Home Page Stories
I want to take time out and send a special thank you to The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona and to Bryan Goetzenberger of Mesa West Rotary Club for helping me get to the next step in my career.  I will be attending American Medical Training Institute in Mesa, Arizona September 11 to October 24, 2021 for CNA/LNA program.  
Being a mom and not having much help, there was no way I could pay for the CNA course.  My background was security and corrections so I do think this will help long term with experience and having it on my resume.  I am super excited to begin.  I am also currently enrolled in the Associates of Surgical tech at Brookline College.  I wanted to take CNA to have experience before graduating form Surg. Tech in 2022.  I am very appreciative for you making this happen.
President Dan Coons opened the meeting with the 2021-22 Rotary International Theme - Serve to Change Lives.  He followed that by reciting 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.
President Dan then asked Ron Thompson to offer the invocation, and Chris Krueger to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
Rotary Minute - Dick Myren - Rotary Fellowships
Dick thought that members - especially our newer members - should know that Rotarians are as committed to having a good time as they are to service.  He explained that there are many Rotary Fellowships which can be found when exploring the RI Website.  He spoke mostly about a fellowship that he has been involved with since the early 1980's - the International Golfing Fellowship.  In the early 90's a new group was formed and Dick was one of the organizers of the US Golf Fellowship.  It is now the US & Canada Golf Fellowship.  He has travelled to many places to golf with Rotarians - Florida, California, Oregon, Idaho - to name a few.  
On September 9, 2001, Dick was hosting a golfing event for the fellowship which was being held in Prescott, Arizona.  There were 100 Rotarians participating.  As they were at breakfast on September 11th, they saw the 9/11 attacks as they were being reported on television.  A member of a local Rotary club in Prescott saw that all those in attendance at the golf fellowship tournament had a way to get home.  Several of the participating Rotarians came to Phoenix and rented vans to drive home together.  Rotarians stepped up to help one another.  Since then each person received a flag pin.  Dick has worn his every day for twenty years.  In 2022, Greg Podd, a Past District Governor of District 5510, will be in charge of planning the US & Canada Golfing Fellowship event.  Dick will keep the members informed of details.
College of Knowledge - Jeane Crouse
Instead of sharing a word, Jeane shared the following:  
Rosh Hashana (The Jewish New Year) celebration of Hebrew Year 5782 began on Monday, September 6, and ended on Wednesday, September 8.
Introduction of Guests
  • Ed Koeneman introduced his guest and long-time friend, Jim Hinsey.  They can both trace their roots back to the American Revolution.
  • President Dan noted that member Bob Jensen was attending via Zoom.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck explained that the holder of the winning ticket would automatically win $40.  They would also win the opportunity to try to draw the Ace of Clubs from the cards remaining in the deck.  If they were successful in drawing the Ace of Clubs, they would additionally win $385.  Chuck asked Ted Williams to draw the winning ticket.  It was jointly by Jeane Crouse, Wendell Jones, and Ray Smith.  Jeane drew for the trio.  The card drawn was the Jack of Clubs.  They donated their $40 winnings to The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski 
  • Bob Jensen pledged $72 to support the Gift of Hearing project to celebrate his birthday
  • Dave Brauchler reminded Rotarians he still had one empty slot in his foursome for the Midwest Food Bank Golf tournament to be held September 16 at The Biltmore.
  • Ted Williams contributed - He and Susan recently celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary.  Susan's daughter Brittney had a relapse after Ted's recent announcements that she was recovering from COVID.  It was touch and go for a while.  She was flown to the hospital where they have the largest COVID unit in Utah.  Ted and Susan went up there. Brittney is, with baby steps, slowly getting better.
  • Bob Zarling announced that The House of Broadcasting would have a display of artifacts from the radio era on display from September 9 to October 20 at HD South - Home of the Gilbert Historical Museum.  The museum is located at 10 South Gilbert Road in Gilbert.  As many Mesa West members will recall, former member Polly Schumacher is a very active member of the House of Broadcasting.
