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The Mesa West Rotary Vocational Service Chair, Bryan Goetzenberger, sent the following message recently received from Nick, who received a grant from The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA).  His grant was sponsored by Mesa West Rotary:
"The CNA program went very well, I finished it in October of last year.  I then applied for some jobs and I got hired at Banner Desert!  I started my job at the beginning of December and I've been working ever since and I love it!  I'm working in the progressive care unit, but it's a COVID floor for now.  I plan on working for a while to get a ton of healthcare experience because I want to go to Physician Assistant school and the programs require a certain amount of hours to get in.  I have 3 more semesters of my undergraduate left at Mesa Community college but my degree is going to be from NAU.  That's about it!  Thanks for everything!"
Brian, who has only been our Vocational Service Chair since July 1 said, "It was really great to see firsthand how the grant program can assist individuals in the pathway to a successful career."
When Mesa West sponsors a student, there is no cash commitment from the club.  TRVFA simply wants Rotarians to interview the applicant after their program, residency, and income have all qualified for the TRVFA grant program.  The interview is intended to ensure that the applicant is sincere about their intent to complete the program and is highly likely to succeed.  Nick's grant was for him to attend the Certified Nursing Assistant program at East Valley Medical College.
President, Dan Coons, opened the Zoom meeting platform early - as has been the Mesa West custom during the COVID pandemic.  Members who chose to arrive early had the opportunity to enjoy some informal conversation.
Allan Cady was attending from their boat in its slip at the dock in San Diego.  He said the water was very calm and the expected high for the day was predicted to be 81°.  Warren again showed of the fact that he was enjoying a homemade cookie - oatmeal/raisin this week.  Visiting Rotarian Tom Yuzer had a beautiful virtual background photo of Prague, in the Czech Republic.  He said that Prague and Budapest are his favorite cities in Europe and are very much part of his heritage.
Many Mesa West members will remember Judge Tommy Webb who spoke at the Mesa West meeting March 8, 2018.  He was a Korean War orphan who was adopted by an American family when he was about seven years old, and ended up as a successful magistrate judge in Kansas.
Allan Cady reported that Judge Tommy and his wife spend half the year at the Kokopah RV resort in Yuma.  Most Sundays he preaches to their congregation there.  Service on Sundays starts at 9:00 AM.  Allan and Polly were planning to stay there on their way home from San Diego, and have requested Tommy sing a favorite gospel hymn at the service that Sunday.  In addition to being an inspirational and compelling speaker, Allan says Judge Tommy has a good singing voice as well.  Others on the call early felt it would be great to have another program featuring Judge Tommy Webb since he would not have to leave Yuma to present at one of our upcoming Zoom meetings.
At Noon, President Dan Coons introduced himself and called the meeting to order.  He reminded everyone that Rotary Opens Opportunities reciting the 2020-21 Rotary International President's theme.  He also repeated 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 - Jeanie Morgan
Jeanie shared some information about the four areas of  Rotary-Related financial support that are an integral part of the Mesa West Rotary Club culture:
  1. The Rotary Foundation - Annual Fund - Rotarians world-wide are strongly encouraged to give $100 every year to be "sustaining members."  A common Rotary acronym is EREY - Every Rotarian Every Year relating to this expectation.  When Jeanie joined Rotary in 1994, that was the expectation then, as well.  Inflation has caused the value of that amount to be considerably smaller today.  Rotarians who can afford to do so are encouraged to donate $1,000 each year and be recognized as Paul Harris Society members.  Some of the funds donated by Rotarians in our district to the Annual Fund this year will come back to our district in three years to be used for district grants.  Mesa West has taken advantage of the District Grant opportunity to fund local service projects.  The funds not shared to the districts are used to support global grants on the seven Areas of Focus of The Rotary Foundation, Disaster Relief, Peace Scholars, etc.  Donations to the annual fund and transferred recognition points qualify for Paul Harris recognition in $1,000 increments up to $10,000.  $10,000 in actual donations qualify for recognition levels ranging from Major Donor at $10,000 up to Arch Klumph Society Platinum Foundation Circle with donations of $10,000,000 and more.  Monthly-automated Rotary-Direct giving is the ideal way to give to this fund.  
