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November 7-10 several Mesa West Rotarians and a team of medical professionals travelled to Guaymas Mexico for the 2019 Gift of Hearing Mission.  Participating Mesa West Rotarians were:  Pam Cohen, Chuck Flint, Lucinda General, Bob Jensen, Wendell Jones, Chris Krueger, Jim Schmidt, Ray Smith and Erica Williams.  Thanks to Jim Schmidt and Lucinda General for taking photos.  Look for many more on the Mesa West Rotary Facebook page.  
Mesa West Rotarians who did not get to participate in the mission will look forward to hearing from those who did as well as the professional volunteers who took part in this awesome annual service event which Mesa West Rotarian Bob Jensen, a retired audiologist, has organized and supported for twenty-seven years.  
The mission was a signature project of the Mesa Baseline Rotary Club which is now merged into Mesa West Rotary.  All current Mesa West Rotarians are extremely proud of this annual service activity which touches so many lives each year.
Rotarians from District 4185 in southern Mexico and District 5495 in Arizona met at the Grand Canyon November 7-10 for their traditional Friendship Conference and Grants Exchange Workshop.  
District Governor David Simmer presented a district flag to his counterpart, DG Jesus Pita.  During the project presentations, Allan Cady presented the Aqua Africa grant opportunity that Mesa West Rotary Club was promoting at the conference.  After the grant presentations, attendees at the conference went from table to table seeking additional information from the presenters and the presenters each used their best negotiating skills.
Allan Cady sent the following report:
"I thought things went well for the Aqua Africa project at the Friendship Conference last week. Overall, we ended up with seven separate club donations totaling $1,950. In addition to that, we had a District 4185 match for another $2,000. So, our total was $3,950 at the conference.

"Also, I got a commitment from Bret McKeand that his club would make a contribution upon his return to Phoenix. Patrick Walsh from Tempe South RC
requested that we make a presentation at his club sometime in the near future...  I will continue to follow up with both Bret and Patrick to make sure we receive donations from those two clubs. Further, Dale Gray told me he likes the Aqua Africa project a lot and stands ready to assist with club donations and the District 5495 match.
"I will receive Jim Bissonette’s final report in the next few days. Mesa West RC did make $2.500 in donations to four separate projects all of which were properly authorized by the district. More to follow on that. Here is the list of separate donations received:
$300 Boca del Rio
$100 Puebla Centro Historica
$100 Cuernavaca
$100 Atlatnucan
$100 Kingman Route 66 RC
$1,000 Mesa RC
$250 Sun City RC
$2,000 District 4185"
On the way back from the Grand Canyon the Allan and Polly Cady and Bryan, Donna, and Emilee Geotzenberger stopped in Sedona for lunch with several of their friends from Mexico:  Dr. Paci Ramos. Club President of Puebla Centro Historico, District Governor Jesus Pita and his wife Rosa from District 4185, Taci from Puebla Oriente, Gaby from Puebla Oriente, and Erik Friend from club Cuernavaca Juarez.
Next year the Friendship Conference will be held in Tlaxcala, Mexico, October 29-November 2.
Thanks to Polly Cady and Donna Goetzenberger for sending photos.
Bob Zarling, Jim McGown, Chris LaBarge and Don Labarge were a small but capable team of volunteers who took care of Mesa West responsibilities to support the Veterans Day Parade on Monday, November 11.
Don picked up the U-Haul, which had been loaded the night before with all the gear and drove it to the parade staging area where he met the other volunteers and the ROTC kids.  They put the poles displaying photos of fallen veterans together.
The U-Haul was later driven to the parking area at the end of the parade where the poles were taken apart and all the supplies re-packed.
Thanks to Bob Zarling for taking photos.
President-Elect Dan Coons opened the meeting.  He explained that President Jim Schmidt was in Guaymas, Mexico, and that some members of the board had initiated impeachment proceedings against him because of his often-ill-fated accounting jokes.  Actually, Jim was in Guaymas with the Mesa West team carrying out the annual Gift of Hearing mission in that community.
Ted Williams offered the Pledge of Allegiance and Warren Williamson led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Zane Luma was attending the meeting with his mother, Aubrey Luma.  Seasonal visiting Rotarians attending their first meeting for this Rotary year were:  Lolita Wiesner, Rik Bucy, and Thom Mellen.