  • Warren Williamson paid to explain to his fellow members the difference between knowledge and wisdom.  Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.  Wisdom is knowing not to put a tomato in a fruit salad.
  • Wendell Jones contributed for a trip to Las Vegas where they saw David Copperfield and really enjoyed the show.
  • Ted Williams added that while they were in Utah, they went out to dinner with family on their anniversary and Susan's ex-husband paid picked up the tab.  He was not apparently aware of the fact it was Ted and Susan's anniversary. 
  • Chris Krueger contributed.  They had attended the Alice Cooper event.  She said it was great to hear live music.  When asked how old Alice Cooper is, Chis answerd, "OLD!"
  • Dick Myren contributed a $1 each for himself and Rod Daniels for the privilege of being associated with Mesa West Rotary.   He also suggested members might want to attend the 80th anniversary celebration of Falcon Field on Saturday.  Chuck Flint added he would be at a booth for Experimental Aircraft at the event. 
  • Jim Crutcher noted that legendary Mesa West Rotarian Alan Ramsdell passed away September 11, 2001 after sixty years in Rotary.
  • Steve Ross pledged $50 to Polio Plus and $50 to The Rotary Foundation Annual Fund in appreciation of the beautiful glass art Jack Rosenberg created for Steve's wife, Luin Ross.
  • Jack Rosenberg contributed.  He was happy to be at the meeting.
  • Greg Okonowski pledged to donate $500 to The Rotary Foundation celebrating that his COVID isolation was behind him and happy to be able to attend our meetings again.
  • Frank Rosenberg announced he would be at the Falcon Field celebration and it sounded like he might make some flights available...
  • Pam Cohen pledged $50 to her Paul Harris Fellow celebrating that fifty years ago, John Lennon's Imagine album was released.
  • Dan Coons corrected a couple of things from the September 8 Messenger.  Colleen had pledged $69 to celebrate Dan's 69th birthday.  Jeanie had given him back ten years when she published $59.  Dan had experienced some confusion when he read something about President-elect Pam Coons, which obviously should have read Pam Cohen.  Dan's first wife's name was Pam...
  • Dan Lamborn reminded members that the service project for September is a bedding drive for Sleep in Heavenly Peace.  Members are asked to donate new twin-size sheet sets or twin-size blankets.  Since the bedding will go to children, fun images and colors are in order. 
  • President Dan announced that he received information that nominations are being accepted for District Governor of District 5495 to serve in 2024-25.  Any member who is a Past President who is interested in serving in that capacity should get in touch with Dan.
  • Pam Cohen announced the Child Crisis Center Brunch for Love to be held October 1, 2021  Pam bought a table for ten, and as of the meeting only had four seats filled.  Anyone interested in attending the event should email her by CLICKING HERE.  See another article in the September 15 Messenger for more information about the event and/or to register to attend virtually.
  • Pam Cohen announced that there is a possibility the musical interlude planned for September 30 will be moved to a different location.  Stay tuned for more information on this planned fun event.
President Dan Coons opened the meeting reciting the 2021-22 Rotary International Theme - Serve to Change Lives.  He followed with 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.
