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Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 30 years. Our goal of ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever.

As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we've reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.

We've helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. So far, Rotary has contributed more than $1.8 billion toward eradicating the disease worldwide.

Today, polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. But it’s crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year.

Explore the history of Rotary and polio eradication

By the numbers

  • $average cost to fully protect a child against polio
  • 430 million children in total vaccinated in 39 countries in 2017
  • $100 million cost to conduct polio surveillance worldwide

President Jim Schmidt opened the meeting by asking Ray Smith to lead everyone in singing Viva La Compagnie, Dick Myren to lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Jim LeCheminant to offer the invocation.  He thanked Steve Ross and Jack Rosenberg for serving as greeters, making Rotarians and guests feel welcome as they arrived for the meeting.
John Pennypacker introduced several people at his table including Mesa West Rotarians, Erwin and Joan Reimann who have returned from spending the summer in South Dakota, and Shelly Romine, who is currently a member of a Rotary Club in Idaho, but has recently moved to our area and accepted local employment.  He also introduced Bob McNichols of Daedalus Development LLC, the father of Meghan Fable, one of the speakers from Ability 360.  Frank Rosenberg introduced a colleague and paramedic who teaches CPR, Blake Lee.
The winner of the weekly attendance drawing was Polly Cady.  Chuck Flint announced that the winner of the weekly raffle would receive $35 and have a chance to draw the ace of clubs to win $584.  Don LaBarge was holding the winning ticket, but after shuffling the dwindling deck, the card he drew was the six of diamonds.
Happy Bucks
Frank Rosenberg thanked members who had generously supported Sammy's project.  Don LaBarge was happy to have won the raffle, but also happy to have turned 72 on Saturday.  He said that he was now old enough that no one noticed how he dressed, a statement which caused some murmerings.  Don was also happy that the organization of the new Interact Club on the Navajo Reservation had started.  Chuck Flint snitched on Dan Coons being the owner of a new car and failing to pay happy bucks for its acquisition.  Dan admitted to being the proud owner of a new Tesla. Polly Cady contributed $1, announcing that a cure for dementia was a regular inclusion of blueberries and walnuts in our diet.  Donna Goetzenberger was happy that she was able to be in attendance.  Alan Cady contributed $4 - the remainder of the $5 Polly had won in the attendance drawing.  Erwin Reimann contributed.  He had recently had an opportunity to drive a car his father bought fifty years ago - a 1970 Ford Fairlane station wagon.  The current owner of the car coincidentally lives in the same community as Joan and Erwin.  John Pennypacker invited everyone to visit the San Marcos Resort Concours in Chandler on Saturday, where the Jaguar Club of Central Arizona was scheduled to host their annual show.   Dick Myren was happy that only one client waited until 3:00 on the afternoon of October 15 to do their taxes.  Jack Rosenberg was proud of Sammy.  Steve Ross was happy to report that even though their son Scott is still in the Congo, with phone technology, they were able to celebrate his birthday with him on October 15.  Jim Schmidt that his birthday was on October 15 - and for an accountant, having a birthday on that date, allowed little time to celebrate.  He did find a little time to celebrate with his grandson who had flown in for the event.
Accounting Humor
Q.  What does an accountant call a trial balance that doesn't balance?
A.  A late night.
Youth Exchange Announcement
Donna Goetzenberger, who is the District 5495 Chair for Rotary Youth Exchange is looking for students to send abroad for the 2019-20 academic year.  She would like to double the number that have already been interviewed and approved.  The students have to be between the ages of 15 1/2 and 18 1/2 at the time they leave on the exchange, which would have them on their exchange during their junior, senior or "gap" year (the year following high school graduation and before they start college).  She asked members to spread the word and have anyone interested get in touch with her.
  • Someone pointed out that the new Interact Club is being formed on the Navajo Nation rather than Reservation.  Don LaBarge explained that if you saw what the roads where Robert lives have done to Robert's truck, you would understand that it would be odd to call it a "nation truck."  It is common vernacular to call it a "res truck," so for Don, the new club will be on the reservation.  Probably another privilege of his age.