  2. The Rotary Foundation - Polio Fund - Encouragement for Rotarians to donate to this fund will remain strong until Polio is eradicated from our planet.  Pakistan and Afghanistan remain on the list of endemic countries.  Africa was declared polio-free last year after going three years with no reported cases of the wild polio virus.  Donations to this fund also qualify for Paul Harris Fellow recognition.  The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has again committed to match $2 for each $1 donated by Rotarians.  Last year our District 5495 leadership implemented an incentive recognition which the Rotary Club of Mesa West won and is the proud first and only custodian of the traveling trophy which will be given each year for the club doing the best job of supporting the Polio Fund.  Members of Mesa West are encouraged to donate a minimum of $100 each year to this fund.  Monthly-automated Rotary-Direct giving is the ideal way to give to this fund.
  3. Mesa West Rotary Foundation - This is the fund-raising and funding arm of Mesa West Rotary Club. Mesa West Rotarians are strongly encouraged to donate a minimum of $100 each year with more being strongly encouraged.  Our club is currently in the midst of a Sponsorship campaign with a goal of raising $30,000 for our Foundation.  Our foundation is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charity.  Each member should also make a personal commitment to find some external donors who will gladly donate to support the projects Mesa West is directly involved with in our community and the world.  Jeanie is glad to invoice members or external contacts for donations.  Send Jeanie an e-mail with the donor's name and a valid e-mail address.  Donations will go to "undesignated" unless a specific area of service is communicated.  
  4. The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA)  - Mesa West Rotarians are encouraged to donate at least $100 to this fund which was incorporated in Arizona thirty years ago to support vocational education grants for individuals who meet low-income guidelines.  The grants enable the recipients to lift themselves out of poverty.  TRVFA is a qualifying charitable organization for the Arizona Tax Credit.  In most cases, giving to this fund will not cost anything in the long run for donations of up to $400 for individual Arizona income tax filers or $800 for married couples filing jointly.  Jeanie said, "if you can help someone lift themselves out of poverty and it doesn't cost you anything in the long run, why not do it.  There is a way on the TRVFA online donation page to authorize monthly, quarterly, or annually recurring donations.  Qualifying tax credit donations given by April 15 can qualify for the Arizona Tax Credit for the 2020 or 2021 tax year (but not both.)
Jeanie ended by saying that donations equal service in a tangible, measurable, transferrable form.
After Jeanie finished her prepared remarks, John Pennypacker added that giving to TRVFA is not limited to Rotarians.  He urged members to advocate for giving to TRVFA with their friends, family and business associates.
Invocation - Pam Cohen
For the Invocation, Pam chose to share excerpts from words spoken by Barak Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., February 4, 2016.
"God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  I pray that by His grace, we all find the courage to set such examples in our own lives - not just during this wonderful gathering and fellowship, not just in the public piety that we profess, but in those smaller moments when it's difficult, when we're challenged, when we're angry, when we're confronted with someone who doesn't agree with us, when no one is watching.  I pray that our differences ultimately are bridged; that the God that is in each of us comes together, and we don't divide.
I pray that our leaders will always act with humility and generosity.  I pray that my failings are forgiven.  I pray that we will uphold our obligation to be good stewards of God's creation - this beautiful planet.  I pray that we will see every single child as our own, each worthy of our love and of our compassion.  And I pray we answer Scripture's call to lift up the vulnerable, and to stand up for justice, and ensure that every human being lives in dignity.
That's my prayer for this meeting, and for this country, in the years to come.
May God bless you, and may He continue to bless this country that we love.
Happy Bucks - Bert Millett
  • Allan Cady pledged $10.  He was happy to be on the call with so many good Rotarians from Mesa West.
