Home Page Stories
To celebrate Valentine's Day a day early, President Jim Schmidt opened the meeting by asking the women in the room to come to the front to be serenaded by the men in the room led by Ray Smith in singing Let Me Call You Sweetheart.  Darl Andersen offered the Invocation and Lola McClane led the Pledge of Allegiance.  President Jim thanked Polly Schumacher and Shelly Romine for serving as a greeting team making members and guest feel welcome as they arrived.
Tom Palazon and Bud Knox were introduced as visiting Rotarians from Columbia Center, Washington.  Scott Ramsey from the Salvation Army was introduced as a very likely potential new member.  Melodie Jackson introduced Konrad Milde of the Rotary Club of Dubai.  President Jim took time to exchange club banners with Konrad.  Last, but not least, John Pennypacker introduced District Governor David Simmer.
After three attempts to draw a token with the badge number of a Rotarian who was present at the meeting, it was announced the $5 prize would roll over to February 20 when it could pay $10 to attend Rotary.
Chuck Flint announced that the holder of the weekly raffle ticket drawn would win $30 and have a chance to draw the Ace of Clubs which would win the big prize of $1,011.  Ron Thompson and Greg Okonowski were joint owners of the ticket drawn.  They split the weekly winnings, but they were not lucky enough to draw the Ace of Clubs, so the big prize will continue to grow.
Rotary Minute
Dan Coons is coordinating the new tradition of having a Rotary Minute to educate members each week about something about Rotary that fascinates the presenter.  He said there is a wealth of information available on the RI and District websites.  He had a sign-up sheet which he handed off to be circulated at the meeting.  Dan chose to use his minute to share some facts about the Rotary Wheel.
A wheel has been the symbol of Rotary since our earliest days. The first design was made by Chicago Rotarian Montague Bear, an engraver who drew a simple wagon wheel, with a few lines to show dust and motion. The wheel was said to illustrate "Civilization and Movement." Most of the early clubs had some form of wagon wheel on their publications and letterheads. Finally, in 1922, it was decided that all Rotary clubs should adopt a single design as the exclusive emblem of Rotarians. Thus, in 1923, the present gear wheel, with 24 cogs and six spokes was adopted by the "Rotary International Association." A group of engineers advised that the geared wheel was mechanically unsound and would not work without a "keyway" in the center of the gear to attach it to a power shaft. So, in 1923 the keyway was added and the design which we now know was formally adopted as the official Rotary International emblem.
  • Dan Coons reminded members that the exchange student our club is sponsoring this year is Marcella from Brazil.  Marcella is studying in Flagstaff but will be in the Phoenix area February 22nd and 23rd so she can attend the Interact District Conference on February 22.  She will also be spending the week of March 14-22 with Mesa West members.  She loves sporting events.  If anyone would like to make sure she gets to a spring training game or other fun activity, they should e-mail Dan to make arrangements.
  • Pam Cohen shared information from Andrea Murphy, the sponsor of the Interact Club at Westwood High School.  Andrea wanted to share an opportunity with the Mesa West Rotary club to participate in a community service project on November 14.  The project is called "Sleep in Heavenly Peace.  Volunteers will spend the day building bunk beds for children without beds.  Rotarians would be working with staff and students who are over the age of 18.  All the beds will be twin-size.  They will need donated mattresses and bedding for the project.
Presidential Humor
President Jim chose not to tell a joke about accountants since our speaker for the meeting was a member of that profession and he did not want to offend him.  Instead, he shared the greatest law-firm names:
  • Low, Ball and Lynch
  • Ball & Weed
  • Boring & Leach
  • Alicia A Slaughter, Personal Injury attorney
  • Jim's favorite - Divorce attorneys: Ditcher, Quick and Hyde
  • Bickers and Bickers
  • Dumas and McPhail
  • The London Firm of Butt Solicitors
  • Eggers Eggers Eggers and Eggers
  • Raper and Leary

"Mr. Smith, I have reviewed this case very carefully," the divorce court judge said, "and I've decided to give your wife $1200 a week." "That's very fair your honor," the husband said. "And every now and then I'll try to send her a few bucks myself.

