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After members and guests had arrived and spent a bit of time socializing and enjoying the wonderful array of appetizers, Allan Cady made some welcoming remarks for the first Mesa West social event held in the Cady's beautiful new home in Ahwatukee.  
Pam Cohen followed with some information about the back story of how the idea was formed and eventually became the reality we were all about to experience.
Chris Krueger, an alto, introduced the rest of the female half of the double quartet:  Rachel Viramontes, a soprano, is Robin Harris' daughter.  Soprano Brittney Asamane is Wendell Jones' granddaughter.  Alto Juli Crowder is a friend of Brittney.  Ray Smith also made some introductions.  The pianist accompanying the octet is Ray's little sister Nadine Wilkinson.  Ray and Robin Harris were introduced as the tenors with Wendell Jones and Darl Andersen singing bass.
Before getting started with the planned performance, Happy Anniversary was sang bey everyone celebrating Warren and Son Hee Williamson's wedding anniversary.  That was followed by everyone singing Happy Birthday to John Benedict.
The songs performed ranged from fun to nostalgic to inspirational.  The Crawdad Song was an immediate hit.  It was easy to enjoy some visual memories listening to Shenandoah.  More than one listener remarked about getting goose bumps and or tears in their eyes when they heard the group perform How Great Thou Art.  To watch the performance, CLICK HERE.
Everyone present enjoyed the opportunity to enjoy great food, fun and fellowship.  Not many Rotary Clubs could pull off such an evening rich with talent from five of their own members plus the ability to enlist the additional participation of talented friends and family members.  
A big "thank you" to Lola McClane and John Pennypacker for capturing some good photos to memorialize a great event!
President Dan Coons welcomed members and guests to the meeting, ringing the bell at noon, rather than at 12:10.  He indicated he hoped to keep the meeting confined to one hour, still allowing plenty of time for our speaker.  Dan reminded everyone that the 2021-22 Rotary International Theme is "Serve to Change Lives."  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
Ron Thompson was asked to offer the invocation.  Jack Rosenberg then led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Rotary Minute - Penny May - Visiting Rotarian from Anchorage International Rotary Club
Penny shared how being a member of Rotary has enhanced her ability to enjoy world travel.  Rotarians are welcome to visit Rotary meetings anywhere.  She encouraged members to go on line and find a club and visit it anyplace our travels take us.  She spoke enthusiastically about the two Rotary International Conventions she has attended.   She was particularly impressed with the vivid colors of the beautiful silk sarees worn by the women from India.  She imitated a greeting heard loudly, enthusiastically and frequently from attendees from the Figi Islands.  She thought the women from Africa must be seven feet tall.  Their beautiful long dresses and matching or coordinated headdresses were a stunning sight.  The speakers at both conventions were world class.  At the two conferences she attended, the President or Prime Minister of the country addressed the conference - and stayed to participate.  They had the opportunity to dine in local Rotarian homes.  The home she remembered visiting was not a castle, but the owner did send a limo to pick her up and deliver back to the hotel.  The dinner in Glasgow Scotland ended with everyone singing Auld Lang Syne before they parted.
In Tai Pei, she found the international meals interesting.  One encounter with some Rotarians from Switzerland, someone showed them their swiss army knife and all the Rotarians from Switzerland pulled their own out of their pockets.  They had fun singing karaoke together - but not at all well.
Penny touched briefly on Rotary Friendship Exchange.  Rotarians from another part of the world visit your district where they enjoy attending potlucks and being shown the sites, and then they return the hospitality when the experience is reciprocated for a group of local Rotarians traveling to the home district of the visitors.  Lifelong friendships are often formed during these Rotary travel encounters. She remembers being welcomed with open arms, enjoying the adventure and cherishing the memories.
Introduction of Guests
  • Ginger Lamb and Judy and Ben North from the 7th Street Food Pantry were introduced.
Ace of Clubs Raffle
Chuck Flint asked speaker Ginger Lamb to draw the winning raffle ticket which was held by Ray Smith and Wendell Jones.  Wendell and Ray generously donated their $45 winnings back to be sent to The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski
  • Wendell Jones pledged $100 toward his Paul Harris celebrating his 76th birthday.
  • Chris Krueger asked to be billed $40 to celebrate her daughter's 40th birthday.