  • John Pennypacker pledged $10 to the Mesa West Rotary Foundation.  John said he had shared a link with Shelly Romine to a site which could help her get volunteers signed up to work service projects quite easily with no cost.  
  • Ray Smith pledged $10 sad dollars for the pain of leaving his wife to sit with Wendell and happy because he was hoping to get some good income tax advice during Jim Schmidt's presentation later in the meeting.
  • Pam Cohen pledged $5.  She was very happy to see Dick Myren was attending the meeting even though she couldn"t actually see Dick.
  • Lola McClane pledged $10 "just because."
  • Warren Williamson pledged $10.  He was happy to have survived what seemed like two hours in a dentist's chair.
  • Tom Yuzer was happy to report he is making a home purchase in Mesa.
  • Jim Schmidt pledged $100 to the Guaymas project.  He was honored by all the positive attention resulting from the announcement of his retirement. 
  • Chuck Flint pledged $5.  He had been to State Farm stadium to get his COVID immunization.
  • Wendell Jones pledged $10 - sad to be putting up with Ray, but grateful to Jim Schmidt for his program later in the meeting.
  • Jeanie Morgan pledged $10.  She also went to State Farm Stadium to get her first COVID immunization.  She had one up on Chuck because her son drove her there and treated her to dinner at Cracker Barrell where she enjoyed some catfish, green beans, and cornbread all cooked the right way.  She said her son said, "I never dreamed I would be driving my mom to the west side to get a needle in her arm."
  • The Mesa West Rotary team - including recruited friends and family - had a record breaking year of collecting money for the Mesa Salvation Army.  We collected $20,384.42 staffing the Bass Pro Red Kettle station.
  • Allan Cady reported that sponsor program donations are very nearly at $9,000, which is nearly 1/3 of our $30,000 goal.  "Unrestricted" is a good way to give, as there is no limit on how unrestricted funds are used.
  • Shelly Romine announced the January service project.  Saturday, January 30 from 8:00 AM to Noon, interested volunteers should sign up to work at the St. Vincent de Paul Community Garden.  She said it was fun the last time and is sure it will be fun again.  She also said that there are lots of tasks at the garden that do not require a green thumb.
  • Shelly said details will follow about a service project being planned for February with packing food for United Food Bank
There is an opportunity to volunteer at the Concession Stands at the Phoenix Open! By volunteering your time you help bring in FUNDS for United Food Bank! For each volunteer who completes the full hours of the shift United Food Bank gets a check! Last year we raised $4,000 dollars through this event which helped provide 20,000 meals! Please share this opportunity on social media, with your friends/family, or maybe work associates! The more volunteers the more people we can feed!
Sign up to be a concessions volunteer for United Food Bank at the Phoenix Open, to help raise funds to feed Arizona families!
Although this year's event will be smaller, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is committed to providing a safe experience for everyone while raising dollars for charity.
Volunteer Requirements:
• Must be18 years of age or older
• Available to work at 1 day between Feb. 1 - 7
You will receive a Volunteer Pass that you can enjoy the event after completing your shift. Returning another day is not an option this year due to COVID restrictions.
Concessions volunteers will take part in the energetic and fast-paced food and beverage venues around the course. Shifts are about 7 hours in length and duties typically include cash register operation, stock replenishment and drink dispensing.
Sign up as a volunteer here and select "Concessions - United Food Bank" under Committee choice.
*Click Register Here on the website.
Prior to the official start of the meeting several Rotarians and guests gathered for informal conversation on the Zoom platform. 
Among those arriving early was Dave Brauchler, a Rotarian from San Clemente, California by way of Lexington, Kentucky.  He wants to join a local Rotary club and is visiting several in the area to determine which club will be the best fit for him.  Those from Mesa West assured him the best fit would be Mesa West.  The motivation to move to our area was twofold - he wanted to escape California and their daughter and son-in-law and a new grandchild who was born last May live in the area. Dave is in the mortgage business.  He works from home, so can live anywhere.  Dave's wife's name is Lynn.  In visiting, it was learned that, like John Pennypacker, Dave was a military helicopter pilot - though Dave was a Marine and John was an Army pilot.
