Home Page Stories
  • Greg Okonowski - I’m thankful to still be on this earth breathing and alive.  To be able to still contribute to the world to make it a better place.  Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Erwin Reiman - I am thankful for 60 years of marriage to my wonderful wife Joan.  Our anniversary is Thanksgiving Day.
  • Tom Yuzer - Liz and I are thankful for our good health, and great friends in our Rotary home away from home - Mesa West Rotary Club.
  • John Pennypacker - I am thankful for my Rotary family.  I am humbled and I would be lost without them.  God has been good to me and I am thankful for that.
  • DG Bret McKeand - I'm so very thankful to be a Rotarian in District 5495, where so many of our clubs and members are "Serving to Change Lives" in their communities and throughout the world!
  • Lolita Wiesner - I am very grateful to all my Mesa friends who have been so helpful to us as we get ready to sell our condo, beginning with Jeanie Morgan and John Pennypacker, who were the first to offer us some very helpful hands.
  • Donna Goetzenberger - I, along with another amazing Rotarian (Dave Howell from Phoenix 1000), had the opportunity to meet with two of our Arizona State Senators Monday.  They have agreed to assist in helping to try to change the law in Arizona for our J-1 Youth Exchange students.  I'm grateful that people recognize the value of youth exchange, and understand the importance of cultural understanding, tolerance, acceptance, and building international relations through our youth.
  • Jim Schmidt - God, country, liberty, families, and our genuinely good Rotary friends who truly care and who would do anything to help in time of need.
  • Colleen Coons - I am thankful for God.  He put me on a journey that enabled me to have 2 wonderful healthy boys, Ryan and Nicholas, an amazing career, which now includes retirement, my family, with my sisters, brothers, uncles, aunties, my in-laws and all the extended family we have.  I am thankful for the friendships along the journey.  BUT most importantly, I am so thankful that God put me on my path to meet my husband, Dan Coons.  Dan has opened my heart.  His love, support and walking hand-n-hand by my side has opened my  eyes to becoming the person who I want to be.  I am thankful every day.
  • Warren Williamson - I'm thankful that I live at a time in this great country when relatively few of us suffer real hardship and we are blessed, through Rotary, with the ability to help those who do.
  • Chris Krueger thanked Jeanie Morgan for being the "newsletter queen" and doing so much for our club.  She was especially grateful for the work Jeanie did to get numbers together to send to RI for our Aqua Africa grant.
  • Daryl "Pai" Bethea also thanked Jeanie for doing so much for him and the club.
  • Joan Reiman - I am thankful that Erwin and I will be celebrating our 60th Anniversary on Thanksgiving day with family and friends at Yak Ridge in South Dakota.  I'm also thankful for our scientists who developed the COVID shots so we can live a more normal life.  Thankful for our friends and family near and far.
  • Ray Smith - I am particularly thankful for music in my life.  Both religious and secular.  Singing and listening.
  • Robin Harris - Today I am thankful for my restored health that allows me to come back to Mesa West Rotary after Thanksgiving!
  • Wendell Jones - I'm so thankful for my family!  We have the most awesome family of siblings, nieces and nephews, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren!  I love and am so thankful for each one of them!
  • Ted Williams - I am so very thankful for my family and the good choices they are making in their lives.
  • Melodie Jackson - I have traveled all over this world.  When I arrive back in the USA, I am always grateful for our freedoms of speech, religion and the pursuit of happiness.  I am thankful for clean water, sanitation, food and the ability to earn.  As a country, we have lots of social issues to work upon, but I am very grateful to be an American.
  • Darl Andersen - The great Roman statesman, Cicero, once said, "Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, but the mother of all others."  On the other hand, ingratitude only leads to unhappiness along with a sense of victimhood and entitlement.  I'm thankful to be surrounded by Mesa West Rotarians who not only verbally express gratitude in their weekly meetings, but live gratitude by their noble pursuit of "Service Above Self."
  • Dave Brauchler - I am very thankful for my 18-month-old granddaughter, Abigail.  She is a joy to be around.  I love watching her experience new things, smiling, and hearing her laugh.
  • Dan Coons - I'm thankful for all the members of Mesa West Rotary, individually and collectively.  They add such great value to my life.  And I am thankful for the inspiration I have received from my wife.  Colleen is such an incredibly awesome woman and wife.  I am thankful and lucky!
  • Jane Benedict - John took a fall at the Phoenix Zoo with the grandkids on Saturday and took the brunt of it on his head and left knee.  After 2 nights at Scottsdale Osborn Hospital, he came home Monday night.  Our family is thankful his injuries were not worse and that we'll all be together for Thanksgiving. /s/Jane, John & Family
  • Jeane Crouse - In this year of serious illness for so many I am happy that all of my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, friends and Rotary Brothers and Sisters are able to celebrate Thanksgiving with their loved ones. I am especially grateful for the near miracle that has saved
    Ted Williams daughter Brittanie so that she can be with her family this Thanksgiving. We are all grateful for Greg’s recovery and glad that
    he is with his family.
