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Since the District Conference originally planned for our district was cancelled because of the COVID pandemic, our District Leaders searched for something to replace it that would be fun - but - more important, make a difference.
Rotary District 5495 is launching a huge media campaign - ROTARY WEEK OF SERVICE - to bring attention to the good Rotary does in the communities in our state.  District leaders in the state have contracted with a web service called GivSum to have a virtual platform where all clubs in Arizona have a chance to highlight their club and one or more Rotary Week of Service projects. 
We would like to have most of our members sign up so they can show as members on our Mesa West page within the GivSum site.  To Sign up and add your information, CLICK HERE  to go to the Mesa West site.  In the top right corner, you will see a small gray cameo type image (next to the doors).  When you click on that image, it will give you an opportunity to "sign in" or "sign up."  Near the bottom of that page, you will see the profiles of Mesa West members who have already added their profiles.
The Mesa West of Service project has been scheduled for April 17th 9 am - Noon at Church of the Master Presbyterian Church - Memorial Hall 6659 E University Dr. Mesa AZ.
Activity:  Assemble shower kits and helping hands kits for later distribution
We are partnering for this project with the Gilbert Club so click on the following link which will take you to the Gilbert Club's volunteer page:
After you reach the page, just click on "Volunteer for Kit Assembly," which is in a navy blue text box just under the project banner.
To download a flyer about the project, CLICK HERE.  Participating in our Rotary Week of Service counts toward our club's goal for District Conference attendance. 
We urge you to sign in and sign up!. 
Call to Order - President Dan Coons
President Dan Coons opened the meeting by introducing himself and reciting the 2020-21 Rotary International theme - Rotary Opens Opportunities.  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 - Dick Myren
Leacing the Pledge of Allegiance - Steve Ross
Introduction of Guests
  • Melodie Jackson introduced her husband, Randy Jackson
  • Frank Rosenberg introduced Dave Brauchler, a visiting Rotarian who now lives in the area and is looking for a new Rotary Club to join.  
  • Chris Krueger introduced Logan Harper a purchaser for Freeport McMoRan who was visiting for the second week in a row.
  • Ray Smith introduced Jeanne Crouse, a former member of the Mesa Baseline Rotary Club and looking to get back into Rotary.
  • Attending via Zoom were two familiar faces Ed Koeneman and Andrea Murphy.  Ed announced that he is getting involved in a start-up business and will soon be leaving GCU behind, which means we should see a lot more of him in the near future.  Lola McClane said "Hey! Hi! Ho! and introduced speaker Mary Lou Brncik with David's Hope.  Juli Kelly echoed Lola's greeting.
Rotary Minute - Jeanie Morgan - The Four-Way Test of the things we think, say or do
In 1932, Herbert John Taylor was hired to try to rescue a cookware company out of bankruptcy following the depression.  He felt like they could survive if they differentiated their company from their competition if they could truthfully market themselves as a company with integrity.  He crafted a simple measuring stick of ethics for employees of the struggling company to memorize.  Before asking them to do so, he practiced using it himself for a brief period and found that he needed to rewrite some letters before sending them, and rewrite some advertising material.  He didn't want to ask his employees to live up to a standard he didn't strive to live up to himself.  His plan was successful.  Some members may remember Club Aluminum cookware being used in their family kitchens.  Eleven years later, in 1943, The Four Way Test was adopted as one of Rotary's guiding principles.
FIRST Is it the truth?
SECOND Is it fair to all concerned?
THIRD Will it build good will and better friendship?
FOURTH Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Taylor became Rotary International's 44th president, and championed the code in all aspects of life.  He felt strongly that if we applied the Test to our relations with youth, we would all become more determined to give as much as possible of our time.  The Rotary Club of Fort Collins, Colorado did that.  The club has introduced the principles to tens of thousands of public school students since the mid 1990's bringing Rotary into the classrooms to facilitate honest discussion about how the test can help solve personal predicaments.  Speech teachers enthusiastically welcomed the program helping write scenarios - ethical challenges - for the youth, and tapping input from the students, as well.