Dan Coons asked Zane Luma to draw a winning token for the weekly attendance drawing.  Allan Cady and Chuck Flint's tokens were drawn but neither was present to win. Bob Zarling was the lucky winner on the third and final try.  Ron Thompson handled the holder of the weekly raffle ticket drawn would win $31.  If the ace of clubs were to be drawn from the dwindling deck, $641 would go to the holder of the ticket drawn.  Don Boucher's ticket was drawn.  His luck did not hold out.  When he drew from the deck of cards, he drew the deuce of clubs.
Happy Bucks
Jeanie Morgan was happy to have attended her first Bat Mitzvah and was very impressed with the perfection and poise Sammy Rosenberg exhibited on her special day.  John Pennypacker contributed - not so happy bucks - he was facing a costly and up-to-now unheard-of vehicle repair.  His rear-view mirror was leaking fluid.  Dr. Ron suggested it might be caused by too many turns of the mirror for John to check out his appearance.  John discounted that opinion stating he has a vanity mirror on his visor for that purpose.  Rik Bucy said that he was disappointed that he had been unable to take Greg Okonowski fishing when Greg was in Alaska this past summer because Rik's home had sold much quicker than he anticipated and they were moving when Greg was there.  Jack Rosenberg was proud of Sammy and her parents, Frank and Colleen.  Thom Mellen was glad to be back in Arizona.  They left Maine two weeks ago.  Jason Gitkin contributed - he was happy to be at the meeting to bring everyone up to date about Sky Harbor Airport.  Greg Okonowski was in New York recently and met an exchange student from Australia.  The student had a very frugal father and rather than purchase an airline ticket for his son to travel to the U.S., he arranged for him to travel on a tramp steamer.  The young man made friends with the crew.  They spent a week in Cancun because the ship was broke.  The captain stopped him from going on an inappropriate outing with his friends on the crew.  The ship broke again, and they docked in South Carolina.  The captain suggested he contact Rotary to see if they could help him get the rest of the way.  A Rotarian picked him up, and took him golfing, then put him on a train to Albany where his host family picked him up.  Dan Coons was also happy to have attended Sammy's Bat Mitzvah.  He also enjoyed the District Rotary Youth Exchange outing he participated in with the Goetzenbergers and 16 teens.  Greg contributed $5 for being late.  
  • President-Elect Dan announced five volunteers are needed at the East Valley Adult (Senior) Center November 19.   They will meet people arriving for an event and drive them in golf carts from their parking spots to the venue.
  • Sharing information John Pennypacker learned on a recent conference call with RI Zone Director, Johrita Solari, he announced:
    • The Rotary International Convention in Hawaii June 6-10, 2020 is filling fast with over 25,000 already registered.  The registration fee goes up December 15.  
    • Steven Solomon, who served our Zone well as our Rotary International Annual Giving Officer many years, has moved on to another opportunity and has been replaced by Geoff Cochran.  Jeff can be reached at ago@zone26/27.org.
    • RI is still waiting to hear from the IRS on the proposed change to the tax status of RI from a 501(c)4 to a 501(c)3. This has a substantial financial impact for RI and if approved will significantly reduce expenses.  No impact for clubs at this time.
    • Grow Rotary is the focus of International RI President, Mark Maloney.  To that end there is an upward trend. New members since 1 July of 1,189 now total 1,219,291.  Even though this is good news, overall RI is still down from the membership total from October 2018.  With 168 new Rotary Clubs chartered since 1 July, there are 36,058 clubs in RI worldwide.
  • John urged members to attend the November 14 club meeting which will be about The Rotary Foundation.  Assistance will be available at that meeting for anyone who needs help signing up for Rotary Direct.  If 100% of our members sign up to give to TRF through automated donations, we can get a $2,000 grant from District 5495.
Recently, Mesa West Rotarians Donna and Bryan Goetzenberger, and Dan and Colleen Coons, had a whirlwind of a wild and exciting weekend spent with our District’s youth exchange on a three-day trip across Northern Arizona and into Utah.  This trip was put together for the purpose of introducing our District’s Inbound Youth Exchange to not only the Northern parts of the State of Arizona, but also to educate the students about the landscapes, attractions, native American culture, and the beauty of our great State.  In addition to the adult Rotarian leadership, the group consisted of this year’s Inbound students, next year’s Outbound students (2020-21), Rebound students from last year (2018/19), ROTEX, as well as a couple of Short Term Exchange Students (rebound and outbound).   The group consisted of 21 total participants.
