  Sara said, "I was there,."    George said, "Now, I'm laying here dying."  To which Sara replied, "I'm beginning to think I have bad luck.
  • Ted Williams said his grandson in Flagstaff was #1 in high school wrestling.  His younger sister was also wrestling and is a state champ.
  • Allan Cady was happy to be at the meeting.  He said Jeanie Morgan had commissioned him to go to a 6:45 AM meeting of the Four Peaks Rotary Club in Fountain Hills where he was presented with a $5,000 donation to TRVFA from their club foundation.   He said he and Polly had left home before the sun was up, but had enjoyed a good meeting.
  • Polly Cady also contributed.  She said she had been up since 4:30 AM and actually saw the sun come up.  She said it was a great club meeting.
  • Thilde contributed some happy/sad bucks.  She was happy to have been able to play soccer for her school.  They went all the way to the playoffs, but lost there.
  • Olivia said she would be selling cookies from Sweden at the February 15 meeting - sugar cookies and Love Squares.
  • Dick Myren contributed his traditional $2 for he and Rod Daniels being associated with the Ace of Clubs.  He contributed some additional bucks for Kaitlin Clark, a University of Iowa basketball player in the NCWA who has been setting records had recently played a game where she scored an amazing 38 points, but missed her final shot.
  • AG Dan said that he had been in California the prior weekend attending PETS.  He said everyone there seemed to "have drank the Kool-Aid".  He said there were flight issues following PETS and that he and Jim Schmidt were forced to wait from Noon Sunday until 6:00 AM Monday to fly back to Arizona.  He was happy for the quality time he had the opportunity to spend with our DG to be Jim.
  • Harry Short said his grandson was headed to Pinetop with his Scout Troup.  They'd had 3' to 6" snow drifts and they were hoping they could get to their cabins.  His grandson will be a third generation Eagle Scout.
  • John Pennypacker was happy to have so many guests at the meeting.
  • Tom Yuzer was happy he and his wife left the house at 11:00 AM one day and they were back home the following morning and she had a new hip.
  • Warren Haussler wanted to talk about a couple of our members.  Chuck Flint has now been in the hospital six weeks.  Members who have stayed in touch are helping him focus forward.  Pam Cohen has been on call 24/7 to help and has been a real blessing.  Melodie Jackson's husband, Ramdy, passed away February 7.  Warren wants to donate $100 to Melodie's Paul Harris fund in his honor.
  • Penny May said "TGIAF - Thank Goodness It's Almost Friday."  She was glad to be at our meeting.
  • Harry Grossman had been channel surfing and saw snow-blowers which couldn't keep up with the accumulating snow on the platform at the Flagstaff Amtrack Station.
  • Carla Malcolm-Rowe said finding that book referencing "Rotary Annes" and knowing the huge difference in how women are viewed in Rotary today made her even more thankful for the "Women in Rotary" pin she received from John Pennypacker at a recent Mesa West Rotary Club meeting.
  • Pam Cohen said she was going to provide dinner for Melodie and her family that evening, and that Warren had said he would handle food for them on Friday.  Pam was hoping others would step up so their needs would be covered for the next six days.  She said Melodie said she was thankful for their daughters, their amazing family and 41 years with an incredible man.  Pam did report that Chuck is improving and expected to be moved to a Post Acute Care Rehab Center next week.
  • Steve Ross announced that he agreed to chair this year's Sponsor Program.  He said he will be mostly a cheerleader with Allan Cady mentoring him and a lot of help from Janie, Colleen, and Polly.  The Sponsor Program is our primary funding source for our charitable programs.  The campaign starts in late winter and continues for the balance of the Rotary year (June 30).  There will be five teams this year, each led by one of the Trustees of the Mesa West Rotary Foundation.  The team leaders are:  Bob Jensen, Ed Koeneman, John Pennypacker, Ray Smith and Ron Thompson.  Steve said he was proud to have brough Pam Cohen into the club.  The first three speakers were sports programs, so he was kind of surprised Pam stayed.  For a long time, she was the only woman.
  • Jim Schmidt said he attended the Taiwan International Rotary Convention in 1994.  He said there were many Japanese groups there.  When asked how they were handling women in Rotary in Japan, they were told they figured out a way.  They started a new club that was an all-woman club.
  • Shelly Romine said help was still needed for our February service project to provide meal service Friday February 16 at Paz de Cristo.
  • Dan Coons thanked the club for allowing him to be President for two years.
Mesa West Rotary Club's volunteer service vests were very visible the evening of November 8 after the Gift of Hearing 2023 volunteers arrived at their destination and were enjoying an evening meal.
After returning to Arizona Sunday, Erica Williams expressed appreciation for all the volunteer hours invested in this year's mission.  She reported 232 patients were served, again making an impact for the hearing health of the Guaymas community.  True to the Rotary Service above Self motto, Rodolfo will continue to travel back a few times during the year for mini clinics to help meet needs until next November.  She said they have been training the Mexican doctors on some of the more advanced testing needs as well to bring back to their community.  
Erica said they are targeting the same week/weekend for 2024, with more information to follow in the future.  CLICK HERE for a link to an article Bob Jensen came across to reflect about why the team does what they do.
If you haven't already seen the reel about the project that was posted on our club's Facebook page, CLICK HERE or on the image  to view it.  
As most of you know, Arizona has a very unique state tax credit program.  If you pay taxes to the state of Arizona, you can specify where your tax dollars go (state taxes only).  These instructions are for your reference only.  Please consult a tax prep professional with any specific questions about state tax credits.

