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Mesa West Rotary will temporarily cease holding their weekly in-person meetings until further notice beginning Thursday, March 19. 
The chase is on for the End Polio Now Champions Award.  As of May 29th, the top 10 clubs are:  1. Mesa West  2. Sedona Village  3. E-Club of the Southwest  4. Paradise Valley  5. Sedona Red Rocks  6. Kingman Route 66  7. Superstition Mountain, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon  8. Scottsdale North  9. Prescott Frontier  10.  Peoria North.
The final standings will be determined as of the close of the fiscal year, June 30, 2020.  Don't delay.  Get your contributions in now if you club wishes to compete for the award!
As an aside, only 44 clubs have contributed to End Polio Now.  That means 25 clubs have not contributed.  It is also a little bit surprising to see some of the clubs that have not participated or that have only minimal participation.
Before the meeting was called to order, Polly Schumacher was complimented on her patriotic red, white, and blue apparel.  She said she knew she was a few days late but was still celebrating the Memorial Day holiday.  Our inbound Rotary Youth Exchange student, Marcella Sousa was welcomed.  It was a pleasant surprise to have Erwin and Joan Reimann in attendance.  Erwin explained that there had been an upsurge in COVID-19 cases in South Dakota, and - on advice of their doctor - they decided to wait at least a couple of weeks before heading to the Black Hills for the summer.
President Jim called the meeting to order, and asked John Pennypacker to offer the invocation.  John chose to share the following Scottish Blessing titled "If There is Righteousness in the Heart:"
If there is righteousness in the heart,
there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home, 
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.
So let it be.
Allan Cady was asked to share a patriotic moment.  In light of the recent Memorial Day holiday, Allan challenged Rotarians to teach their children and grandchildren ten things:
  1. Story behind the Pledge of Allegiance
  2. What to do during the national anthem
  3. Soldiers are to be honored
  4. Know the basic freedoms
  5. Know the core values of a democratic society
  6. Understand our form of government
  7. Understand the responsibilities of citizenship
  8. Tell them about people and places that are significant to our history
  9. Appreciate diversity
  10. Know we are not perfect
Allan also shared they had enjoyed a Zoom meeting with their family the evening before, and it helped them feel close though they are far apart.  He said he would commit to work on teaching the ten things he listed to his grandchildren.  He feels very fortunate to be in our country - even during adverse times.
Happy Bucks - with Greg Okonowski
  • Allan Cady - pledged $10 - he was very happy to have enjoyed the Zoom call with his family.
  • Marcella Sousa - was very excited to be looking forward to celebrating her 19th birthday in typical US mode.  She was serenaded by those present with "Happy Birthday to You" and said she then felt 110% excited for her birthday celebration.
  • Polly Cady  - was happy to report that 32 Rotarians have signed up to attend the first virtual Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI).  She said that number was up from 13 just the day before.  She thanked Pam Cohen for preparing a flyer which was distributed by DGE Elizabeth Mahoney.  RLI was scheduled for Saturday, May 30 with the sessions condensed to deliver the material in a three-hour time slot between 9:00 AM and Noon.  They will offer all three sessions.  Chris Krueger and DGND Larry Horton would be co-facilitating, as would be Allan Cady and Kevin Pitts, and Art Harrington and Jay Jones.   Polly said Pam and Dan Coons were among those registered to attend.  To encourage members to register and attend, Pam Cohen explained that the RLI education is not about a particular leadership task, it enriches knowledge about Rotary and its many accomplishments beyond the club level.
  • Warren Williamson pledged $5 as he was happy to have finally been able to get his hair cut.  He pledged another $5 though not-so-happy to finally get to see his dentist.
  • Melodie Jackson pledged $50 toward her Paul Harris Fellow.  She was happy to share news about a young man named Serge who played basketball at ASU.  He was a friend of Melodie's daughter.  He came from Cameroon, West Africa.  The Jacksons "adopted" him 16 years ago.  He now lives in Arizona.   Four years ago he brought his daughter and his mother from a small village in Cameroon to America.  His daughter Jessica graduated from high school and got a volleyball scholarship to Mercy College in New York.  In Cameroon, their village had no running water or sanitation.  Serge has three daughters and another on the way..  Melodie finds it amazing how much life has changed for his family. 
  • Dan Coons thought his wife, Colleen Coons should be fined $10 since she was on vacation and available to attend the meeting but was not in attendance.  After some shaming, Dan said to charge him for half of Colleen's fine.
  • Robert LaBarge had a birthday, which was acknowledged even though he was not present at the meeting.