  • Don LaBarge announced that scheduling for Salvation Army bell ringing will be coming up soon.  We will have fewer days because of the ways the holidays fall this year.  The Salvation Army has now officially sanctioned our bell ringing on Sundays.
  • Items donated by Dr. Adam Prosinski from Tucson for the Guaymas Gift of Hearing mission are being stored at Don LaBarge's facility.  Those items will need to be picked up and delivered to the bus pickup area at Red Mountain Community College as Don's vehicle will be filled with food for the farewell breakfast for the team going on the mission.  John Pennypacker volunteered to pick up and transport the donated items to the bus stop on the morning of November 6.
Rotary Minute
Dan Coons explained that what used to be known in the Rotary world as an Ambassadorial Scholarship is now known as a Global Grant Scholarship.  It is available for graduate students who wish to study abroad at a foreign institution in a subject area falling under one of the six areas of focus of The Rotary Foundation.  The $30,000 grant the student would receive should cover most, if not all, of the student's costs.  Dan serves on the district committee which is seeking applicants.
President Jim Schmidt opened the meeting by asking Ray Smith to offer the invocation followed by Robert LaBarge leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
Jeanie Morgan introduced Bailee Langford, who Jeanie had interviewed prior to the meeting as a candidate to be sponsored by Mesa West for a grant from The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona.  Bailee plans to attend the Certified Nursing Assistant program at Arizona Medical Training Institute.  Most TRVFA grant applicants are referred to TRVFA by financial aid officers at their vocational education institution, but Bailee was referred to TRVFA by Mesa West member, Greg Okonowski.  Greg Bouslog introduced his father, Steve Bouslog as a visiting Rotarian from Princeton, Illinois.  Idaho Rotarian, Shelly Romine, who has recently relocated to Arizona, was also introduced.  Frank Rosenberg introduced Sammy Rosenberg who was given time by President Jim to tell about her Bat Mitzvah project to benefit the Child Crisis Center.  Sammy is gathering donations of NEW stuffed animals, NEW children's underwear, and NEW children's socks.  She will also gladly accept money or gift cards so she can personally go out and buy the items.  Aubrey introduced her children who were enjoying their fall break.  
President Jim asked Steve Bouslog to draw the token to determine the winner of the weekly attendance drawing.  Steve drew the token matching his son Greg's badge number.  In the weekly raffle, Chuck Flint announced that the holder of the ticket drawn would win $40 and have a chance to draw the Ace of Clubs from the dwindling deck of cards and win $544.  Sammy Rosenberg drew the ticket, which was held by Penny May.  The card selected from the deck by Penny was the three of clubs, so the large pot will continue to grow.
Happy Bucks
Dan Coons contributed sad bucks.  His sister's husband, who was a sheriff in Illinois had passed away recently at the young age of 56.  Steve Bouslog contributed happy bucks for being able to be present to celebrate Greg's oldest son's 6th birthday.  Chris Krueger contributed.  She was happy to have been able to spend time at Disney World with grandchildren and was happy to be at the meeting, since work had also kept her away recently.  John Pennypacker had hoped to have a friend attend the meeting.  Thanks to the friend, who recently touched John's heart, his heart is now beating steadily.  Penny May, who reported a financial windfall October 3, said it is not a good idea to let your car hear you say anything about coming into money.  She spent most of what she had gained on an unexpected car repair since making that announcement.  Erwin Reiman was happy to be back in Arizona.  They had left South Dakota Monday, October 7, and missed the 8" snowfall that occured Wednesday the 9th.  Chuck Flint was happy to have some "inside scoop" that Shelly Romine will likely soon be joining Mesa West.  Robert LaBarge was asked to start an Interact Club on the Navajo Reservation.  It is going to happen - it will be the first Interact Club ever on the Navajo Nation.  Robert was also happy to have recently met his long lost half sister.  Frank Rosenberg was happy for the help fellow Rotarians were giving his daughter, Sammy, with her project.  Pam was happy to have met Scott - Shelly Romine's other half.  She was also happy to report that the celebration of Alan Ramsdell's life was very nice.  Jim Crutcher "did an awesome job honoring Alan" and proved to be a great ambassador for Rotary.  Shelly Romine was happy to report she has accepted employment in Arizona with Horizon Community Bank.  Bob Zarling was happy to report his community had recently published an article about Rotary and Bob's recent trip to Africa to visit a Rotary project with Assistant Governor, Lee Holmes.
