President Jim Schmidt opened the meeting by wishing everyone present a Happy New Year and asking Ray Smith to lead them in singing "Auld Lang Syne."  Daryl Bethea offered the invocation and Sammy Rosenberg led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Since the schools were still closed for the holiday break, Aubrey Luma had four young guests with her.  Don LaBarge introduced Dan Taylor who was visiting from the Mesa Club.
The weekly attendance drawing was won by Warren Williamson.  Chuck Flint announced that the small pot in the weekly raffle was $30, and if the holder of the winning ticket was also lucky enough to draw the ace of clubs, they would win $881.  Chuck asked Sammy Rosenberg to draw the winning ticket.  Sammy drew her father's ticket and showed obvious disappointment when he pulled the jack of spades from the deck.
Happy Bucks
Dick Myren contributed $5.  He was both sad and happy since he had missed some meetings after his wife was diagnosed and had a difficult bout with valley fever.  He was happy to have a new car - a Chevy Trax.  Frank Rosenberg was happy to have been in Jerusalem over Hanukkah, but he left Arizona without his debit card with only a limited amount of cash.  He contributed $100 toward his Paul Harris.  Dan Coons was glad Jeanie was back from vacation and he was no longer in charge of taking notes for the Messenger.  Joan Reimann was very happy to report on her recent breast surgery.  The day after Christmas she learned that the cancer was not in her nodes and there was no more cancer.  Don LaBarge provided some up-to-date Salvation Mesa West Rotary volunteer Army bell-ringing results.  A total of $18,277.71 was collected by our team.  He learned that the person dropped four gold coins throughout Mesa.  The kettle passed at the club netted $1,968.  He plans to send an e-mail to all club members who helped.  Lucinda General provided the "rest of the story" about the day the gold coin was donated.  Lucinda and Wayne were doing a double shift together from Noon to 4:00 on Friday, December 20.  About 2:00 a woman with a boy came out of the Bass Pro Shop with a fishing rod.  Her son in Derby had sent them on a widespread good will mission to buy a rod and give it to the Salvation Army, so Lucinda and Wayne accepted the rod on their behalf and continued to enjoy the afternoon listening to the carols they were playing on their boom box.  About twenty minutes to four, a women about 50-years-old came from the parking lot very deliberately approaching the kettle.  It was obvious she was nervous.  She had a dollar bill wrapped up around something, but it wouldn't fit through the slot in the kettle.  She said, "I have to get it in - my boss is watching me."  They took the $1 bill off.  Under it was another wrapper with something written on it in black marker.   That wrapping covered the now-infamous gold coin.  Dave McGown got a new tire for his daughter before it blew out.  He said the tire was so worn it was "nearly to the air."   Allan and Polly Cade recently travelled to New York.  While Polly was shopping, Allan sat outside smoking a cigar.  A couple guys with a sound system were dancing.  He said it was very entertaining and wondered if we might not want to add music and dancing to our draw potential when working our kettle next year.  Ted Williams enjoyed family members who visited from New Mexico and Texas.  He said he'd been having problems with a disc causing sciatic pain and may need surgery.  Warren Williamson announced his New Year's resolution not to indulge in excessive moderation.  Robert LaBarge, who is teaching in Pinon Arizona, announced that one of their students who attended RYLA was thinking about quitting the ROTC.  She shared some of the issues she was having with Robert and showed him her Rotary Four-Way Test coin and explained to Robert how she was using the coin to help her decide what she should do.  Robert reminded her to include herself when asking if would be "fair to all concerned."  Chuck Flint thought there was something fishy about Lucinda's story.  He was in Mexico December 18 with Arizona youth on a Rotary Service Project.  They caught fish.  The students were thrilled until they learned they had to clean the fish.  President Jim thanked Don LaBarge for again organizing a successful bell-ringing season.
Presidential Humor
With regard to his New Years Resolutions, he plans to read more.  He thought about quitting bad habits, but decided not to since nobody likes a quitter.  He resolved to lose ten pounds and only has fifteen more to lose.
  • Rotary Leadership Institute is coming up February 8 at Grand Canyon University.  The Rotaract Club there will be helping with the event.  Follow the link on the District Website.
  • The club is still pushing for members to sign up for Rotary Direct to manage their giving to The Rotary Foundation.
  • Don LaBarge announced that we were again #1 in the Mesa bell-ringing season.  There were thirty collection points in Mesa.  The Fry's at Recker and McKellips came in second place with a little less than $12,000.
  • The 4th Thursday in January, we will again meet in the evening.  The program will be a firefighter speaking about safety in the home.
  • Pam Cohen announced the post-holiday party and gift exchange, thanking Dan and Colleen Coons for opening their home for the January 18, 6:00 PM event.  The main meal will be catered by Rotarians, but members are asked to bring appetizers or dessert to share.
Dan Coons introduced Jutta Ulrich from the Arizona Caregiver Coalition.  Jutta has been with the coalition for about a year.  She said caregivers are all around us.  We all need to be aware so we can offer help or a kind word.  She provided four tips:
  • Identify as a caregiver
  • Learn about resources
  • Ask for help or offer help
  • Plan ahead
80% of caregivers say it is much harder than they thought.  There are over 800,000 family caregivers in Arizona who provide 800 million hours of unpaid care each year  There is a wide range of caregiving assistance needed.  Advanced needs often require paid assistance either in-home or in a facility.  75-80% of caregiving is done by family members.  She shared a copy of a Proclamation signed by Governor Ducey declaring Novembers to be family caregiver month to recognize and honor citizens who are caregivers.  A photo of the proclamation is on the Mesa West Facebook page.
The Coalition provides a toll-free Caregiver Resource Line - 888-737-7494.  Those who call that number can ask questions and learn about resources and support groups.  The coalition can also help financially with respite so the caregiver can take care of their own needs and get a break.  Many couples in their 80's and 90's are caring for each other.  There are wonderful stories.  There are rewards and challenges to caregiving.  The cost is high both in time and financially.  Some caregivers have to give up their own jobs.  
The Coalition receives funding from the state Department of Economic Security.  They can apply for and use Federal grants, as well as small local grants.  They also receive some donations.  They are primarily an information resource that can offer respite financial assistance.  They provide advocacy and education as well as encourage collaboration.  They do not provide hands-on care.  Their goal is to point people in the right direction.
March 5 will be family caregiver day at the state capitol.  Awards will be given recognizing some caregivers.  She mentioned that CPR training is offered and they feel they provide powerful tools for Arizona caregivers.  She introduced visiting Rotarian Dan Taylor who mentioned a program being developed involving students from A.T.Still University.  The students will train caregivers about how to deal with stress and  how to safely transfer patients from one location or position to another.  He also mentioned a Neighbors who Care program in Sun Lakes.  
Rotarians were reminded to keep the number handy and call for resources for themselves or provide the number to others who need to learn about available support for caregivers.