Jeanie added an editorial comment.  She believes many young people with political aspirations take speech and debate classes.  She thought it might be beneficial to follow the lead of the Fort Collins' club by introducing those students to The Four Way Test while they are still impressionable.
Ace of Clubs Raffle is back - Chuck Flint
As members and guests arrive, they can purchase tickets for $5 each.  If their ticket is drawn, they automatically win 1/3 of what was taken in in ticket sales.  1/3 of the ticket sales goes into the club treasury, and the last 1/3 increases the amount of accumulated potential winnings.  The lucky ticket holder also wins a chance to draw from a deck of cards.  If they draw a joker, they win an additional $20.  If they draw the Ace of Clubs, they win the accumulated winnings of $1,302.  Any other card drawn is destroyed.  Chuck always looks for someone honest to draw the winning ticket and chose Robin Harris to do the honors.  The ticket drawn belonged either to Melodie Jackson or her husband, Randy.  Randy let Melodie take responsibility for drawing the card.  She drew the 8 of Diamonds.  On the 15th, the potential winnings will be bigger and the odds of drawing the Ace of Clubs a little bit better.  In any case, the club always wins.
Auction of Tazmanian Travel Treasure - Ted Williams
Ted has held onto this treasure for a long time while we were meeting via Zoom because of COVID.  They had travelled to Australia to enjoy a visit with the family of Craig and Sue Owen, Mesa West Rotary Club's first Rotary Youth Exchange Student form Port Arthur.  While there, they visited Tazmania.  It has been a long tradition in Mesa West that members bring back gifts from their travels to auction at a meeting for fun and to benefit the club treasury.  There was no way to know what they were bidding on.  The bag that contained the treasurer was quite small.  After some competitive bids were exchanged, Chris Krueger prevailed with a $55 bid.  
The treasure that she won with her high bid had a story behind it.  It was a pendant necklace crafted by a local artist using ashes from their own burnt home as part of the media for the beautiful keepsake.
  • Jack Rosenberg announced that his kiln has been operating 24 hours a day for a week and a day since the team of Rotarians and friends installed it for him.
  • Dan Coons noted that Andrea Murphy and Bob Zarling had joined those attending via Zoom.
  • District Governor Elizabeth Mahoney will be making her official visit to Mesa West Rotary via Zoom on Thursday April 22.  Members are urged to attend in person or via Zoom to support the great job she has done leading District 5495 during a very difficult year.
  • Chris Krueger made a very happy announcement.  The global grant initiated by Mesa West Rotary to participate with Buey Tut and Aqua Africa in a much-needed water project in South Sudan has been approved by The Rotary Foundation.   Buey will be travelling to Arizona and will be presenting a program about the project at our May 13 meeting.
  • Shelly Romine reminded members of the Rotary Week of Service project packing shower kits to be used by the Homeless at Paz de Cristo.  see details about the project in a separate article in this newsletter.
  • John Pennypacker was wearing a Rotary Week of Service t-shirt and had two additional shirts with him which he gave to Shelly Romine and Jeanie Morgan thanking them for all they do for the club.  He also announced that he had been successful in getting Mesa Rotary Club President Ben Yanofsky,  DGN Larry Horton, Priscilla (from the Mayor's office), Mayor John Giles, and MWR President Dan Coons together for a photo op when the Mayor signed the Proclamation declaring April 17-24 Rotary Week of Service in Mesa.  CLICK HERE or on the image of the Mayor to see a video that was recorded following the photo-op.  None of the Rotarians present for the photo were aware of the story about Rotary and Mesa that the Mayor tells in the video.  CLICK HERE to see an image of the proclamation.
Happy Dollars - Greg Okonowski
  • Warren Williamson contributed and pointed out the US Constitutions on the table, which were a gift from Son Hee.