There are many different nonprofit organizations that AZ recognizes as authorized recipients of these tax funds.  Mesa West sponsors the Interact Club at Westwood High School, and they are a qualified recipient of these tax credit funds in the Extra Curricular Activities (ECA) category.  Here's how you can donate up to $200 as an individual or $400 as a couple filing jointly and deduct that amount from your state tax burden.

Go to https://westwood.mpsaz.org/page/eca/ and click on the link to pay on the district's website. 
Or go straight to https://mpsaz.sites.thrillshare.com/o/mpsaz/page/pay-donate  in lower right, click on Pay Online

If you have children currently enrolled in Mesa Public Schools, you can use your existing login information.  Otherwise, it's easy to setup a guest account.

Once you are logged in, select 'Items At All Schools' under the 'Shop/Donate' list on the Home page.

On the next page select 'High Schools', then select 'Westwood High'

Select the link for 'ECA Tax Credit', and then 'Programs G-K' on the following page.

Interact - ECA is under code 8646.  Enter a dollar amount in the box, and click the Add button.  That dollar amount should then appear in your cart (highlighted in green at the top of the page).

You can then proceed to the Checkout process and pay with a credit card.  You will receive a receipt that you can print out and save for when you do your taxes.

Thank you for supporting Westwood Interact and all of our youth programs.
As Rotarians, we are regularly exposed to opportunities to support various causes with our time, talent and treasure.  Sometimes it is hard to sift through all the information and decide where we are going to use our available financial resources. 
It would be wonderful if every Arizona Rotarian would make the following BIG FOUR their Rotary charities of choice and support every one of them every year, we could make a bigger difference than we are making today.
  1. The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Annual Fund - The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world."  Giving a small amount each month adds up.  CLICK HERE to download a form you can use to sign up for Rotary Direct, electing "Annual Fund - Share" for your recurring donation.  
  2. The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Polio Plus - Rotary's commitment to eradicate polio is so well known and respected that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matches donations $2 for $1.  To take advantage of this opportunity to multiply the effect of your giving, CLICK HERE and download a second Rotary Direct form, this time electing electing "Polio Eradication" for your recurring donations.  Those who donate $100 or more annually to Polio Plus qualify in District 5495 as Polio Plus Society Members.  If you would like to make that commitment, CLICK HERE to download the commitment form.
  3. The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA) provides vocational education grants to Arizona Residents who meet specific low-income guidelines.   The grants enable the recipients to lift themselves out of poverty, benefitting themselves, their families and the economy of our state.  TRVFA is a 501(c)(3) charity.  They also are a Qualifying Charitable Organization for Arizona Tax Credit Donations.  Their QCO Code is 20698.  Many Arizona Rotarians say giving to TRVFA is a "no brainer."  If you can help someone lift themselves out of poverty and it won't end up costing you anything why would you not do it?  Mesa West Rotary has the highest number of members who have signed up for automated monthly recurring donations by electing that option on the "Donate Now" button on the TRVFA website.  Click the image to learn more or CLICK HERE to DONATE NOW.  
  4. Mesa West Rotary Foundation, Inc. is the funding and fundraising arm of our own Mesa West Rotary Club.  It is a 501(c)(3) charity.  We have had successful sponsorship campaigns the last few years enabling us to spend our energy on service rather than on holding fundraising events.  Charitable grants that we get involved with are funded through our charitable foundation, Our signature Gift of Hearing Project in Guaymas Mexico is funded through this foundation.  Scholarships are awarded annually to Westwood High School Students (the high school where Mesa West Rotary sponsors an Interact Club).  Funds are used to support a variety of activities in four of the Rotary Avenues of Service:
    1. Community Service
    2. International Service 
    3. Vocational Service
    4. Youth Service
The process isn't quite automated at this point in time, but we hope it soon will be.  For now, you can email our executive secretary who can help you work out a recurring donation plan should you wish to make that arrangement to support our own club's charitable activity.
Club Information
Welcome to our Rotary Club of Mesa West!
Mesa West

Transforming Communities, Creating Opportunities, Impacting Youth

We meet In Person & Online
Thursdays at 12:00 p.m.
Via Zoom or in-person
Doubletree, 1011 W Holmes
Mesa, AZ 85210
United States of America
Our hybrid meetings are held weekly on the 1st thru 4th Thursdays of each month. The meetings are broadcast via Zoom to include all, whether attending virtually or in person.
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Director '24
Director '24
Director '25
Director '25
Director '25
Mesa West Foundation President
Club Service Chair
Fundraising Chair
Membership Chair
Public Image Chair
Rotary Foundation Chair for Mesa West
Vocational Service Chair
Youth Services Chair
Executive Secretary
Feb 29, 2024
We do not meet in person on the 5th Thursday of any month with five Thursdays
Liz Paulus
Mar 07, 2024
College Bound AZ
Mar 14, 2024
No in-person meeting at the Doubletree in Mesa
Mar 21, 2024
Youth Services Day
Deborah Schaus
Mar 28, 2024
Aster Aging
Renee Parker
Apr 04, 2024
MPS Community Partners
Jim Dowler
Apr 11, 2024
Kenya Mother-Child Global Grant
Julie Spilsbury
Apr 18, 2024
Councilmember District 2
Erica Williams and Bob Jensen
Apr 25, 2024
Guaymas Project
Brian Harvey
May 02, 2024
Being a Rotarian
John Nesbitt
May 09, 2024
Homeless Youth Connections
Richard Mucci
May 16, 2024
Metabolic Syndrome "X"
Sally Harrison
May 23, 2024
Mesa Chamber
May 30, 2024
We are dark on the 5th Thursday of any month with five Thursdays
Olivia and Thilde
Jun 06, 2024
Rotary Youth Exchange
Jun 27, 2024
Celebration of Past Year
Upcoming Events
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