Rotary Minute - President-Elect - Pam Cohen
Pam announced the formation of the nominating committee to prepare the slate of officers which will be announced in November and elected at the Club's Annual Meeting in December.  The nominating committee required to be announced at the first club meeting in September.  Pam thanked the Rotarians who responded positively when she invited them to service on this important committee.  The committee consists of three past Mesa West Rotary Club Presidents, and two members at large:
PP Ed Koeneman
PP Greg Okonowski
PP Jim Schmidt
Melodie Jackson
Colleen Coons
The Mesa West Rotary Club Bylaws approved last December define terms of office.  As a result of prior elections, the following officers and Directors will automatically serve on the board of directors in 2022-23:
President - Pam Cohen
Treasurer - Dick Myren
Director - Polly Cady
Director - Greg Okonowski
Director - Tim Troy
The Nominating Committee will be charged with naming individuals to serve in the following positions:
President Nominee (to serve as President-Elect in 2022-23 and President in 2023-24)
Club Secretary - to serve July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2024
Director - to serve July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2024
Director - to serve July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2024
The Bylaws state the following:  "To ensure the vibrancy of the Club and optimize engagement of all Members, no officer or Director shall serve more than two successive terms in the same position or more than six years in succession as a member of the Board of Directors."  Pam encouraged members who are interested in serving in leadership positions to make their interest known to the Nominating Committee.  In addition to the four vacancies on the board, as Pam plans for her year of service, there will be several committee chairmanships she will need to fill.  
Dan thanked Pam for filling in for him while he and Colleen vacationed in Hawaii the prior week.  He added that He was PE while Jim Schmidt was President.  On the few occasions he had to fill in for Jim and as he succeeded Jim as President, he was always a little intimidated by feeling he might fall short in trying to live up to the expectations Jim's fine performance had set.  He said that following last year's President has made his job easier this year.
Word Power - Jeanie Crouse
  • Jeane asked if anyone knew what you would get if you were to cross a watermelon with a collie...
  • Her answer - a melon collie (melancholy) water dog.
Introduction of Guests
  • Frank Rosenberg introduced his guest, Mark Metzger, who has retired from Boeing and is now a full-time volunteer.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck explained that the big pot would be $345 if the holder of the ticket drawn were to draw the Ace of Clubs (which we believe we are).  They would automatically win $45.  There was no longer a joker in the deck since it was drawn the prior week.  Chuck asked guest, Mark Metzger, to draw the winning ticket, which was held by Dave Brauchler.  While Dave was shuffling the cards, Chuck asked if anyone knew were Captain Hook bought his hook.  The answer, which drew several groans, was "a second hand store."  Dave drew the 8 of Spades, which was immediately destroyed. The big pot will continue to grow and the odds of winning it are just a little bit better.
Introduction of Guests - Continued
  • Realizing he had forgotten to have Melodie Jackson introduce her husband earlier, President Dan asked Randy Jackson to introduce himself.  Randy quickly explained he was not the famous Randy Jackson.  He said he was Mr. Melodie, serving as her official unpaid Uber driver.  He said he does not get paid, but that Melodie had bought him a new car.  He threw out a teaser about a joke regarding a pacemaker.  He warned the joke is offensive, and anyone interested could ask to hear it later.  He said he gets some bad Uber ratings for being late and talking too much.
Happy Bucks - Ron Thompson
  • Dick Myren contributed his traditional $1 each for his friend Rod Daniels and himself celebrating their good fortune of being member of Mesa West Rotary.
  • Don Boucher contributed $20 - $5 for each of the last four meetings he had to miss.  He lamented several catastrophes occurring during that time frame.  They had a roof leak.  The leak was under their solar panels.  They had spent a week caring for their three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter.  Sharon  was exhausted.  He was exhausted just watching.   On Friday the thirteenth, they took the granddaughter to the airport to meet her mama who would be flying through and would fly home with the granddaughter on her connecting flight.  When they returned home, their air conditioner was not working.  They were four days without A/C.  He had a public service announcement.  If anyone purchases a home with a Trane air conditioner that is still under warrantee, the new owner has 90 days from the date of purchase to re-register the warranty protection under their name.  They have home warranty protection but because they had not re-registered the Trane warranty, they may have $3,000 out of pocket.  In the midst of all this, they spent five days managing a pit-bull mix dog.  There was a happy announcement.  Sharon's youngest daughter, Stephanie, is expecting her first child - finally - a grandchild who will live close enough to see regularly!  One more sad note - they will be out of town and unable to attend the musical interlude at the Cady's new home.
