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As you all know, the International Rotary Convention was just held this last week in Hamburg, Germany.  I was fortunate enough to attend and was your delegate for the election portion of the convention. 
Some important figures to note: is that The Rotary Foundation has raised 331.9 million dollars this fiscal year so far.  That is an incredible number and speaks to the effectiveness of our organization.  Although that is a very large amount of money, we need a little bit more in order to be able to get the 2 to 1 matching grant from the Gates Foundation. 

ATLANTA, Ga. (June 12, 2017) – Today in Atlanta Rotary President John Germ and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, announced a commitment of up to $450 million to support the eradication of polio.

To an audience of nearly 33,900 Rotary members attending the humanitarian organization’s annual convention, Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation renewed their longstanding support for ending polio – a paralyzing, life-altering scourge on the verge of becoming the second human disease ever to be eliminated. Rotary committed to raise $50 million per year over the next three years, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars from the Gates Foundation. This expanded agreement will translate into $450 million for polio eradication activities, including immunization and surveillance over the next three years. This critical funding helps ensure countries around the world remain polio-free and that polio is ended in the remaining three endemic countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

If you have not yet contributed to The Rotary Foundation, please consider doing so by June 30.  If you have already contributed, thank you very much.  If you are in a position to get an additional donation in, please consider doing so by June 30.  
Another amazing number to me was the number of volunteer hours tracked at the International level.  Rotary members have put in 45 million volunteer hours this year for a total dollar amount of $850,000,000 worth of monetary value.  I am so honored to be a part of this incredible organization.
The opening flag ceremony was wonderful and was delivered by many Exchange Students from all over the world.  It is wonderful to think of all the countries that are represented by Rotary throughout the world. 
I made new friends at the conference and everyone there was so friendly and welcoming.  If you ever get the chance to go to an International convention, I would highly recommend it. 
Chris Krueger
To see the photos Chris Krueger and Ed Koeneman posted, vist the Mesa West Facebook Page
Dan Coons, who will serve as Mesa West Rotary Club President in 2020-21 opened the meeting, asking Dr. Ron Thompson to offer the invocation.  He called on John Pennypacker to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.  John announced that on June 6, 1942, the war department founded Organic Army Aviation, and on June 6, 1944, the D-Day invasion at Normandy was bravely carried out.  On day 1, 1,913 allied soldiers were killed, and 2,501 American soldiers lost their lives.  Twenty of those boys were the boys of Bedford, Virginia, causing that community to suffer the highest per capita loss in World War II.  The national D-Day Memorial is located in Bedford.  After providing these meaningful lessons in history, John suggested all join him in the pledge with appreciative gusto.  
Dan thanked Lola McClane for serving as greeter making members and guests welcome for the meeting.
Don LaBarge introduced his office manager and niece, Shannon.  Interact Past Treasurer, Sandra Franco was introduced.  Steve Ross introduced John, a past member of Mesa West.  Frank Rosenberg introduced Alex Hajdys, who will be interning with Frank this summer.  Our inbound Youth Exchange Student, Caio, was able to visit.  His exchange will soon be over, so members were glad to have another chance to enjoy visiting with him.  Former Rotarian Steve Pepper now resides in our area.  When he was in Rotary, he lived in Georgetown, Delaware and is a former mayor of that city.  
Scholarship Presentation
Chuck Flint invited Sandra Franco to the podium area.  Sandra has been active in the Interact Club at Westwood High School where she recently graduated.  Chuck wanted to present Sandra as a recipient of a $1,000 Mesa West Rotary Foundation scholarship to attend Arizona State University.  He asked Sandra to share some specific information about herself.  She graduated 11th in her class with a 4.935 grade point average.  She said her first time attending a Mesa West Rotary Club meeting was on youth day after she attended RYLA. Since then, she has served the Interact Club as Treasurer, served on the Interact District Council and has been selected to be an Ambassador on the Interact District's Crutches 4 Africa mission.  She and the rest of the team of Advisors and Ambassadors will be leaving for Kenya in a few weeks.  At ASU, she plans to major in global studies.  She wants to be a foreign service agent.
Pam Cohen collected $33 because she was holding the ticket drawn.  The larger accumulating winnings, now up to $104, will continue to grow, because Pam's luck did not continue, as she drew the two of spaces from the dwindling deck.  Warren Williamson was present to win the $5 attendance drawing prize when his badge number was drawn.
Happy Bucks
Dr. Ron Thompson served as Sgt. at Arms collecting first from Pam Cohen who was happy to see former member, John.  Frank Rosenberg, who had been a host father to Caio, what happy to get to see him at the meeting.  Colleen Coons was happy to see her Rookie husband officiate over the meeting.  Bob Zarling had spent some time as a volunteer at the Mesa Food Bank.  He was happy to report six or more volunteer youth groups were also there working.  Visitor Steve Pepper was happy to be at the meeting.
Chuck Flint was happy to share the following:  
