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Opening of Meeting and Welcome - President Pam Cohen
Acknowledging the coming Memorial Day holiday, for the Thought for the Day, Pam shared the poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row, 
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead.  Short days ago
We lifed, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you fro failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall no sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.
Before asking Warren Williamson to lead the Pledge of Allegiance, Pam noted there was no flag in the room.  Dick Myren said he had a US flag pin on the collar of his shirt - one he has worn since 9-11.  All present turned toward Dick while reciting the Pledge.  Pam thanked Diane Ware for serving as greeter.  Since it was National Wine Day, Pam gave Diane a bottle of bubbly.
  • Ray Smith introduced Erica Williams a members who rarely is available to attend our meetings, but will be sharing information about her involvement with the Guaymas Gift of Hearing project later in the meeting.
  • Frank Rosenberg introduced Warren Haeussler a longtime friend of the club.
  • Kayla Mudge introduced her mother, Angelia Long who was visiting from Peoria, Illinois.  Angelia will return in July to care for Kayls's dog while Kayla is in Africa with the Interact Ambassadors.  While Angelia is in the area in July, she will plan to attend another club meeting.
  • President Pam introduced a new server-in-training - Adella.
  • Harry Grossman from the Sedona Village Rotary Club was introduced by Ron Thompson.  Harry presented a banner from the Sedona Village Club.  He also told about his grandson in Minneapolis who will be going on a Rotary Youth Exchange to the Winter Sports Capital of Sweden.  His grandson is a cross-country skier, so it should be a really good fit.
  • Bob Jenson introduced Rodolfo Fernandes from the Alamos Rotary Club.  Both were attending via Zoom.  Rodolfo is involved in the Mexican contingent setting up mini clinics and working with us on efforts to make the Guaymas hearing nission sustainable.
  • Also attending via Zoom were Ed and Debbie Koeneman who were in Melbourne, Australia to attend the Rotary International Convention.  
  • Shelly Romine, Bob Zarling, and Pai Bethea were also attending via Zoom.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
  • Ron Thompson drew the winning ticket which was held by Jeanie Morgan.
  • After briefly shuffling the cards, the card Jeanie drew was the Nine of Hearts.
Happy Dollars - Ron Thompson
  • Jeanie Morgan contributed $20 on behalf of Wayne General who wanted to remind members of the fact that the hotel prepares a meal for the club each week that we meet not knowing whether 25 or 40 will be in attendance.  They also store a considerable amount of material for us and get it delivered to where we meet each week.  She also contributed her raffle winnings to Mesa West Rotary Foundation to be credited to her sponsor program team.
  • Lu General was going to be fixing dinner that evening for three first cousins (herself included)  She recently found one of the cousins through 23andMe.  Lucinda not only knew his mother, she was Lucinda's aunt and godmother now living in Texas.
  • Ray Smith was happy to report that Marc Hunt who was introduced to Mesa West Rotary by the late Jeane Crouse had recently sent a $1,000 donation to the sponsor campaign to Ray.  Ray was going to contribute $25 himself - thankful for the help Jay and Melissa Stuckey provided when he had a friend in need of finding assisted living accommodations.
  • President Pam was happy Lola McClane was back from her trip and taking pictures at our meeting.  She was concerned that Ed wasn't there to manage the technology with the subject of our program so central to our club.
  • Ron Thompson was happy to see Warren G at our meeting.
  • Jim McGown said this would be his last meeting for about four months.  They will be heading east stopping in Pennsylvania for a high school graduation and travelling on to New York where they will spend the summer.  He said the food bank where he has been volunteering has been the source of the mobility device donations he has been getting to Interact with Ed's help.  They have a Hoyer Lift that has been given to them which they need to find a home for.  He said the food bank needs drivers to drive the pick-up routes for food being donated to the food bank.
  • Ron Thompson corrected himself.  He was happy to see Warren H at the meeting.  Warren G is a rapper.
  • Polo Santiago enjoyed a very rewarding volunteer experience at La Paz De Cristo the day prior to the meeting.  They serve 2-300 free meals to people each day.  He helped prepare and serve food for 300.  Polo was also happy to see Rudolfo.  They were roommates during the Guaymas mission last fall.
  • Dick Myren contributed his traditional $2.  He also was happy to have travelled to Boston for his grandson's graduation.  While there he witnessed the wildest driving he'd ever seen.  With six stop/go signals, how in the world does anyone know which one is theirs.
  • Harry Crossman explained that what we call roundabouts in the west are called rotaries in New England.  He said the Sedona Village Club sells raffle tickets about four times each year to help the veterans living at the home in Prescott.  He said they really don't sell that many tickets.  The tourists just give them money and don't want the tickets.