  • Jeanie Morgan - I am thankful to be able to serve Mesa West and The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA).  I know that not many 78-year-old great-grandmothers have opportunities to serve in meaningful ways from the comfort of their home.  I am pretty certain my Rotary service keeps my mind and technical skills more agile than either would be otherwise.  I get to stay in touch with many wonderful people on a regular basis who are dedicated to making our world a better place.   I didn't know when I said "I do" to the questions asked during my induction as a Rotary Club member in 1994 that it would be a 'til death do us part sort of thing, but it sure seems to have turned out that way, and I've never had a moment of regret.  I am thankful to all of my fellow Mesa-West members who make me feel appreciated and loved while serving alongside each other.
Pam Cohen, Jeanie Morgan, and Jim Schmidt were among those honored as first-level Major Donors to The Rotary Foundation Sunday, November 21, 2021 at the Arizona Broadway Theater in Peoria.
Members and Guests were rewarded for their time spent driving to Queen Creek when they found a little piece of the old west surviving in a suburban environment.  They weather was pleasant, the boxed lunches prepared by the Doubletree were enjoyed,  President Dan Coons welcomed everyone and had a few announcements which needed to be made before the actual program began:
  • Dan reminded members to check their Messenger for information about the Sunday, November 21 District 5495 Foundation Celebration.  It will be the first time a Foundation Celebration has been held in the district since the COVID pandemic began.  Also available was free Zoom Rotary Foundation Education available via Zoom Saturday morning, November 20.
  • Dan reminded members that he is still encouraging all members to get involved in one of the club committees.
  • Bob Zarling announced the Salvation Army November 30 season of giving kickoff dinner.  Mesa West will be honored for their strong collection efforts last year.  We have a table for eight reserved.  Members were encouraged to contact Bob if they wanted to fill any of the available seats.  Bob said not to worry - more seats would be made readily available if more than eight Mesa West Rotarians responded.  Those who do respond should have their wallets or checkbooks handy.  The Mesa Firefighters, Police Department, and Chamber of Commerce will be competing to see which team can raise the most campaign kickoff funds at the dinner.  Lucinda helped Bob out by basically repeating the same information, but enhancing the fun that would be had by those who choose to attend.
  • Dan announced that Happy Bucks collected at the three December meetings would go to the Salvation Army.
  • Penny May announced that she would be departing for Alaska Monday, November 21 to spend the holidays with her family.
  • Jeane Crouse was happy to announce the Mesa West Board of Directors had approved Marc Hunt's membership application be forwarded to Mesa West members for the seven-day review period.
Dan turned the meeting over to Brian Bausch, our host for the day.  He is the owner of Beyond Riding - a business specializing building the horse's trust and willingness on the ground, joining it to the responsiveness in the saddle.  Brian's history of decades of training "problem horses", allows him to identify detrimental mistakes, that are causing horses to not reach their earning potential, and fix them.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Brian and some of the fun adventures that began when he was eight years old and he got his first pony.  He has had fun following his dream and still having fun every day doing what he loves.
Your Messenger Editor wants to thank Lola McClane who captured some awesome photos that will tell the story of what club members and guests experienced at this very special meeting much better than words could ever describe:
Welcome - President Dan Coons
After welcoming everyone and introducing himself, President Dan reminded everyone of the 2021-22 Rotary International theme - Serve to Change Lives.  He then recited the Rotary Vision Statement:
Together we see a world where people unite and 
take action to create lasting change - 
across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.
Invocation and Pledge
PDG Don LaBarge had arranged for a prayer offered aboard the USS Forrestal following the 1967 disaster on the ship to be played for the invocation.  CLICK HERE for the documentary video.  The prayer is at 36:35 into the video.  Logan Harper led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Introduction of Guests
  • Jeane Crouse introduced her cousin, Marc Hunt.  Marc resides in both Mesa and in Georgia, and has turned in his application to be a member of Mesa West.
  • Jim McGown introduced his guest, Dennis Hawley.
  • Warren Williamson introduced his guest, Keith Hong.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck asked Ed Koeneman to draw the winning raffle ticket.  The ticket drawn belonged to Ron Thompson, making him the automatic winner of the small pot, but when he attempted to draw the Ace of Clubs, he missed by a lot - the card he drew was the Jack of Diamonds, which was immediately destroyed.  The odds of winning keep getting better and the large pot keeps getting larger...
Auction Items
  • Jim Schmidt had some sweets from New Orleans to auction.  Dan Coons' bid of $35 made him the lucky winner.
  • Guest, Marc Hunt had some "Best that Georgia Offers" in the way of jams, jellies and preserves to auction.  Greg Okonowski made the top bid of  $30.00, which allowed him to take those goodies home to his family.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski
  • Ed Koeneman and Jack Rosenberg were both happy with the sales made at the art fair they had participated in the prior weekend.