  • Steve Ross asked to be billed $32 to go to TRVFA celebrating his son's 32nd birthday.
  • Don LaBarge said he already donated $100 toward his Paul Harris account online to celebrate his October 12 birthday.  He contributed saying he was happy to see friends from the 7th Street Food Pantry.
  • Frank Rosenberg contributed.  He had recently travelled to Sweden to attend a wedding.  In 1994, Frank was a Rotary Youth Exchange student in Sweden.  A member of his host family was being married and it was like a huge family reunion.
  • Dick Myren contributed on behalf of himself and Honorary Member Rod Daniels for being associated with the best Rotary Club in the world.
  • Jay Stuckey contributed.  He and Melissa had recently returned from a trip to Maui where they celebrated their three-year anniversary.
  • Erwin Reimann contributed.  He was happy to be back in Arizona.  They've already had snow where they live when they are in South Dakota.
  • Allan Cady was just happy
  • Polly Cady said "ditto."
  • Pam Cohen fined herself - seems she found some Rotary Flags in a very safe place in her home.  She will bring them to a meeting.
  • Jeanie Morgan pledged $20.  She was happy to have received a $5,000 donation from the Four Peaks Rotary Foundation as well as one $400 individual donation to The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona following her early morning TRVFA presentation at their club meeting.
  • Jim Schmidt was given a lot of grief for only contributing $10 to celebrate his birthday.
Auction Item from South Dakota - Erwin and Joan Reimann
President Dan served as auctioneer of a bag containing items from South Dakota donated by Erwin and Joan Reimann.  On their advice, bidding started low - at $10.  Frank Rosenberg's bid of $20 prevailed.
  • Jay Stucky announced the October service project will take place October 29, 2021 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM in two separate locations.  Volunteers will be helping with Halloween Parties at our two Mesa Senior Centers.  Volunteers are free to wear Halloween costumes - but it is not required to do so.  CLICK HERE to sign up.
  • President Dan reminded members the October 21 meeting would be a Club Assembly.
  • Our AG Lee Holmes had planned to attend our meeting with some others from his club to see how we do our hybrid meetings.  It would have been a bad week to do so, since no one attended remotely.  Dan let everyone know that AG Lee had been diagnosed with COVID and spent a night in the ER a couple of days earlier, but is home and "doing fine.
Following the October 7 meeting, the bedding donated by Mesa West Rotary members during the month of September was turned over to Joe Genovese, Arizona Chapter President of Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace builds beds for children who are currently sleeping on the floor, couches with other family members, or other less-than desirable sleeping situations.  They feel like they also build a sense of community when they host and manage bed build events.  The beds are built by hand by volunteers.  Joe says it is great fun.  It is also very heartwarming to be a part of a bed delivery and assembly team and seeing the joy on children's when they receive a bed of their very own.  Mesa West Member Andrea Murphy is an active volunteer with Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
President Dan Coons opened the meeting introducing himself then reciting the 2021-22 Rotary International Theme - Serve to Change Lives, followed by 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
Chris Krueger shared an inspirational thought for the day essentially reminding everyone that there is a direct relationship between optimism and success.  Lola McClane led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Introduction of Guests
  • Logan Harper introduced Sean Green.  Sean is an Arizona resident, currently residing in the Scottsdale area, who learned about Rotary while visiting in North Carolina, sparking an interest in joining a Rotary Club.  Sean was attending the Mesa West meeting as a guest of Lu General.
  • Erwin and Joan Reimann were welcomed back after being gone for the summer.
  • Penny May was welcomed back as one of our loyal visiting Rotarians.  She is a member of the Anchorage International Rotary Club.
  • Shelly Romine introduced Joe Genovese who was at the meeting to pick up the bedding donated by members and guests throughout the month of September.  Joe is with Sleep in Heavenly Peace.  They build beds for children who are currently sleeping on the floor, couches with other family members, or other less-than desirable sleeping situations.  They feel like they also build a sense of community when they host and manage build events.  The beds are built by hand by volunteers.  Joe said it is great fun.  It is also very heartwarming to be a part of a bed delivery and assembly team and seeing the joy on a child's face when they receive a bed of their very own.  Mesa West Member Andrea Murphy is an active volunteer with Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
  • Warren Williamson introduced Keith Hong who has worked with Warren for over twenty-five years.