  • Robin Harris contributed as he pointed out that as a new member it is challenging to get to know everyone.  He said the photo directory would be more helpful if twenty-five members who do not have photos in the directory would log into the club website and upload their photo into their profile.   CLICK HERE to check the photo directory to see if yours is one of the missing photos.
  • John Pennypacker pledged $100 to the sponsorship program to celebrate his own birthday and deny the fact that he is old enough to have a 50-year-old son (who also recently had a birthday).
  • Wendell Jones pledged $100 to announce that he will marry his new sweetheart, Sandra Anderson, on June 11.
  • Guest, Jeanne Crouse fondly remembered  Rotarian Herb Ash.  He was like everyone's uncle.  At 83 he lost his wife.  He moved out of state but stayed in Rotary.  At age 90 Herb served as President of his new club.  She recently learned that Herb has passed away at 98.
  • Dick Myren contributed $20 announcing he was glad to be at the old men's table.
  • Penny May contributed because she was happy to say her storage unit was empty.  She thinks she may have almost broke the Sunshine Acres van.
  • Frank Rosenberg contributed because he was happy to be meeting in person and also happy he would be getting to fly a new airplane over the weekend.
  • Jim Schmidt asked to be billed $10.00 - he was happy to see Jeanne Crouse again.
  • Melodie Jackson contributed - she was happy to be back together with fellow club members.
  • Pam Cohen contributed - she enjoyed celebrating her Grandson Wilder's first birthday.  The theme of Wilder's party was "Where the Wild Things Are."
President Dan Coons opened the meeting by introducing himself and reciting the Rotary International theme for 2020-21 - Rotary Creates Opportunities.  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 - Past President Jim Schmidt
It was a heartfelt prayer including thankfulness to be safely back together and acknowledging all the sacrifices and loss that so many have experienced since we last met in person under his administration on March 12, 2020.  
Pledge of Allegiance - led by Darl Andersen
There were some Rotarians with tears in their eyes hearing unified, friendly voices reciting the pledge together for the first time in over a year.
Introduction of Guests
  • Logan Harper was introduced as an ex-(corrected to former)Marine by John Pennypacker.
  • Warren Williamson introduced Visiting Rotarian Tom Yuzer
  • Chris Krueger introduced Visiting Rotarian Dave Brauchler, a former helicopter pilot and also a former Marine from San Clemente, California, but now living in Arizona.
  • Polly Cady introduced Kayla Mudge, a long-time family friend who now lives in Scottsdale.  Kayla has a love for community service.
  • Speaker, Bill Whittich, was visiting via Zoom
  • Another guest attending via Zoom was Shenaaz Shaik
Rotary Minute - Visiting Rotarian Penny May
Penny talked about several things about Rotary that stand out for her
  • Friendship - through Rotary, she has gained long-term lifelong friends.
  • Networking - whenever she has a need, usually it can be met by someone in her local club - help with taxes, legal matters, financial advice, education...
  • Leadership - there are lots of opportunities to grow in leadership skills in a safe environment by accepting responsibility for positions and projects.  We are always surrounded by others who will help and mentor us as we grow.  Sometimes, you learn what NOT to do, but you don't get fired!
  • Opportunities to serve and share our time, talent and treasure.  She has travelled the world with opportunities to provide polio vaccine in India as well as in Caborca, Mexico.  She has visited Rotary supported orphanages in South Africa and Russia.  She saw how well-drilling in Fiji brought much-needed clean water to a community.  She has helped with local projects she learned about through Rotary friendships - like handing out facemasks at our local Salvation Army. 
  • When Rotary had Group Study Exchange, Penny hosted teams from all over the world, with team members staying in her home. 
  • She has been involved in Youth Exchange. 
  • She has also participated in Rotary Friendship Exchange travel to foreign countries.