Happy Bucks
Chuck Flint had a happy buck for the activity he enjoyed when he was absent from the February 6 meeting.  He had the opportunity to see some of the world's finest retrievers in action at an event in the desert.  He also contributed a sad buck for the loss of a close friend.  Pam Cohen was happy to announce she would be leaving Friday morning to go on a Polio Immunization trip to Caborca, Mexico.  She said Melodie Jackson and Chuck Flint were also going.  Don LaBarge said that his wife Chris had been named Impact Chair of the Year in her Sorority, and that it was going to cost him big bucks for her to wear a fine new outfit for her portrait which would appear in their national magazine.  He also contributed for his good fortune the week prior when he had dinner with Rod Daniels.  Don won $500.  The Sgt noted that Don did not contribute anywhere near that much.  DG David Simmer was happy Valentine's Day would be celebrated on Friday, but sad that he would not get to celebrate the day with his wife.  Darl Andersen was honored to have DG David Simmer at their table and noted that Daryl Bethea had to sit at a different table.  Dick Myren contributed his traditional dollar for Rod Daniels being "happy to be a member of Mesa West," and a sad dollar because he would have to leave early because of tax season.  Penny May said those going to Caborca would enjoy a fabulous time, but they should make sure their livers were in good shape.  She was planning to attend an upcoming hockey game between the University of Alaska  and Arizona State University.  She may not be so happy when she reports on the game at the November 20 meeting.  Just sayin'.  Wendell Jones was happy for the wonderful program "Busting Myths about Hospice" at the February 6 meeting.  It has already proved to be a blessing in their lives.
President Jim Schmidt opened the meeting by asking Ray Smith to lead members and guests in singing "My Wild Irish Rose.  Dick Myren offered the invocation and Ted Williams led the Pledge of Allegiance.  
John Pennypacker introduced Noah Jennings who planned to stay following the meeting to gather signatures that are a State Statute requirement in order for any candidate to have their name on the election ballot as a candidate.  Polly Cady introduced Past District Governor Jim Erickson as "Mr. Fun."  Bob Zarling introduced Tahlonie Hendrix, an applicant for a grant from The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona.  Tahlonie had interviewed with Bob prior to the meeting seeking sponsorship of Mesa West Rotary.  Even though Mesa West would have no financial responsibility, in order for a TRVFA grant to be approved and funded, sponsorship of a Rotary Club is required.
Presidential Humor  
President Jim explained the difference between an actuary and an accountant.  He said the actuary is the one who doesn't seem to  have much personality.
Allan Cady was the holder of the ticket drawn in the weekly raffle making him the immediate winner of $30.  He failed to draw the ace of clubs however.  When he drew the Queen of Clubs rather than the ace of clubs, he was disappointed but the other Rotarians in the room were glad to know the large pot, which is getting close to $1,000 will continue to grow.   Often, when the potential winnings get this large, club attendance improves.  Polly Schumacher was the winner of the weekly attendance drawing.
Happy Bucks
Greg Okonowski served as Sgt. at Arms collecting happy dollars from Rotarians.  Pam Cohen was happy to have travelled to Hermosillo Mexico the prior week to tour the Micro Credit project our club co-sponsors through The Rotary Foundation.  She was very happy to have learned what a big difference can be made in someone's life with a relatively small amount of money.  Dick Myren contributed his usual $1 on behalf of Honorary Member Rod Daniels plus a sad dollar because as an accountant now in his busy season, he was going to have to leave the meeting early.  Don LaBarge contributed.  He was happy to report he would be having dinner with Rod Daniels at a local casino.  He also told about having spent $600 to have his 2002 Ford Pickup detailed.  After he had it detailed, he somehow simultaneously left popcorn in the cab of the pickup and the windows down.  The next time he saw his truck that had "looked like new" the interior had bird poop everywhere.  Polly Cade contributed.  She was happy to have enjoyed a three-week cruise to South America.  Chris Krueger was happy to be at the meeting and looking forward to co-facilitating at Rotary Leadership Institute with Larry Horton on Saturday, February 8.  She was also happy to announce that she would be leaving Tuesday, February 11 for Cancun.  She reminded everyone it was not too late to sign up for RLI.  Penny May announced that Corona Beer was thinking or renaming their product "Ebola."  She had just recently returned from her vacation to Rarotonga which seems to be her favorite place to relax and enjoy life!  While there, she attended a Rotary makeup.  They had no banners.  One of their projects was to pick up students from school and take them home.  While there, she visited a place that operated very much like a senior center in the states but was called a "Place Where Respected Elders Gather."  Lola McClane put her last two dollars in the hat "just cuz."  Polly Schumacher contributed happy/sad dollars as twin granddaughters, juniors in college are studying abroad this semester.  Jianna at Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy and Juliette at NYU in London, England  Polly hopes to visit them.  Jack Rosenberg was sad because he is experiencing some serious complications from the surgery he had in 2019.  After being told by other doctors it was inoperable, a surgeon at Mayo has assured him she can fix the problem.  He is scheduled for the repair surgery on March 9, and has been told he will likely miss two months of meeting with us.  Steve Ross was sad that Luin had said they would NOT be hosting a Super Bowl party this year.  He contributed $15 sad dollars - the number of Pat Mahomes who led the Kansas City Chiefs to victory - because he had to watch the game by himself.  Bob Zarling contributed in order to voice a commercial about there still being room to go with Lee Holmes to Africa in October.  They are now up to eleven or twelve Rotarians going on the trip.  The Limit is eighteen Rotarians.  Pam was happy to have enjoyed a new dessert while in Mexico - Camotes!  Wendell Jones was happy to have visited six of his grandchildren in Prescott on February 5.  All six were under the age of six.  Three little girls were triplets.  There was one set of twins - a boy and a girl, plus there was a baby girl.  Bob Jensen contributed sad dollars.  The school he works with for the Gift of Hearing clinic in Guaymas had been broken into.  He did not yet know if any supplies or equipment had been damaged or taken.  Joan Reimann contributed - she was "happy to be here."  