Wendell Jones let everyone know that Ray would not be attending the meeting.  He and Vickie had traveled to Ruidoso New Mexico for a pre-tax season getaway.
President Dan Coons called the meeting to order at Noon.  After welcoming everyone, he reminded everyone that the 2020-21 Rotary theme is "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 - John Pennypacker
John began by saying, "All of us have been tested during this past year and some have been tested even more recently.  I offer this prayer as a means for us to take stock in ourselves and to be there to help others in their time of need.  The prayer, written by Rev. Austin Fleming - is the 
Push My Buttons Prayer
Lord, it's likely that sometime today
someone will push my buttons
challenge my good will
misread my intentions
tick me off
try my patience
rattle my cage
judge me in haste
test my kindness
or do all of the above...
Give me the grace I'll need at such times
to respond with patience
to trust and accept
to listen carefully
to reach out in peace
to be fair and just
to anticipate goodness 
in all my words and deeds...
I know this is a lot to ask, Lord, 
but I need your help to do for others 
as I'd have them do for me...
Rotary Minute - Shelly Romine
Shelly began by asking, "What do Rotarians Do?"  Then answered her question stating that 35,000 clubs work together to strive for peace through six areas of focus.  Working through The Rotary Foundation using grants which must align with one of the areas of focus.  Shelly chose to focus on growing local economies.  Projects in this area enhance economic community development, creating opportunities for decent and productive work for all ages.  We also strengthen entrepreneurs and community leaders - especially women - in impoverished communities. 
 Living in the US, it is hard to realize that nearly 800 million people live on less than $1.90 a day.  Rotarians are passionate about providing sustainable solutions to poverty.  Grants and volunteers work to provide training and access to well-paying jobs and financial management institutions.  This help enables individuals and communities to thrive financially and socially.
Projects have included
  • Solar power bringing light to off-the-grid homes on the Navajo Nation
  • Microcredit loans to enable entrepreneurs to become street vendors
  • Agricultural opportunities are expanded when individuals in rural communities can borrow money to buy livestock, plant corps, or get training in sustainable farming.
  • When Rotarians adopt a village, they use a multifaceted, coordinated strategy to break the cycle of poverty in extremely impoverished communities.
  • Rotarians get involved in human rights in situations like Tanzanians with albinism who experience stigma and superstition by helping them find safety and the ability make a living.
  • Some Rotary projects involve training such as working with Heifer International to teach farmers to extend their growing season and help residents eat healthier, local food.
AG Lee Holmes was welcomed to the meeting.  Visiting Rotarian Dave Brauchler was introduced using some of the information learned before the start of the meeting.
Happy Bucks with Greg Okonowski
  • Geoff White pledged $100 to the Guaymas project to celebrate his birthday.
  • Steve Ross pledged $74 to the sponsorship program to celebrate his upcoming birthday.
  • Allan Cady pledged $10 for spending New Years in Tubac, Arizona at a golf resort.  They then spent three nights in Tucson where Polly's great nephew was married on Sunday, January 3.  They had a great time.
  • Shelly Romine pledged $10.  She was happy her son had come to spend a week with them.  The day he left, her niece from Liberty Lake, Washington came for four days.  Her niece was in Arizona to meet her future inlaws, so there were some fun gatherings.
  • John Pennypacker said 2° in Virginia was a lot less comfortable than Mesa temperatures, but he enjoyed a good time with family - especially his two grandsons and granddaughter.
  • Pam Cohen pledged $5.  She was happy her son-in-law had his first COVID shot.  He is in the first tier.  Pam is in the third tier, but her daughter is in the second.
  • Chuck Flint pledged $10.  He told of an adventure with a friend in a private aircraft.  They flew to Seligman, a Route 66 jumping off place that is near and dear to Chuck because it was where they left the highway for the Havasu Falls expedition he led for Rotary Youth Exchange students for many years.  They walked from the airport to a restaurant which had a new look with the tables spaced out for social distancing.  From Seligman, they flew to Williams to refuel, then flew back to the Valley by way of Sedona.