  • Penny is very appreciative of the many wonderful experiences Rotary brought to her life.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski 
  • Don LaBarge contributed saying he felt he didn't deserve all the praise being heaped on him for the 7th Street Food Pantry service project.  He said the praise was deserved by the great crew who helped.  Jim Schmidt who he was surprised to see had hammer-jack skills.  He said when he took the tile to the dump, he learned that Tim Troy and Dan Coons had put 3,400 pounds of tile in his trailer.  With the good painters who followed and then the great flooring installation by Lorenzo, it turned out great.
  • Joan Reimann contributed saying she was happy to not have to unmute herself before saying anything.
  • Penny May contributed, saying "thank you" for being back together again.
  • Polly Cady was happy to report that she, and Lu and Wayne General would be celebrating a total of 200 early April birthdays together.  She pledged $50 to Polio Plus to celebrate.
  • Lu General matched Polly's $50 pledge.
  • Wayne General also matched Polly's $50 pledge.
  • Since the three pledges did not yet total 200, Allan Cady also pledged $50 for Polio Plus.
  • Pam Cohen was happy to be meeting in person - and very happy about the free lunch.
  • Ted Williams was also happy to be back, adding he hates Zoom.  He also added that he has a gift from travels to Tazmania to auction at the club in the near future.
  • Tom Yuzer was happy to report they finally closed on their home purchase and they will be Mesa residents six months of each year.
  • Warren Williamson explained that it is not accurate to say someone is spending money like a drunken sailor because when sailors run out of money, they stop drinking.
  • Jim McGown contributed.  He was also happy to be meeting in person.
  • Colleen Coons pledged $10 proud of the good job Dan and Pam were doing with Mesa West's first self-managed hybrid meeting.
  • Jack Rosenberg pledged $25.  He was very thankful for the team that showed up at his house to successfully install his new kiln. In addition to Rotarians, Erwin Reimann and Robin Harris, the crew included former Mesa Baseline Rotarian Kent Brooksby, Hayden Clark and two young missionaries for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • Colleen Coons pledged an additional $10, as we caught a glimpse of their son Nicolas' girlfriend.  She was a Rotary Youth Exchange from California who travelled to Taiwan where she and Nicolas met when he was also there on Rotary Youth Exchange.
  • Darl Andersen was happy to be back at Mesa West for a number of reasons, but one was to get to observe the size of Greg Okonowski's lunch plate.
  • Pam Coons contributed for the same reason.
  • Jeanie Morgan pledged $10 - she said dues notices had gone out that morning, and seventeen Rotarians had already paid.
  • Allan Cady held up his sponsor-program thermometer saying there was a very narrow space below the $50,000 line, but with funds that are still likely to come in, we will not only exceed the second, $45,000, goal, but will go past $50,000 before the end of this Rotary year.  He thanked the Mesa West members saying that during a time like we have been through, we need to feel good about this successful fund-raising campaign.
  • Shelly Romine announced our Rotary Week of Service project to provide shower kits to be used by homeless at Paz de Cristo.  We will have a social media campaign.  Members were told they could expect to hear more via e-mail.
  • Dan Coons reminded members that the Polio Plus trophy won for our giving in 2019-20 was on display, and strongly encouraged members to give to Polio Plus so we could move up in current Polio Plus giving placement within District 5495 so we can keep the trophy another year.
Friday, March 26, a few Mesa West Members were able to go to the 7th Street Food Pantry to see the results of a District Grant project that went far beyond what what originally planned.  At that small gathering members met Matt and Ginger McLamb, who accepted the challenge to open the Pantry when their business landlord for their nearby businesses offered the building to them rent-free if they would expand what he knew they were already doing.  They were handing out unsold sandwiches which were donated to them by a nearby restaurant at the end of the to some of the hungry in the area.
To accept the challenge they needed everything to fall into place with little or no effort on their part.  A donor out of the clear offered $10,000 to get them started.  The McLambs couldn't accept the donation without being organized as a non-profit.  The donor found an attorney who would assist with that process at no charge.  Greg Okonowski from Mesa West was invited to be a board member at the suggestion of someone in his insurance group.  