Aubrey Luma Honored
President Jim Schmidt asked Aubrey to come forward so he could thank her for her dedicated service as Executive Secretary for Mesa West Rotary.  Aubrey has accepted a new job which is in her line of training.  He told her that the club loved her and will miss her and that she will be the recipient of a $100 gift card.
  • AG Lee Holmes made several announcements:
    • President-Elect Training Seminar (PETS) will be held March 6-7.  Registration is open on the District Website.  It will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton in Tempe.  
    • Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) was scheduled to have all three sessions at the institute to be held at Grand Canyon University on February 8.  RLI is for new Rotarians who want to know more about Rotary beyond their own club and is also for older Rotarians who need to have the Rotary spirit rejuvenated.
    •  Superstition Mountain Rotary Club is hosting a fundraiser for The Rotary Foundation at the Barleen Family Dinner Show March 21 at 6:00 PM.  Information was on the table, but is also available on the District website and in the weekly notices from the district.  $32 of the ticket price of each ticket will go to TRF.  The goal is to sell 400 tickets.  200 have been sold so far.
    • Registration for the District Conference will be available by the end of February.
  • Don LaBarge announced that he has committed to two tables for the Barleen's event and urged members to contact him if they want to help him meet his commitment.
  • Polly Cady urged members to sign up for RLI Saturday February 8 and then plan to attend subsequent sessions to be scheduled later in the year.Check-in is at 8:30.  Sessions start at 9:00 and end by 4:00 PM
  • Chris Krueger reported that the Aqua Africa is now within $20,000 of their funding goal for the next project thanks to a $10,000 donation from John Pennypacker.
Rotary Minute
Bob Zarling used his minute to put in a plug for The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA).  He said the vocational program grants help the benefitting students.  Their improved earning capacity helps their families.  With TRVFA making this difference in many households each year, the program has a positive impact in the Arizona Economy.  This help can be given - often with not net cost to the donor(s) - as TRVFA is a Qualifying Charitable Organization.  Single donors can take up to a $400 tax credit for their donation and married donors can take up to $800 tax credit on their joint return.  This is available through April 15 for the 2019 tax year.  
Auction Items
Polly Cady told of some items in their auction bag which were purchased on their South American cruise  One item would help keep the buyer warm.  Another was a sweet edible.  One piece was wearable art (goes with wine) and a final piece was jewelry.  Joan Reimann's high bid of $65 made her the winner.
Mesa West Rotary was well-represented at Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) Saturday, February 8, 2020.
Past President Allan Cady co-facilitated Session I with Bret McKeand who will serve as District Governor of Rotary District 5495 in 2021-22.
Don Boucher attended Session II.  He is shown in the photo with one of the Grand Canyon University (GCU) Rotaract members.  Larry Horton who will serve as District Governor in Rotary District 5495 in 2022-23 co-facilitated Session II with Chris Krueger.
The bottom photo shows several GCU Rotaract Members who attended Session I.  Mesa West Rotary is proud to be one of the sponsoring clubs of the GCU Rotaract Club.
Polly Cady, serves as Chairperson for RLI.  She is shown at right with Dan Coons, who attended Session III and became Mesa West Rotary Club's most recent graduate of RLI.  Dan is to be commended for making the time to go through all three sessions of RLI and graduating before beginning his term as our Club President July 1 of this year.
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
Dirk Vanleenen
Feb 20, 2020
The Holocaust in Holland
Clark Landrum
Feb 27, 2020
Waste Management
Kathleen Duncan
Mar 05, 2020
Education for the Disadvantaged in Mexico
Doug Nick
Mar 12, 2020
Fed Regs for air travel - new AZ Travel ID license
Steve Feld
Mar 19, 2020
Business Owners Goal Achievement
Harley Lutz
Mar 26, 2020
Volunteer Service to Youth Organizations and Schools
Paula Krasselt
Apr 09, 2020
Justice Services Administrator
Upcoming Events
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