  • Lu General introduced her guest, her father, Tony Rose, who promptly told Lu to "Go clean your room!" 
  • Jim McGown was welcomed back from his summer travels.
Rotary Minute - Polly Cady
Polly shared information about Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI).   Polly is the current Chairman of RLI in Rotary District 5495.  Many Rotary educational activities are directly related to job training for club and Rotary leadership positions.  The "L" in RLI does stand for leadership, but all Rotarians are leaders, and most are likely to serve formally or informally as a leader in their own club.  RLI is a series of three sessions which have standard curriculum throughout the Rotary World to provide information about Rotary beyond the club level. 
Some call RLI Rotary's "college of knowledge."  Polly  indicated she first attended RLI after being a Rotarian for over twenty years and testified the experience was eye-opening.  She'd had no idea what she hadn't known.  One of the benefits of attending RLI is the ability to expand our network of Rotary friends and acquaintances.  Topics are introduced and basic information shared by the facilitators, but the real benefit occurs when others in the session participate in a facilitated discussion about each topic, sharing their personal related experience and knowledge.
The three sessions will run concurrently, via Zoom, Saturday, November 6 from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM.  Because it will be online, it will be free.  When RLI meets in person, there is a nominal fee to attend.  The planners try to move where it is offered to various locations in the district, making it accessible to attend as well as offer a little in-state Rotary tourism.  CLICK HERE to email Polly if you have questions or would like to register for the September 6 session.  If you have never attended RLI in the past, you will need to register for the first session, as the curriculum is intended to be studied in sequence.  For more information, download a flyer.
Don Boucher was presented with his RLI completion certificate and pin by Polly. Don was not able to be present to receive the items from District Governor Bret McKeand during his recent official DG visit to Mesa West Rotary.
Appreciation of Greeters
President Dan thanked John Benedict and Jack Rosenberg for arriving early to give members and guests a warm welcome to the meeting.
Ace of Clubs Raffle
Chuck Flint explained that each week the funds taken in from raffle ticket sales are divided with 1/3 going to the club operating fund, 1/3 available to the person whose ticket is drawn, and 1/3 being added to an accumulating pot.  In addition to winning the small pot, the person whose ticket is drawn also wins the opportunity to attempt to draw the Ace of Clubs from a deck of cards.  Any card other than the Ace of Clubs is immediately destroyed.  Each week, the deck gets smaller making the odds of drawing the ace and winning the large pot just a little bit better.  Chuck announced that the small pot would be $60 and the large pot was up to $535.  Chuck asked Don Boucher to draw the winning ticket, which was held by Shelly Romine.  Unfortunately for her, the card Shelly drew from the deck was the King of Hearts.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski
  • Pam Cohen contributed.  She was happy to see so many visitors as well as members returning from their summer travel at the meeting.  She had babysat her grandson Wilder over the weekend while his parents celebrated their anniversary.  Unfortunately, he was a sick little boy, so it wasn't as much fun as she had hoped.  She loved the Musical Interlude.
  • Ed Koeneman was happy that the misting system recently installed on his patio by Don LaBarge and his crew works great.  At one point during the installation, Ed saw honorary member Rod Daniels working on the system from the top of a ladder.
  • John Pennypacker contributed.  He enjoyed the musical interlude and noted that another talented vocalist was present at our meeting.  Our speaker, Paige Goetzenberger is very talented!
  • Donna Goetzenberger was happy to be at a Mesa West meeting.  As District Chair for Rotary Youth Exchange, Donna has been attending a lot of Rotary meetings - just not hours.  She has been busy interviewing students who want to go on exchange during the 2022-23 Rotary Year.  She thanked Chuck Flint, Ed Koeneman, and Dan Coons for helping her out by each taking a turn on sitting in on outbound candidate interviews with her.  She also thanked Don LaBarge for arranging for a $5,000 donation to be made to the Youth Exchange program to help cover the expenses of outbound candidates whose families could not come up with their portion of the cost of their child going on an exchange.
  • Paige Goetzenberger was happy to be Donna's daughter and get to attend Rotary with her.  She was missing math class at school and was very happy about that.
  • Polly Cady wanted to be billed $20 because Allan wasn't at the meeting to share his cash.  She was thankful for some furniture movers Don LaBarge had recommended.  She really enjoyed hosting the Musical Interlude and would love to do it again.  