  • Jeane Crouse was happy to have met Ted Williams' stepdaughter, Britney, who was off of oxygen long enough to come in before the meeting to be introduced.
  • Dick Myren made his usual $2 "Ace of Clubs" donation for himself and Rod Daniels.
  • Ron Thompson was happy to have won the raffle.
  • Polly Cady was happy to have been chair of another successful Rotary Leadership Institute event on Saturday, November 6.  Lola McClane finished her third session, so is now a graduate.  Logan Harper attended Session I, and Colleen Coons attended Session II.  Pam Cohen and  Jeanie Morgan both served as facilitators.
  • Allan Cady was happy to be able to deliver the nine promised books written by Judge Tommy Webb - "Running Away and Finding Home."  He was also happy to have had the privilege to introduce Judge Webb at the Chandler Horizon Rotary Club where he recently presented their program.
  • Dan Coons reminded members of the district's planned Rotary Foundation Celebration luncheon to be held Sunday, November 21.  He suggested that if members plan to attend they carpool to the west valley for the event.
  • Colleen Coons announced a service opportunity that can be done from the comfort of home - tutoring 3rd grade students in reading through Vello.  During COVID isolation Sharon Boucher and a few other members had participated, but at that time it was being done via Zoom and the technology was hit and miss about being dependable.  It should be a much for satisfying experience now.
  • Dave Brauchler introduced Sean Green, a young man whose profession is video marketing.  Sean knows he wants to be a Rotarian, and is very close to narrowing down his choice of clubs to the Ace of Clubs - Mesa West Rotary.
Three Mesa West Rotarians were in Tucson last week for the first in-person Zone Institute since COVID isolation began in the spring of 2020.  Lucinda General, as a Zone Coordinator, was constantly on duty.  John Pennypacker arrived Wednesday, November 10 to participate in Council on Legislation Training.  Jeanie Morgan arrived Thursday evening to enjoy the fellowship and inspiration of the Institute.
A common thread throughout all topics was the need to
  • Increase our impact
  • Expand our reach
  • Enhance participant engagement
  • Increase our ability to Adapt
Rotary International President, Shekar Mehta, participated in a panel discussing his initiative of empowering girls.  Those participating heard about now important it is to know how to tell our own story.  We each have a unique story about our Rotary experience and should share it.
Rotary strongly believes that to grow Rotary, we need to emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Speakers and panelists provided very good information on this topic.  
In order to do more, we need to grow Rotary.  "Each one reach one" was commonly heard throughout the event.
Our District Governor Line were in Tucson the entire week for their training.  Friday evening culminated in a graduation celebration of the class of 2022-23 District Governors.  Larry Horton, who will govern 5495 next year is beaming in the photo taken at the Mardi-Gras themed graduation dinner Saturday night.  
This has been a challenging year for all humanitarian hearing missions throughout the world.  Like many other programs, our club decided that it would be too risky for our volunteers, patients and others in Guaymas if we conducted what would have been our 28th Annual program.
After consulting with health professionals and officials here and in Guaymas, it was decided that we would wait and see what would develop in terms of access to patients, availability of a proven vaccine, and feasibility of conducting a reduced program sometime in 2021.  In talking to other audiologists who conduct programs in Nicaragua and Belize, this seemed to be the common opinion.
In the meantime, I continue to have dialogues with our friends in Guaymas and Alamos regarding the prevalence of COVID-19 cases in their areas and what they see as a plan of action for the future.  Rudolfo Fernandez, our audiology technician in Alamos, is in constant contact with the school in Guaymas where we conduct the clinic and doctors in Guaymas to see what he can do to start up a testing and training program which will be fundamental to achieving a sustainable on-going program in Guaymas.  This would allow patients to be seen on a quarterly basis, reduce the number of patients seen during our two-day clinic and, consequently, reduce the need for a very large team to travel once a year to Guaymas.  It might take some monetary support from our club but would lower the overall cost of the mission if we support him in his efforts.  The cost savings to our club could be as much as $10,000 to $15,000 a year.
We know that the need for our services is great in Guaymas but we must approach the solution to the need in a safe and prudent manner.  I will keep the club updated and hope to meet with the Mission Committee in the early part of 2021 to form a plan of action to help our friends in Guaymas.
Thanks to the club members for your continued support of the mission
Bob Jensen
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


We meet In Person & Online
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
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
Membership Dir "23
Community Service Dir. '22
Vocational Dir '22
Foundation Dir. '23
Public Image Dir. '23
Fundraising Chair
Co Sergeant. At Arms
TRF Chair
Vocational Service Chair
Youth Services Co-Chair
Youth Services Co-Chair
Executive Secretary
Jay & Melissa Stuckey
Dec 02, 2021
New Member
Jay & Melissa Stuckey
Dec 09, 2021
Transitioning to Assisted Living
No Meeting
Dec 30, 2021
We will be dark - Mesa West Rotary does not meet on the 5th Thursday of any month
Upcoming Events
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