Presidential Humor
Allan and Polly Cady were on a lake.  Allan wanted to fish, so had all the gear on the boat, but decided he should attend a Rotary meeting.  Polly chose to stay on the lake.  After Allen left, Polly rowed out into the lake and put the anchor down, got out her book and started reading.  Before long a fish and game officer came along and told her he would have to cite her for fishing in a restricted area.  Polly explained she wasn't fishing, and that she was just enjoying her book.  The officer said that there was evidence to the contrary and he would have to take her in and charge her.  She had all the necessary equipment and for all he knew she could obviously start fishing at any moment.  Polly said she would go along with the officer, but only if he arranged to have law enforcement at the station to meet them.  He asked why, and she said she was going to request that he be charged with attempted rape.  He said, you know nothing like that happened.  Polly said, "You have all the necessary equipment, and for all I know..."  The officer left without citing Polly.
Thanks to Pam Cohen who facilitated and hosted our first Mesa West Rotary virtual happy hour Thursday evening, May 28.  At least sixteen members and Rotary family members attended Our District Governor, David Simmer, even dropped by for a bit. 
Pam was prepared with a conversation-starter.  She asked everyone to share their favorite burger and burger establishment.  It was very pleasant to have relaxed, informal conversation with each other - a privilege we've been deprived of for much too long.  
We are told Angel Hernandez cried after the parade of Rotarians left his house. He said he was very surprised and very grateful for all Rotarians do. Also, he really wanted to give each person in the parade a hug but knew he couldn’t because of the social distance rules. Rotary holds a place in his heart. He hopes he can visit Mesa West while he is studying at ASU.
Clara Bass
Clara found a love for service through Interact club at school by volunteering at a football game concession stand three years ago. Since then, she has been a dedicated member of Interact and two other service clubs at school. Clara is an International Baccalaureate student who spends her free time riding horses, drinking lots of coffee, and collecting way too many stickers. She played varsity badminton at Westwood and was a team captain in the 2019-2020 school year. She graduated with the Service-Learning Seal on her diploma as part of the top 20 students in her class.
Hannah Mason is a girl on the go.  While at  Westwood she was a student in the International Baccalaureate program, a two-year Varsity tennis player, three-year member of NHS and a four-year member of the Warrior Marching Band, where she served the last two years as a drum major. However, it was her experience through Westwood's Interact club that impacted her the most.  She joined Interact her Sophomore year and was selected as one of the Club's 2018 RYLA delegates.  Her experience at RYLA was transformative and she came back not only as a committed member of the 'Rotary family' with a new found passion for service, but also with a vision of what she wanted to do after high school. She was elected as an officer for Interact the last two years, including this past year as President, and did her best to lead amid dynamic personal challenges in the Fall and the unprecedented events of this past Spring.  She also has served as an Assistant Governor in the Interact District Council  for two years and was accepted as a 2019 District 5495 Interact Ambassador to Kenya.  She found the trip to Kenya to be life-changing and further focused her career ambitions.  She is still debating between two universities, but in both cases aims to study nonprofit management and public policy with an emphasis on international service.  Her goal is to graduate with her Master's within 6 years then serve the next two in the Peace Corp, hopefully returning to Kenya.  
Mia Andrea
Mia is a recent graduate from Westwood High School and their International Baccalaureate program. During her time at Westwood, she was actively involved in badminton, Model United Nations, National Honors Society, and Interact club. In her free time, Mia enjoys reading, writing about her favorite music, and playing the guitar. She will continue her education in the fall at Arizona State University to study journalism and mass communications.
Naomi Sellers will attend Yale University this fall to pursue a global studies degree. In addition to excelling academically and being named the Arizona International Baccalaureate DP Student of the Year, Naomi invested a lot of her time and energy to clubs and extracurricular activities during her high school years. Aside from participating in Westwood High School’s Interact club and the service opportunities it promoted, Naomi was a co-founder and Executive Team Member of the Young Athena club and President of Little Warriors, a monthly afterschool program at Emerson Elementary School. Naomi also served as the secretary for the National Honor Society. Naomi participated in Westwood’s Link Crew to help new students acclimate to Westwood and was selected to represent Westwood as the school’s student liaison to the District School Board. Naomi loves to dance and was a member of the Dance Production Team her senior year. Naomi also loves working with children and co-led a children’s program at her church for two years. Naomi is also an active participant her church’s youth group. When not studying, dancing, serving, or playing with kids, Naomi enjoys being outdoors, hiking, playing board games, working on any kind of creative project, and snuggling with her dog.
To see an album of photos taken the day the gifts were delivered to these and six other Westwood High School Interact 2020 Graduates CLICK HERE.
President Jim welcomed Rotarians and guests as they arrived early to the Zoom meeting Thursday, May 21.   Those who were early heard Irwin Reimann announce that fellow club-members would likely not see he and Joan again until they return to Arizona in the fall.  Their daughter has a place that she operates in the summer with cabins, etc. in the Black Hills of South Dakota about five miles from Mount Rushmore.  They will be staying in an apartment in an out-building. He said they tell people they are going to spend their summer in a garage.  Cell and internet service are not reliable in the area, so he doubted they would be able to attend our Zoom meetings.
After the meeting was called to order, Ray Smith offered the invocation, a duty which apparently kept him from leaving as early as he might have liked on a getaway to the mountains.