"On the night of June 5-6, 1944, 815 C47 type (DC-3) transports were dispatched in two waves to drop paratroopers artillery pieces, and vehicles, as well as to two infantry-filled gliders, behind enemy lines in Normandy on the French coast.  The aircraft took off from 20 airfields scattered across Britain in a sequence choreographed to unite all aircraft into a single stream crossing the Channel at 140 MPH.  Seventy-five years ago, young American paratroopers stood at that open door with engines roaring in their ears, and the fate of freedom in their hands.  The red jump light in the compartment turned to green, and history changed course.
"The Allies landed more than 156,000 troops on five code-named beaches (Utah (23,250), Omaha (34,250 - includes 15,500 airborne); Gold (B - 24,970), Juno (Can - 21,400) and Sword (B & Fr - 28,845) in Normandy (includes 7,900 airborne). 73,000 of those were American.   Casualties:  Canadian - 946; Brittish - 2,700; American - 6,603.  Killed:  2,499 American; 1,914 Allied.  
"By midnight of June 6th, all beaches were secure."
Dick Myren contributed honoring Rod Daniels' tradition of being happy to be a member of Mesa West.  He was also happy to have finally had two consecutive days of 100º+ weather.  Collen Coons was proud her father was a Ranger.  Dan Coons was happy to have recently had a break (in Hawaii) from keeping Caio.  
Pam Cohen had one additional way to honor D-Day.  She showed a video written and performed by D-Day Veteran Jim Radford who was a 15-year-old galley boy on the day he became a man.   CLICK HERE to view the video.
Pam Cohen announced that the annual changing of the guard celebration would take place at the Hilton during an evening social event on Thursday, June 27.  There will be no regular meeting that day. 
President-Elect Jim Schmidt opened the meeting by asking Greg Okonowski to offer the invocation and Bob Zarling to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.  He noted that Steve Ross had served as greeter making everyone feel warmly welcomed.
Special Guest Introduced
Wendell Jones introduced Kenny Johnson, a Past President of Mesa Baseline and Commissioner of the Boy Scouts.  This year, this very special guest contributed $7,500 to the Mesa West Foundation during our recent sponsorship campaign.
President-Elect Jim reminded members that they need to register if they plan to attend the District Conference which will be held June 21-22 at the Hilton Paradise Valley Scottsdale.  Those who have not done so yet, can CLICK HERE to register.  He noted that Friday evening, the beach party featuring the Southwest Surfers (a Beach Boys Tribute Band) is open to Rotarians and their families without registering for the entire conference.
Melodie Jackson was the winner of the attendance drawing.  Warren Williamson won the weekly raffle, but did not draw the joker or the ace of clubs, so the accumulating ace of clubs winning will continue to grow.
Happy Bucks
Dr. Ron served as Sgt. at Arms collecting Happy Bucks.  Don Boucher was happy to be at the meeting and for the opportunity to do a little story telling today.  He also noted how thankful he is for his "better half" noting that she is the more accomplished public speaker in their family.  Ted Williams was very happy that his grandson was voted the most valuable offensive volleyball player in the state championships.  He scored 80% of the points scored by the Casteel High School team.  The team came in second in the state.  Ted was also happy about a recent Williams family gathering at his place in Show Low.  All eight of his children and 46 grandchildren participated in a softball tournament.  Team Williams won after playing five straight games.  John Pennypacker wondered if any of the members noted the irony in the banner display on the east wall of the room.  Pam Cohen was not allowed to answer because she had noted it right away.  For those who still haven't figured it out - the irony was "the rose between two thorns."  Lola McClane enjoyed a recent trip to the Midwest to spend time with her sister even though they had to spend one night in the basement because of tornado warnings.  Andrea Murphy was able to attend our meeting because school is out at Westwood High School.  Pam Cohen gave a shout out for Andrea and the wonderful work she does with the youth in Interact and her students at Westwood.  Chuck Flint said the Westwood Interact Club is the greatest Interact Club anywhere.  Chuck thanked members for the donations sent with him on his recent trip to Puerto Lobos, Mexico.  Greg Okonowski donated $50 for his Paul Harris.  John Benedict explained his recent absence.  He had watched his niece graduate with honors from West Point.  Her brother is also a West Point graduate - he graduated two years ahead of her.  Daryl Bethea was happy to have former Mesa Baseline member Kenny back.  Warren Williamson contributed sad dollars because he failed to recognize Kenny.  Wendell Jones contributed because his friend Ray Smith was absent.  President-Elect Jim shared some sobering news.  He noted that Jack Rosenberg and Cindy had left early.  Jack has recently been diagnosed with cancer in his kidney and will be facing surgery in the near future.  Jack is pretty private when it comes to emotionally charged happenings in his life.  He didn't want to be present when the announcement was made, but he did want his Mesa West family to be aware so we can keep him in our thoughts and prayers.
Before moving on to the program, Jim shared a quote from the Phoenix Suns:  You can make excuses or make progress, but you can't do both.
Rotarians worldwide who have similar passions and interests can connect through Rotary Fellowships.  The photo at right is one that was downloaded from the International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians.  To see the variety of fellowships currently available, CLICK HERE.  
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


We meet Thursdays at 12:10 PM
Hilton Phoenix East Mesa
1011 West Holmes Avenue
Mesa, AZ  85210
United States of America
District Site
Venue Map
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Club Service Director
Service Projects Director
The Rotary Foundation Director
Membership Director (480) 213-1617
Public Image Director
Executive Secretary
Jun 27, 2019
Mesa West Rotary will not hold a regular meeting this week.
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