Auction Items
Greg Okonowski had a bag containing a gift from his recent trip to Alaska.  Dan Coons' top bid of $45 make Dan the lucky winner of a salad utensil serving set.  Dan Coons had a gift to auction from his recent trip to Illinois.  The top bid for Dan's bag was made by Chris Krueger, who was thrilled by the gourmet chocolate treats she found in the bag.
Accountant Humor
President Jim said that one of Dr. Ron's patients was referred to an oncologist after evidence oral cancer was found.  The patient was a relatively recent widow.  The oncologist said that she had six months maximum to live and suggested she marry an accountant.  The widow asked how that would make her live longer, and the oncologist answered it wouldn't, but that it would seem longer.  John Pennypacker felt obligated to share something he'd found during a sleepless night's search for humor.  He learned where Captain Hook got his hook - at a second hand store.
President Jim shared highlights from Colton's Youth Exchange report from The Netherlands.  See the letter in its entirety in a separate article in this newsletter.
Dear Mesa West Rotary Club, 
Greetings from Tilburg, The Netherlands! I have been here for exactly two months now and it is crazy how fast time is flying by! I am having such a phenomenal time and I wanted to take a moment to share what I have been up to with all of you wonderful people who helped get me here! 
When I walked out of the baggage claim at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam I was greeted with open arms (quite literally), tons of smiles, and by a group of kind people. Since then, that kindness has carried out as I have developed wonderful relationships with both my host family and the Rotary District here. My first host family is absolutely amazing and I feel so much at home and a part of the family. Along with my host family, the Rotarians here are beyond supportive and have really showed me that regardless of where you are in the world, you can always find a Rotarian willing to help and believe in you! 
Since being here, I have already had the opportunity to travel around The Netherlands a lot. Given that the entire country is much smaller than all of Arizona, I find ease in taking a 1-2 hour train ride to get to the other side of the country! I have visited Zeeland, Meppel, Giethoorn, Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Eindhoven; all amazing cities here in The Netherlands offering different parts of Dutch culture. I have also gone outside of my country and been to Belgium a handful of times, once to visit the European Parliament in Brussels, and will visit London in November with my school. 
Speaking of Dutch culture, there are so many amazing things I have really enjoyed since I’ve been here! The food is phenomenal, from the delicious cheese made freshly from the village next door to hagelslag, yummy chocolate sprinkles you eat for breakfast. I have indulged in each new experience that comes my way. Also, I have really enjoyed riding my bike everywhere, with it has come a new sense of freedom. My favorite experience so far has been visiting the Rijksmuseum and seeing so many famous paintings! As far as learning the language, mijn Nederlands is heel goed! The hardest part about learning the language is the pronunciation, but I’m working really hard. It helps that all my classes are taught in Dutch and I hear it all day. I may not understand much now, but I know that I will by the end of the year. In the meantime, I’ve really perfected the smile and nod for whenever someone says something you don’t understand or offers you something you don’t know. 
Even though my exchange year is still in the beginning, it has already provided me with some of the best experiences in my life. I have made some truly amazing friends in the kids at my school and the other exchange students! We all have so much in common and have the most fascinating conversations as we share about our personal experiences and culture.
I am truly thankful to be here on this unique experience, and I owe all my thanks to the Rotarians at Mesa West. Thank you for believing in me year after year and always being so willing to support my crazy dreams. I appreciate you so much Mesa West and I look forward to updating you more throughout my exchange year! 
Much love, 
-Colton Cagle 
Exchange Student to The Netherlands
I just wanted to update you on how my exchange is going so far and give my thanks to Mesa West Rotary for making this possible. 
I have now been in Austria for two months and everything has been absolutely amazing! I get along great with my host family and have made many friends since starting school in September. I have had many opportunities to meet other exchange students and to travel, both through Rotary and with my family. So far, I have gone to Salzburg, Vienna, Villach, and many other smaller towns across the country. Beyond the border, my host family included me in their vacation to Croatia for one week. In the future, I will be going to Vienna again with Rotary and we will meet up with inbounds from Hungary. There is also a planned trip to Prague, Dresden, and Berlin at the end of the month! With my class at school, I am going to the capital of Slovenia for a day. I am so excited to explore these cities and see more of what Europe has to offer. 