  • Allan Cady was happy his stepson graduated from Harvard.  Colin Nagle, his and Polly's long-time friend who is the father of a former youth exchange student had recently informed them that he had purchased a place in an assisted leaving facility.  Colin is a little older than Allan and it made him wonder if Polly was ready to have Allan placed in a facility.  He was glad that when he asked her she said she was not.  In actuality, the difference in Allan's and Colin's ages - if heard correctly - is just days or weeks.
  • Polly Cady was glad to know it was National Wine Day.  She was also happy to have Mesa West make a good showing at Rotary Leadership Institute May 20.  Lu General and Jim Schmidt were facilitators.  Wayne General attended Session I, Kayla Mudge attended Session II, and Carla Krcmarik attended Session III and graduated.  Allan Cady served as Polly's assistant and chauffeur.
  • Angelia Long was very generous.  She had a $200 donation from her and her husband for Kayla's sponsor campaign team.  She contributed an additional $100 cash saying it was a really big move when Kayla moved to Arizona.  Angelia was very appreciative of the way Mesa West Rotary has embraced and welcomed her only daughter into their Rotary family.  She was enjoying putting names of people Kayla had told her about with faces as she met Rotarians at the meeting.  Angelia will be back in July to take care of Kayla's dog while Kayla is in Africa with the Interact Ambassadors mission.
  • Kayla Mudge was very enthusiastically appreciative of the custom cutting board Ed Koeneman crafted for Kayla's only nephew's wedding gift.
  • Chuck Flint was happy to have recently traveled to Puerto Lobos with former youth exchange student, Jorn Linnewedel, who now makes his home in Hamburg Germany.  Jorn was happy to have caught two fish on the trip.
  • Pam is visiting other Rotary Clubs promoting our 50th Anniversary Celebration.  Mesa Rotary Club was our sponsoring club when we were founded.  They are a little disconcerted because we are out performing them in Polio Plus and Rotary Foundation giving.
Lu said they had a "backlog" of auction items accumulated from several trips.  She said there was a unique array of items.  Among them was one edible, something for someone with low mechanical skills, and cautioned there was no alcohol.  The successful bidder was Jim Erickson with his $50 bid to benefit the sponsor program.
The item with low mechanical skills was a cloth candy or cookie dish.  There were two had-cut pillow covers, towel clips for a beach chair, something historic, and air conditioning in a bottle - cooling lotion to apply after a day at the pool.
Polly Cady shared some photos taken around the Peace Pole during the lunch break in Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) Saturday, May 20.  The Peace Pole is in a prominent location on the Yavapai Community College Campus in Prescott.  Each time RLI is held, all three sessions run concurrently, making it possible for attendees to carpool when the events are held in outlying communities in our district - providing some Rotary-related tourism opportunities.  RLI provides information about Rotary beyond the club level.  The sessions are facilitated by Rotarians with some depth of experience, but the facilitated discussions provide a way for attendees to share best-practices and get to know each - other expanding their Rotary network of friends and acquaintances.
Carla Krcmarik is now a graduate, having completed her third and final RLI session.  Kayla Mudge has completed Session II, and Wayne General completed his first session.  Jim Schmidt and Lu General served as facilitators, and Allan Cady serves as Polly's very able Assistant and Chauffeur.  
President Pam Cohen opened the meeting by introducing herself
  • Ron Thompson offered the invocation
  • Shelly Romine led the Pledge of Allegiance
  • Steve Ross was thanked for doing double duty - serving as greeter while selling raffle tickets .  Jack Rosenberg was thanked for assisting with the greeter responsibilities after he arrived and noted the vacancy.  
  • Ed Koeneman was thanked for never complaining about managing the details of the AV equipment at every meeting.
Introduction of Guests
  • John Benedict introduced his wife, Jane Benedict.
  • Polly Cady introduced Fanny's current host parents - Jeff and Holly Andersen.  Jeff is Darl Andersen's son.
  • Fanny introduced her host-family siblings:  Izzy, Finn, Jack, Josh, and Levi Andersen.
  • Frank Rosenberg introduced his daughter, Sam Rosenberg who will be an outbound Youth Exchange student to Denmark next year.  He also introduced his stepfather, Phillip Skirboll.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Steve Ross
After explaining that the large pot was up to $515 and the daily pot would be $40, the ticket that was drawn belonged to Ray Smith.  Ray said that it was the first time in sixty-five years that he had purchased a winning raffle ticket.  His luck did now hold out.  When he attempted to draw the Ace of Clubs, he instead drew the Jack.
Happy Bucks - Ron Thompson
  • Ray Smith contributed.  He was happy to learn of Jack Rosenberg's ability to raise money for Rotary even when in the hospital and recovering at home.  He garnered one cash donation for the sponsor program and some on-line donations to TRVFA from family and friends who wanted to tangibly wish him a speedy recovery.