  • Shelly Romine contributed - she was just happy!
  • Jim Schmidt expressed his happiness at being home from their trip to Egypt.  He and Rosalyn, along with their son and daughter-in-law had taken a trip to Egypt, which looking forward to it sounded like a wonderful adventure.  It was an adventure - just not in the way they imagined.  There were multiple flight issues plans, lost luggage, "Pharoah's Revenge" stomach ailment that kept them from sight-seeing and more...  Hearing about it was entertaining, but we all knew living it had to be a nightmare.
  • Dick Myren made his traditional contribution for himself and Rod Daniels.  He also contributed sad dollars.  He recently returned from a trip to Iowa where he did get to see family there, but was not able to connect with a long time friend who he played a lot of golf with over the years.  After he returned, he learned that his friend had played golf in the morning, shot par, and then had a stroke and died.  Dick pledged $30.  His alma mater, Iowa University is doing well this football season.  They are undefeated in their conference and ranked 3rd in the nation.
  • Ron Thompson was very happy.  He pledged $100 toward his Paul Harris Fellow account at The Rotary Foundation.  His wife, Toni, has accepted a position with Strayer University as Provost.  His son accepted the new position he had been looking at with American Express in North Carolina.
  • Jim McGown had purchased a new boat, which made his trip to New York more expensive.  In some cases he had to pay for an extra room, and spent more on gas.  He said it was worth it.  In July and August, they logged 38 enjoyable hours on the boat.  While in New York, he made up meetings at the Cooperstown Rotary Club and had a good time doing so.
  • Don LaBarge contributed lightly saying that with all the family occasions coming up next week would be very expensive for him.  He says he is everybody's family handyman resource.  He indicated Debbie Koeneman had some more work needing to be done at their place.
  • Jim Crutcher contributed - celebrating his 64th birthday on October 20.  He said he is 20 days older than his bride, and that they have been a couple for fifty years.  (Doing the math, they have been a couple since they were 14.  Wow!)
  • Lu General said they still use, and have often recommended, an AC guy Don LaBarge recommended to them a long time ago.  Don knows lots of people and knows which are good at what they do.  She recommended members put Don on speed dial on their smart phones as an emergency resource.
  • Colleen Coons contributed saying that one of the frustrations in retirement is that she no longer could call IT support with computer issues.  She recently had an issue but used her own ability to navigate resources, figure out what the problem was, and resolve it.  She was happy to announce she is now her own "help desk."
  • Penny May contributed sad dollars.  Her youngest sister had recently died very suddenly and unexpectedly in her sleep.  After trying to reach her by phone, someone was sent to check on her.  She was more than a sister, she was Penny's best friend.  As Penny was getting ready to come to Arizona, she had a headache.  She had a COVID test and tested positive.  Alaska Airlines generously rebooked her flights with no penalties.  Penny did not enjoy the ten days she was confined to home with no visitors allowed.
  • Jeane Crouse heard from her cousin Mark who said his best friend was traveling to Arizona and he hoped Jeane would keep him entertained while here.  The BFF was a divorced man and Jeane congratulated his ex-wife.  At the same time the cousin's best friend was to be here, Jeane had already committed to dog sitting Goliath, a Great Dane at her home.  The BFF wanted to go out to dinner.  Jeane didn't want to leave Goliath home alone, so she thought they could go to a restaurant she knew of where dogs were allowed on the patio.  When the BFF arrived to pick Jeane up and it became apparent Jeane planned to bring Goliath with her, he said "You're not putting that dog in my car."  After some back and forth, BFF made an ultimatum - "You'll have to decide.  Go out to dinner with me or stay home with the dog."  It wasn't difficult for Jeane to decide.  She and Goliath enjoyed a nice evening at home celebrating Goliath's fifth birthday.
  • Greg Okonowski contributed sad and happy bucks.  His mother-in-law had passed away.  He really enjoyed being able to take advantage of the fee tickets members had made available to attend the Phoenix Suns basketball game October 6th.
  • Starting October 14 Mesa West Meetings will start at noon.  Members and guest should try to arrive early so they can fill their plates, be seated, and ready to for the meeting to begin promptly at 12:00 PM.
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
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
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