In school, I take fourteen different classes. Although I do not understand very much of what the teachers are saying, everything has gone better than I could have ever imagined. As soon as I walked through the door on the first day, my classmates were so welcoming and wanted to know all about me and the US. They are still so great and friendly and now that a few weeks have gone by, I have made some really great friends. I have definitely had to adjust a lot, as school is very different here, but I am getting used to it very quickly. I can't wait to learn more of the language so I can participate more in class!
To help with this, I am taking additional language lessons outside of school. This  is extremely helpful, and I've learned so much in such a short amount of time! Now, I understand quite a lot when people speak to me, but I am not as good at speaking. My host parents talk to me completely in German and when I first arrived, I had no clue what they were saying to me. Now, I know based on picking out words that I have learned and putting the pieces together. 
Even after just two months, this experience has changed my life so much and I wanted to tell you this personally. I can't wait to share my experiences with the club after the rest of what is going to be the most amazing year ever.
Thank you again for your support,
Paige Goetzenberger
PDG Art Harrington recently shared some interesting information about the Westwood High School Interact Club:
"The ID number for the Westwood High School Interact Club is 165.  It has the lowest ID number of any club in our district, since it is the oldest, continuously operating Interact Club in our district.  It was chartered by Mesa West Rotary on February 24, 1964.
"Today Interact has 4,299 clubs, and an estimated membership of 558,877 around the world.  Interact is, by far, the fastest growing part of Rotary, and Westwood High School Interact can proudly say, "We were the 165th Interact Club in all the world to be chartered."
"Your Rotary Club can be justly proud of this Westwood HS Interact Club, which has accomplished so much good, and produced so many leaders for Rotary over the years!  Its leadership continues.  Last year it produced our Interact District Governor, along with numerous Assistant Governors.  This year it has produced seven of our current 27 Interact Assistant Governors.  Our Interact District 5495 is exceedingly grateful for the ongoing leade4rship we draw on from Westwood HS Interact."
Pam Cohen did some shopping so that the children waiting for exams at this year's Gift of Hearing mission in Guaymas, Mexico will have something to keep them happily busy while they wait.  The leftover supplies will be gladly accepted by the teachers for use in the classrooms at the school where our team will do the exams.
The morning of November 8, 2017, the parking lot at Red Mountain Community College was filled with those of us anticipating the trip to Guaymas for the Hearing Aid Project.  As I had never been there before, I was unsure what to expect.  Several Rotarians from our club met us with breakfast items that were welcome at that time of the morning and a great way to see us off on our journey.
The journey ended up being a long one, especially for those on the bus.  The bus was stopped at the border for three long hours, initially being told that new paperwork was not filled out and therefore, they would have to return home.  Luckily, our Guaymas Rotarian friends were able to procure an email that allowed us all to continue.
Club Information

Welcome to our Rotary Club of Mesa West!

Mesa West


First three Thursdays each month 12:10 PM, fourth Thursday is evening meeting at 6:00 PM
1011 W Holmes
Mesa, AZ  85210
United States of America
District Site
Venue Map
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Club Service Director
Service Projects Director
Foundation Director
Membership Director
Public Image Director
Executive Secretary
Pam Cohen
Oct 24, 2019
Legacy Project Discussion
Oct 31, 2019
Happy Halloween!!
Jason Gitkin
Nov 07, 2019
Sky Harbor Airport News Programs and Services
Chuck Flint
Nov 14, 2019
Mesa West Rotary Foundation
Clark Landrum
Nov 21, 2019
SRP Waste Management
Nov 28, 2019
Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Dr. James Blessman and Lee Holmes
Dec 05, 2019
Nutritional and Educational Health & Hygiene
District Governor David Simmer
Dec 12, 2019
Official Visit to Mesa West Rotary Club
Lola McLane
Dec 19, 2019
Life as a Court Reporter
Steve Ferguson
Jan 23, 2020
Smoke Alarms and Fire Danger in Homes
Upcoming Events
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