Departure was set for the morning of Friday, October 25th.  Dan and the students from the Valley (Emilee, Remy, Martina, Ben, Adryan, Rebekka, and Maci) met at the Goetzenberger residence at 6:30 a.m., and the partial group departed at 7:00 a.m.  First stop was Anthem, picking up three students - Tianna, Ashtyn, and Lucas, the second stop was Cordes Junction picking up Prescott student Quinn, third stop was Sedona I-17 turn-off to pick up In-bound student Louise, and the last pickup stop in Flagstaff to pick up Vince, Marcela, Cherish, and Gillian. 
Friday’s travel itinerary included a first stop at Walnut Canyon.  Unfortunately, we were met with a slight problem “right off the bat,” and were forced to adjust the day on the fly and scrap Walnut Canyon,  due to a large semi-trailer and multi-car incident on the I-40.  We detoured and instead started out day out at Sunset Crater Volcano, where we explored the lava landscape, before having a picnic lunch. 
We then drove to the Wupatki National Monument sites (two separate well-preserved ancient dwellings) where we learned about the Native American history of these ancient people who inhabited the area thousands of years ago. 
Our next stop was Meteor Crater where we learned fascinating information about this meteorite impact that occurred approximately 37 miles east of Flagstaff, and 18 miles west of Winslow in the northern Arizona desert.  It is proclaimed to be the "best preserved meteorite crater on Earth."  The crater is about 3,900 feet in diameter, 560 feet deep, and is surrounded by a rim that rises 148 feet above the surrounding plains. 
Our last stop of the day was at the home of local Flagstaff Rotarian, Paul Wagner.  Paul, his lovely wife and other Flagstaff Rotarians welcomed us with a huge spread of heavy appetizers and desserts, after our long day of touring and exploration.  We enjoyed a wonderful evening, where our students each introduced themselves and shared about their home country (or their exchange country), and shared a favorite experience and amazing language skills, to the Flagstaff Rotary Club.  We all had a very nice evening spent in Rotary friendship, and are very grateful Paul and the Flagstaff Rotary Club for the wonderful welcome they gave us.
Saturday started bright and early, with us all up at the crack of dawn eating breakfast and ready to depart Flagstaff at 7:00 a.m. sharp!  (Well, maybe not quite as sharp as we wanted, but 7:15 am on a Saturday morning is “sharp” enough in my mind!)  We had a loud and boisterous two hour car ride to Page, Arizona, where our first stop was a tour of the Glen Canyon Dam.  We learned that the Dam is 710 feet high.  It was built by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) from 1956 to 1966, and forms Lake Powell, one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the U.S.  We discovered that the dam is nearly the size of the Hoover Dam, and that the operation of Glen Canyon Dam helps ensure an equitable distribution of water between the states of the Upper Colorado River Basin (ColoradoWyoming, and most of New Mexico and Utah) and the Lower Basin  (CaliforniaNevada and most of Arizona).  During years of drought, Glen Canyon guarantees a water delivery to the Lower Basin states, without the need for rationing in the Upper Basin. In wet years, it captures extra runoff for future use.  The dam is also a major source of hydroelectricity, averaging over 4 billion kilowatt hours per year. 
Following our tour of the dam, our next destination was Horseshoe Bend for a scenic overlook and an invigorating hike. 
And the jewel of the crown of our day was a hike of Antelope Canyon led by a very informative native tour guide.  As you can imagine, the pictures taken by our group were nothing short of spectacular!  After Antelope Canyon, we headed back to Page for a local pizza dinner spot, followed by ice cream at the iconic Big Dipper Ice Cream Shop! 
We departed for Monument Valley at approximately 7:00 p.m. that evening, and arrived later that night around 9:30 p.m.  (Needless to say, after the adventurous day that we had, it was a relatively quiet night, and an early bedtime). 
Sunday dawned bright and early.  Alarms were set for 6:00 a.m.  As you might imagine, the students were seeing Monument Valley for the first time via a beautiful early morning sunrise at 6:30 a.m.  Again, the pictures taken were spectacular!  Breakfast was at 7:00 sharp, followed by a quick stop at the historic Goulding’s Lodge.  At 9:00 a.m., we were all ready and waiting for our next adventure – a jeep tour through Monument Valley, led by a native tour-guide/driver.  The experience was educational, enlightening, and gave many pop culture facts about the famous western films and movie stars who had filmed in the special location.  Once again, the pictures that were taken of the landscape and our group were amazing, and will continue to provide reminiscent memories of this special trip to these students for a very long time. 
Our group said goodbye to Monument Valley and to Utah, and headed off to our next adventure – Dinosaur Footprints in the native desert, the Navajo Code Talkers Museum, and the historic Tuba City Trading Post. 