Shelly Romine provided the patriotic moment when she spoke about the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) loans she has been busy processing.  She has a background as a CPA, and it has felt a bit like she was reliving tax season. The loans are processed through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and US Treasury Department.  PPP is part of the relief enacted through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act which was passed into law on March 27.  The bank where Shelly works, Horizon Community Bank, had processed 601 PPP loans from April 3 to May 4.  That resulted in loans totaling over $64,000,000, with an average loan amount of $107,000, and helped businesses cover payroll for over 8,500 employees.  
Melissa Stuckey was welcomed as a guest at our meeting. She and her husband, Jay were our speakers on May 14.  Also welcomed to the meeting was Assistant Governor, Lee Holmes.
Happy Bucks with Greg Okonowski
  • Jim Schmidt pledged $10.  He was happy that his daughter had been home for a visit and some rest, and it was all very well organized.
  • Shelly Romine pledged $10.  She was happy to report she and her husband were going to get to see Sedona for the first time over the Memorial Day weekend, and they would be celebrating their 31st anniversary on Monday, May 25.
  • Allan Cady pledged $10.  He and Polly are enjoying some relaxation on their boat in San Diego just chillin'.  He was also happy to report Polly's hip is healing well.
  • Greg Bouslog pledged $10 because he would be celebrating his 35th birthday this weekend, but he was sad that he wouldn't be celebrating at a Karaoke club.  Members sang Happy Birthday to Greg.
  • Pam Cohen was happy to hear Greg's Karaoke remark, and Greg admitted he enjoyed Karaoke more when libations were involved.
  • Wayne General was happy to report he had made a trip to Costco and was able to purchase a 30-pack of TP.
  • Ed Koeneman announced his birthday had been the day before (May 20) and was happy and proud to say their daughter Susie was graduating from Mountain View the day of the meeting.  He also announced that Westwood Interact had elected new officers - their incoming president, Huda, was secretary this year.
  • Erwin Reimann pledged $50 to The Rotary Foundation.  He was very healthful that the heart and cancer health challenges he and Joan had been through were well behind them when the pandemic hit the US.
  • Polly Cady pledged $10 to the Mesa West Foundation.  She was happy to announce Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) would be held on May 30 at 9:00 AM via Zoom.  There are three sessions.  Most Rotary education is job-specific training.  RLI is more general information about the greater world of Rotary - about what is, and what can be.  Typically the sessions are held in various locations in the district, cost $60 per session and last most of the day.  The Zoom sessions will be from 9:00 AM to Noon and will be free.  CLICK HERE for a link to more information and an opportunity to register.  Polly remarked that District Governor Nominee Designate, Larry Horton, interviewed Polly, as RLI Chair, in a podcast telling about RLI.  CLICK HERE to link to the Rotary 5495 Express podcast series menu.  The RLI interview is titled "Leadership".  Polly went on to tell members that Chris Krueger and Allan Cady would be among the group of great RLI facilitators at RLI.  She also commented that Mesa West was well-represented with facilitators at Club Leadership Academy (CLA) on May 9 and 16, where Jeanie, Pam and Lucinda all facilitated.
Rotary Minute
President Jim said that when he took on the role of club President and made the Rotary Vision Statement his own, he had no idea the new meaning "unite" would take on - using technology to retain groups.  He pointed out that we are united with the world in different ways, including how our decades-long focus on the eradication of polio was temporarily set aside to use our network and resources to aid in combating the coronavirus.  In our own Rotary District, the per capita death rate from the virus in the Navajo Nation is extremely high.  Dig Deep, who has partnered with Rotary to provide running water in remote homes on the reservation, has placed water trucks in locations throughout the community to minimize the necessity of too many people gathering in tight quarters to access this precious resource.
Rotary International will hold their first virtual International Convention June 20-26.  Rotarians throughout the world will be able to hear dynamic convention speakers without having to pay for lodging, registration and travel.  CLICK HERE to see current information about this opportunity as the plans evolve.
Our district is represented by leaders who are participating in a study in our Zone to come up with ways to advise clubs when and how to come back to meeting in person.  It is very likely Zoom meetings will continue through June.  Rotary will proceed very cautiously.  A great new team of Rotary leaders will take the helm on July 1 as Rotary adapts and changes leaders during these difficult times.
  • Pam Cohen thanked members who had pledged to help with the project to honor Westwood High School Interact members who were graduating.  It was determined the money pledged would be pooled so similar baskets could be created.  Those who wanted to participate in the parade of automobiles delivering the baskets were told were to meet at Westwood High School Saturday, May 23.  Anyone who had not yet pledged or indicated they wanted to participate were urged to contact Pam so more detailed information could be shared before the actual event.
  • President Jim wished Erwin and Joan Reimann a happy summer and let them both know he appreciates their knowledge and spirit.
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


Effective March 19, 2020, in-person meetings have been temporarily suspended - watch this site for updates.
1011 W Holmes
Mesa, AZ 85210
United States of America
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