The McLamb's discovered sources of food that would be donated by grocers just before it had to be removed from stock, so they did not have the expense of purchasing their food inventory.  
When Greg asked them how they were paying for utilities and other expenses, they confessed they had been paying for that out of pocket.  Greg went to work soliciting funds from businesses who could charge off the expense as a charitable donation and have a banner on the building and name tags on the volunteers working in the pantry advertising their business.
The grant was obtained to replace the floor in half of the building located at 4223 S 7th Street in Phoenix.  Don LaBarge took charge of assessing what needed to be done and doing the logistical planning for the service project.  It became clear to Don that all the flooring in the facility needed to be replaced and that before the flooring went in, the building interior would need to be repainted from top to bottom.
Members at the Friday gathering were introduced to Lorenzo Velazco.  His firm, Velasco Enterprises did the necessary floor repairs and completed the installation of the new flooring.
Before the work began, everything was moved out of the building into a mobile storage unit.  The coast was clear for the work to begin Friday, March 19.  
The initial job was to remove the existing tile from the floor in both sides of the building.  After the flooring was removed, it was apparent that repairs to the concrete floor would need to be made before the new flooring was installed.  It took a crew of some of our hardier members to make the removal process happen.  
Saturday and Sunday crews from Mesa West, which included several new and prospective members went to the building to paint the interior walls, shelving and ceilings in all the rooms in the facility.  Go to the Mesa West Rotary Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/MesaWestRotary to see photos taken during the tile removal and painting operations, as well as some before and after photos.
CLICK HERE to visit the 7th Street Food Pantry website.  One thing you will find there is that Mesa West Rotarians have had  a
passion for what happens in that little building for a long time.  One photo is of the Arizona Group in which you will see Greg Okonowski, and in the back row of the other photo, you will see our own Chris Krueger in the back row of a group from Mutual of Omaha who provided some support.
Big thanks to Don LaBarge for coordinating this effort to Lorenzo for making his services available at a very affordable price.  All the effort will enable the McLambs and their many volunteers to continue to serve the needs of people living in an area of our metropolitan area which is very much in need.  They will be able to do their work in a much safer environment.  What happens in this small building that that was formerly a liquor store is transformative.
Thanks to all
the Mesa West Rotarians
and friends
who helped make
this building upgrade
You might want to CLICK HERE to read the rest of the story.  The Arizona Department of Revenue has announced that 2020 tax credit donations can be made through May 17.
Requests for vocational education grants from TRVFA are higher than ever experienced in the past.  Fundraising is also growing, but not quite at the same rapid pace.  Your help is needed.
Support of TRVFA is not limited to Rotarians.  Tell you friends, family, and associates about this tax credit donation opportunity.
Donations to TRVFA will literally change someone's life forever.  CLICK HERE to go directly to the on-line donation page for The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona.  
If you've already made your 2020 tax credit donation, it's not too early to start accruing for 2021.  
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
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 with reservation
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
Foundation Director
Public Image Director
Club Service Director
Service Projects Director
Executive Secretary
District Governor Elizabeth Mahoney
Apr 22, 2021 12:00 PM
Official Visit
No Speaker
Apr 29, 2021
Mesa West Rotary does not meet on 5th Thursdays
Erica Anderson
May 06, 2021
There's no place like hope
Buey Tut
May 13, 2021
Aqua Africa
Dr. Tanyss Munro
May 20, 2021
Teach mothers to teach the world
Brian Bausch
May 27, 2021 12:00 PM
Beyond Riding - all different aspects of the horse industry
Chuck Flint
Jun 03, 2021
Rotary Foundation Program and Awards Recognition
John Pennypacker
Jun 10, 2021
Rotary experiences and suggestions
President Dan Coons
Jun 17, 2021
Review Special Accomplishment of 2020-21 Year
Mike Burnett
Jun 24, 2021
Law Enforcement and Special Olympics Program and Support
Upcoming Events
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