  • Don LaBarge contributed a dollar announcing that he had sold an industrial power washer to a young man about thirty years old.  It was the highest grade machine Don sells.  When asked, he said is was a $20,000 purchase.  Don told the buyer he would not accept American Express because the fees would be too high and their cancellation of purchase policies would put him at risk.  The young man said he would be back the next day with cash.  Don said he would expect him to go to the bank with him to make sure the bills all passed the bank's count and counterfeit scrutiny, which the young man agreed to do.  When asked how he made his money, the young man told Don he is a subcontractor in the marijuana industry.  He extracts oil from the plants and is paid outrageous wages.  During this tale, there were several who expressed their amazement that Don was not motivated to donate more than one happy buck...
  • Don Boucher had one more lament.  He had popped a chip out of a newly implanted tooth.
  • Colleen Coons pledged $69 to celebrate President Dan's birthday.  She said he was married to the best man, saying he was so smart that when her car was recently "injured" and not working right after a trip to the shop, Dan looked under the hood and noticed something that had been installed upside down.  He corrected that error and the car worked fine.  She also applauded how he had kept their home as much in order as possible during their recent bout with plumbing issues that had their kitchen torn up for a very long time.  She said that getting to be retired while being married to the love of her life who still works at his business as well as works endlessly at home has made her life wonderful.
  • Ray Smith led everyone in singing "Happy Birthday" to President Dan.
  • Frank Rosenberg contributed - he was happy to be at the meeting and happy to have a guest in attendance.
  • Chris Krueger had fun at the service project at Paz de Cristo.  Chuck Flint took video of her working there.
  • Wendell Jones contributed.  He was happy Son Hee Williamson had sent two personally created blankets with Warren to be donated to Erica Anderson's No Place Like Hope organization which we heard about at our August 26 meeting.  This brought up a querie to see if anyone had heard the latest joke about a bed - when no-one had an answer, it was explained that was because, "It hasn't been made up yet."
  • John Pennypacker contributed.  He was happy because he and both of his charges survived safely when he was the sole adult in charge of caring for his five-year-old and seven-year-old grandsons from Friday August 27 to Monday August 30.
  • Darl Andersen pledged $100 to the Mesa West Rotary Foundation  to celebrate his and Kay's 50th wedding anniversary, their 40 grandchildren and more.  He also challenged his sponsor and Rotary mentor,  Pai Bethea to contribute $5 for every in-person meeting he had not attended this summer.
  • Jeane Crouse contributed for the right to ask, "How much do pirates pay to get their ears pierced?"  The answer was a "buck an ear" (buccaneer).
  • Dave Braucher was happy to report that his wife, who recently left a job to accept a new one, has a day free on September 2 to care for their 16-month-old grandchild and is painting their Ikea kitchen.
  • Pam Cohen thanked Frank Rosenberg for bringing guest, Mark Metzger.  She also contributed sad dollars, since she is in charge of coordinating with speakers, and the speaker for the September 2 meeting had failed to show up.
  • Dan Coons contributed because he was sad to have had to miss the service project at Paz de Cristo, but happy to report Steve West had been able to fill in and Steve recruited his son and granddaughter to help.
  • Melodie Jackson contributed.  She was happy she and Randy had spent several weeks in Seattle with her 91-year-old mother.  A period where Seattle recorded record high temperatures while the Phoenix area had experienced record lows.  Melodie also reported that their daughter, Tanica Jackson, who does not give a compliment unless it is deserved, said she had received the best dental treatment of her life at Ron Thompson's office.  
  • Greg Okonowski pledged $5 hoping he would be able to come back to an in-person meeting in the near future.
Auction Items 
  • Colleen Coons had a red Target shopping bag purchased in Hawaii which contained two items - one of which was edible and the other a unique item which could only be purchased on the island they visited.  $50 was the top bid offered by Melodie Jackson.  Opening the bag, Melodie found a box of chocolates and a beautiful necklace.