  • Chris Krueger pledged $10.  She was happy to have enjoyed visits from a niece from Washington and a granddaughter from Omaha.
  • Don Boucher pledged $10.  He was happy to be attending the meeting.
  • Colleen Coons pledged $25 from each of the Coons' accounts.  She said Dan had received a pasta maker for Christmas.  She wants to host a Pasta cookoff at their home.
  • Dan Coons was happy to see so many at the meeting and was happy to have had a good time with Rotary friends at Pam's virtual holiday gathering.
  • Wendell Jones pledged $10 in honor of Vickie Smith who had taken Ray to New Mexico to get Ray out of Wendell's hair.
  • Chuck Flint pledged another $5 for a trip he had taken to Puerto Lobo, Mexico.  He tries to provide some holiday support for a little old lady there who he rents from when he goes down to fish.
  • Jeanie Morgan pledged $20.  She was happy about the final eleven days of 2020 when donations to The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona were nearly equal to those which were received between July 1 and December 20.  They still have a long way to go to reach their $300,000 fundraising goal this year, but now it is feeling a lot more within reach than it did a month ago.
  • Bob Jensen pledged $25 to the Guaymas fund honoring the announcement of Jim Schmidt's retirement he had received in the mail.  Jim explained that because he had turned 65 on his last birthday, he was honoring the terms of his partnership agreement by selling back his interest in the firm.  His retirement will allow him to continue with select activities at a pace that is more favorable to him.   Pam was surprised he was old enough to retire.
  • Allan Cady pledged $25 to Guaymas to honor Jim's retirement.
  • Lee Holmes was very happy to see the way Rotarians stepped in when COVID invaded the Salvation Army in Mesa, jeopardizing their holiday food and toy distribution project.  With the help from Rotarians from all over Mesa who jumped in to help, all those toys and food did get distributed.  He pledged $10 for that and another $10 because the Iowa State Cyclones had beat Oregon at the Fiesta Bowl.
  • Greg Okonowski pledged $50 to the Guaymas project in honor of his wife's birthday, making it clear that Laura was NOT 50 years old.  Before turning the meeting back over to President Dan, Greg noted that there were several club anniversaries in January.  The Goetzenbergers joined Mesa West four years ago.  Greg, himself, will mark 22 years as a Rotarian, topped by Dan Coons with 28 years, Pam Cohen with 29 years, and Warren Williamson with 31 years.
  • It looks like Mesa West will have another record-breaking year of bell ringing, but the numbers are not finalized yet.  
  • See a separate article in the January 13 Messenger to see the final numbers which were reported to bell-ringers by Don LaBarge.
Presidential Humor
President Dan said that because we are taking better care of ourselves, age 60 is the new 40.  The downside of that is that 9:00 PM is the new midnight.
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
If you or a friend, family member or associate would like the convenience of electronically contributing to the Sponsorship Campaign, EMAIL JEANIE
Please provide the dollar amount to be donated, the name and email address of the donor if it is not yourself, and tell Jeanie whether the funds should go to:
  • Community Service
  • International Service
  • Youth Service 
Jeanie will e-mail an invoice from Mesa West Rotary Foundation which can be paid electronically using debit or credit card or bank-to-bank transfer.
Club Information
Welcome to our Rotary Club of Mesa West!
Mesa West


We meet In Person & Online
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Via Zoom
Mesa, AZ
United States of America
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Foundation Director
Public Image Director
Club Service Director
Service Projects Director
Executive Secretary
Layne Gneiting
Jan 21, 2021
World Cycling and Finding the Real You
Anne Feller
Jan 28, 2021
Providing incarcerated women with a second chance
Mayor John Giles
Feb 04, 2021
Five goals for Mesa over 2021
Don LaBarge
Feb 11, 2021
U.S.Forrestal Experience
Upcoming Events
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