  • Shelly Romine contributed a US $1 coin.  While on the Galapagos Islands and in Ecuador, they found that credit cards weren't accepted, but that US currency was.  If getting change back during a transaction, the smallest paper bill was a $5,  One dollar in change was always a US $1 coin.
  • Warren Williamson told a priceless story about Allan Cady as an enterprising young man.   
  • John Pennypacker contributed happy/sad dollars,  He was happy to be about to start his round-the-world adventure, but sad that he would miss nearly two months' of Mesa West Rotary Club meetings.
  • Ed Koeneman contributed happy dollars because he and Debbie will be traveling to the RI Convention in Melbourne, Australia.  He was also happy they have volunteered to host an inbound exchange student from Spain this fall.  He was happy to see Fanny.  The Westwood High School Interact Club held their last meeting for this year.  Some of their members will be Interact Ambassadors to Kenya and Mexico this summer.
  • Allan and Polly Cady were happy to be back from their California trip so they could hear Fanny's Youth Exchange Presentation.
  • Allan Cady contributed.  He and Polly attended the Yuma Rotary Club Noon meeting Tuesday the 16th where Allan made a TRVFA presentation.  They had about 55 in attendance.  Allan is trying to get Yuma up and running with TRVFA.
  • Jim McGown volunteers at a local food bank.  Often, mobility devices are donated.  Because they really don't need them and they tend to accumulate, Jim is getting them to Ed for the Interact Ambassador missions.  He also bids ridiculously low prices online for wheelchairs and when he is the successful bidder, he gives those devices to Ed as well.
  • Pam Cohen was happy to meet this part of the Andersen family.  There are sixty family members in all - forty of them are grandchildren.  She pointed out the flyer on the tables with data from the recent blood drive.  - 25 donors, 8 of whom were first-timers, and 9 were type O donors, were responsible for 24 units being collected.  One blood donation can help save more than one life.  Member support of this project was appreciated.
  • Jim Schmidt said to fine him $10.  He had made an appointment to donate blood then had to miss everything going on at the YMCA on the 11th.
John Pennypacker - The Rotary Foundation 
John hoped members had taken time to read the EREY article in the May 17 Messenger.  (CLICK HERE IF YOU MISSED IT)  
John was very pleased that Jane Benedict was present to see John Benedict receive his Paul Harris Plus Four recognition pin for his generous support over the years of the good work being done in the world through The Rotary Foundation.
John suggested that even if a member had read the EREY article, they might want to read it again...  
Auction - Shelly Romine
Shelly had some non-alcoholic, crafty ornamental items and treats from Galapagos and Ecuador to auction.  The ties were the colors of the flag of Ecuador.  Ron Thompson was the successful bidder with his top bid of $45.
A bag of popcorn bought to benefit Fanny's cheerleading fundraising efforts was auctioned.  Ray Smith paid $40 cash.
  • Ed Koeneman reminded members to dig deep to find old photos of favorite Rotary moments at events and activities.  He needs them for the visuals to be shown during our 50th Anniversary Gala.
  • Shelly Romine has paper invitations for members to use to hand out or mail.
Sarah Dixon, the Area Booking Manager for Donor Services with the American Red Cross Blood Services Arizona Region sent the following note of appreciation to Mesa West Rotary Club President, Pam Cohen about our May 11 blood drive at the YMCA:
What a great turnout, I am so pleased it went well!  Your hard work definitely paid off.  Your help and support makes all the difference for the American Red Cross.  We are truly grateful for you and your entire team in supporting the blood drive!''
Our goal was 19 units and we collected 24 unitsAmazing and just WOW!!!, these were much needed units and it is potentially 32+lives impacted (Phenomenal!!! - Hero's!),  so the ultimate goal of saving lives was absolutely achieved!  You had 8 first time donors!!!  These units are so needed as we navigate our way through these challenging times.
I was so excited and pleased with your efforts.  Thank you so very much for committing to being a sponsor for our blood drives.  We cannot save lives without you, so thank you!  We are looking forward to your next drive on Tuesday, August 1, thank you for being a summer time hero!  Colin will be in touch as we get closer to the date...
I appreciate all your efforts and loook forward to continuing the success of this drive with you and your amazing team!
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

Transforming Communities, Creating Opportunities, Impacting Youth

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
Director '23
Director '23
Director '24
Director '24
Public Image Co-Chair
Public Image Co-Chair
TRF Chair
Executive Secretary
Grant Venable
Jun 22, 2023
Volunteer Opportunities Abroad
No Regular Meeting
Jun 29, 2023
We do not meet at noon on the 5th Thursday of any Month with 5 Thursdays
Pam Cohen
Jul 20, 2023
Changing of the Guard
Kevin Pitts
Nov 16, 2023
Official Visit of District Governor, Rotary District 5495
Upcoming Events
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