  • John Pennypacker had a bag containing three boxes of Courage and Conviction purchased in the Commonwealth of Virginia where Courage and Conviction are plentiful.  The boxes contained three small boxed bottles of whisky (without the "e"), which John offered to auction as a set or to sell for $5 each.  They were purchased for $5 each by Chris Krueger, Steve Ross and guest, Mark Metzger.  
  • September 23 - Wayne General has offered to set up prior to the meeting and stay following the meeting to take portrait photos of our members.  One of many advantages to having quality photos of each our members will be to upgrade our digital membership directory which is available as a download through our club website.  Wayne advised not wearing white that day.
  • Don LaBarge announced that we would again be ringing the bell in front of the Bass Pro Shop in Mesa for Salvation Army from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.  He will recruit from Mesa West members and friends of Rotary to fill two-hour shirts.  He said he expects 100% participation from all able-bodied  Mesa West members.  When Mesa West first started this annual support of Salvation Army, we rang Friday and Saturday.  That expanded to Thursday through Saturday.  When we first started ringing seven days a week, it was actually against Salvation Army rules. as there was supposed to be no ringing on Sunday.  We got caught breaking the rules.  Don told about an incident where the Mesa Police were called because someone who knew that ringing on Sunday was against Salvation Army rules believed we were misrepresenting who we were ringing to benefit.  The rule has been changed for a few years now.  We are not to schedule anyone for a shift on Sunday if it would interfere with their ability to worship as they normally do.  Don explained that we have broken records at our station for several years in a row.  In 2019, it was primarily because someone put a gold coin in our bucket which was valued at over $1,700.  In 2020, we took in over $22,000 - which was the most at any kettle station in the Southwest Division.  The closest kettle station only brought in $8,000.  
  • Ron Thompson noted Mesa West has a very wise President - Dan knew exactly who to give the microphone to on a day when our speaker did not show up.
  • Ed Koeneman noted that there are only 100 shopping days until Christmas.  For members with an Amazon shopping addiction, he encourage them to make their purchases through Amazon Smiles, and scroll through the available charities to choose the Mesa West Rotary Foundation Inc. so that our club's foundation can benefit from the half percent donation available on any purchase, or the two percent that is available when shopping on special Amazon Smile shopping days.
A crew of Mesa West Rotarians and family members had fun preparing and serving dinner August 31 at Paz de Cristo in Mesa.  The individuals who benefitted from their work enjoyed a delicious meal.  Most of the food used to prepare the meal was donated by local grocery stores and restaurants, so it was a very nice meal.  Second helpings were not allowed, but before leaving, those who attended were given "clamshells" to fill with leftovers.  They were also given bags with water, peanut butter/jelly sandwiches, etc. so each diner really received three meals. 
The crew from Mesa West included Pam Cohen, Chuck Flint, Robin Harris, Wendell and Sandra Jones, Chris and Mike Krueger, Lola McClane, Jim Schmidt, Ray Smith, Jay and Melissa Stuckey, and Steve West who brought his granddaughter, Carolyn, and son, Russell.  
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.
  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
DG Bret McKeand
Sep 23, 2021
Official District Governor Visit to Mesa West Rotary Club
Sep 30, 2021
Mesa West Rotary Club does not have a regular club meeting on the 5th Thursday of any month
Paige Goetzenberger
Oct 07, 2021
Rotary Youth Exchange
Ginger Lamb
Oct 14, 2021
7th Street Food Pantry
Dan Coons
Oct 21, 2021
Club Assembly
Chuck Flint
Oct 28, 2021
The Rotary Foundation
Randy Spencer
Nov 04, 2021
Alice Cooper's Solid Rock Teen Center
Don LaBarge
Nov 11, 2021
USS Forrestal
Brian Rausche
Nov 18, 2021
Mystery Program
Nov 25, 2021
There will be no in-person meeting of Mesa West Rotary
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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