At the end of the day, we followed our original schedule of drop-offs at Flagstaff, Sedona, Cordes Junction, Anthem, and back to Phoenix at 7:00 p.m.  To say the least, the trip was incredible and jammed-packed full of adventure!  I truly believe those who participated will look back with fond memories, and be thankful to our District for such an incredible trip that will be forever remembered. 
(A special thank you to Bryan, Dan and Colleen for allowing me to talk them into such a crazy weekend!  I could not have done it without their help.) 
Colton Cagle posted photos taken when he went on a trip with his school to Brussels.  He is spending this academic year studying in The Netherlands.  The trip to Brussels happened a few weeks ago, but he just got around to posting the photos this week.  
In his words, "It was such an incredible experience to visit Brussels with my school. We went to the European Parliament and The House of European History museum. It was such a beautiful city!"
Mesa West Rotarians had a surprise at the opening of their evening meeting October 24, when District Governor David Simmer sent some Hawaiian Dancers who had entertained at an End Polio Now event in Tempe over to the Mesa West Meeting.  The Hawaiian entertainment was to remind Rotarians that the 2020 Rotary International Convention will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii June 6-10, 2020.  In addition, the District Conference, which will be held June 26-27, 2020, will have a Hawaiian theme. 
Chuck Flint announced that the holder of the ticket drawn for the weekly raffle would win $25 and a chance to draw the ace of clubs to win $609.  John Benedict was holding the winning ticket which was jointly owned by their little group.  When Steve Ross saw the card John drew after carefully shuffling the cards, his look of disappointment was apparent.  
  • President Jim reminded everyone that the club will not meet Thursday, October 31. 
Presidential Humor
President Jim did not tell an accounting joke but did share a story about a time when he was traveling in the Bahamas in the fall.  He went to a Halloween party while there.  One of the other guests had a very real pirate costume with a real hook and a real wooden leg and a patch over one eye.  When the guest was asked how he lost his leg, he said that he was in sword fight with another pirate who "whopped me leg off."  When asked how he lost his hand, he said that he was on a boat that sank and a shark "bit me hand off."  When asked about his eye, the pirate said a seagull pooped in his eye.  That prompted a question, "That would not be pleasant, but how could bird poop cause you to go blind?"  To which the pirate answered, "It was me first day wit me hook."
Rotary Minute
The meeting was being held on World Polio Day, and President Jim asked Jeanie Morgan to share a personal close-encounter with polio.  In 1951 when she was eight years old and living in Denver, Colorado, friends of their family who still lived in Iowa were vacationing in Colorado.  They had a daughter a couple years older than Jeanie and another a couple years younger.   While that family was visiting in another home in Denver, during a phone conversation, Jeanie's mother showed obvious alarm about symptoms the older girl was experiencing, but were being treated with common household remedies.  A couple days later, they came to stay in Jeanie's home, and the older girl was feeling worse.  Jeanie's mom was able to reach their family doctor who made an emergency house call, and the older girl, Sharine, was taken to the hospital that night.  Within a couple of days, she was in an iron lung.  A few days later, Jeanie looked out her dining room window and saw both dads holding onto each other sobbing.  She didn't know until that day that men ever cried.  Sharine had lost her life to polio.  Everyone knows that polio cripples, but polio also kills, and it almost exclusively attacks children.  The virus can be present with no symptoms then suddenly become active.  Until it is eliminated everywhere, it can come back anywhere.  It is frightening that parents in the United States are opting out of immunizations for their children.  Jeanie feels strongly that those who lived through the polio epidemic in the fifties need to tell their "close encounter" stories to educate young parents about the risk.  
Type 1 polio is still active.  This year, there have been three times as many cases as this time a year ago - 94 cases in all - 76 in Pakistan, and 18 in Afghanistan.  In history, only three diseases have ever been eradicated - Polio types 2 and 3 and Smallpox.  CLICK HERE for a link that will take you to a site that updates weekly with current polio eradication statistics.  Once you have it open, save it in your "favorites."

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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
Lola McClane
Nov 21, 2019
Life as a Court Reporter
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
Dec 26, 2019
Enjoy the Holiday Season!
PDG Don Kelley
Jan 09, 2020
Hydrogen Bomb Radiation and PTSD
Russ Wiles
Jan 16, 2020
Arizona Republic and USA Today
Steve Ferguson
Jan 23, 2020
Smoke Alarms and Fire Danger in Homes
Upcoming Events
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