As members and guests were logging in for the Zoom meeting, they enjoyed an informal conversation.  One of the pieces of information shared was from Warren Williamson, who said that Son Hee told him there were 1,000 yards of yarn and 26,000 stiches in the scarf she created and offered for auction to support the community service project taking place on July 29. 
Ed Koeneman shared that a student is helping him convert a 1994 Chevrolet S-10 Pickup to be the first and only all-electric Chevy S-10 in Arizona when they are finished.  He said they have made a lot of progress.
John Pennypacker was checking his ability to attend a Zoom meeting while driving.  He was on his way to pick up Chuck Flint.
Andrea Murphy confessed she is obsessed with VW buses, but doesn't drive theirs.  Her husband has owned it since he was nineteen.  
Pam Cohen was attending from her "she shed" travel trailer in Flagstaff where she is continuing to enjoy cooler weather as well as the opportunity to spend time with her grandson, Wilder.
Given the subject of the program, a few VW stories were shared.  Pam worked at a VW dealership when she was in high school.  Chris tried to get Pam to confess that she had hauled a hog in a VW bug when she was much younger, but Pam denied that story saying it was actually a Porsch she used to haul the hog.  Warren Williamson had a neighbor who drove a VW Bus to work.  When he arrived home at night, he parked it in the driveway, turned the motor off, put it in neutral and pushed it into the garage.  Warren still wonders why...
President Dan called the meeting to order at Noon and began the meeting by reciting the Rotary Vision Statement.  He asked Jeanie Morgan to offer the invocation.
Presidential Humor
  • Dan did some research to attempt to learn how many lawyer jokes exist.  What he discovered is that there are actually zero jokes about attorneys - because all the stories told about lawyers are actually true.
  • Dan credited Lola McClane when he told everyone that a row of rabbits that is backing up is called a receding hare line.
Rotary Minute
Colleen Coons began by saying "everyone has a gift."  Rotary creates value through a network of 1.2 million friends, leaders and problem solvers who each use their gifts to solve problems, and effect positive change in the world, their communities and in themselves.
Happy Bucks
  • Jeanie Morgan pledged $10 - $5 for the phone conversation she had enjoyed prior to the meeting with Jim Crutcher.  Jim had overpaid his dues and he pledged the amount of the over-payment to support the Gift of Hearing Mission in Guaymas.  He was happy to do this to recognize Bob Jensen who was recently honored as one of 150 Rotarians in the world to receive the Service Above Self award in 2020.  The other $5 was because on Saturday, July 18, Jeanie was elected to serve as the first female president of The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona.  She hopes her fellow Rotarians in Mesa West will support her by making Mesa West the top giving club this year in percentage of members giving to TRVFA.
  • Polly Cady pledged $10 for the wonderful time they had with their house guests during the past week.  She said, "My RYE student from NZ has a sister who was also a RYE student to Brazil.  She is married to an American and they live in the Orange County.  They have become our extended family.  We’ve been on many international vacations together! They have 3 children ages 11 and 8 (twins).  They were house guests for 6 days, 3 of which was non-stop pool action.  Allan says his hands are still wrinkled."   
  • Chris Krueger pledged $10.  She is headed to Nebraska to spend time with her grand-babies, but she will also be working in her dad's home.  He had a stroke this year and is unable to live in their family home.  The house has been sold and Chris will have lots of stuff to go through.  She was pretty sure they have tax records going back to 1963.
  • Some one suggested either John Pennypacker or Chuck Flint should have to pay for making everyone watch the unedited release of "Driving Mr. Chucky."
  • Pam Cohen pledged $10.  She has sold her home in Whisper Mountain and plans to donate enough to The Rotary Foundation to become a Major Donor.  She is enjoying her time in Flagstaff.  Little Wilder, who was born premature, is nearly four months old and weighs about ten pounds.
  • Ed Koeneman pledged $10.   He was thankful Andrea Murphy agreed to be a replacement speaker for the meeting.  He was also a little in awe regarding the number of times the start date for him to go back to work to prepare for the fall semester at GCU has changed - August 10, August 3, July 30, and now August 17.  He was not going to be surprised if it would change yet again.  At this time, it is planned that the first three weeks will be on-line only, and after Labor Day in-person classes with lots of new procedures to mitigate risk.
  • Andrea Murphy pledged $10.  She really appreciates Mesa West Rotary Club.
  • Ray Smith pledged $10 as a confession for seeing Chris Krueger very early in the morning when she didn't look nearly as good as she did at the meeting.  
  • District 5495 DG Elizabeth Mahoney knows that raising funds to support Rotary causes this year will be challenging.  On the district website is a program where individuals can seek pledges to support them in raising money by walking, running, swimming, or other activity of the Rotarians choice through a web-based program funded by the district.  Read all about it and/or sign-up by clicking
  • Shelly Romine and Colleen Coons have announced a volunteer opportunity that can be done from home or office.  Volunteers will be trained to participate as tutors in a virtual tutoring program which those who are interested can learn more about through  UPS will put up the funds required to sponsor a classroom, and some of their employees will also serve as volunteers.  View videos about the program - CLICK HERE.
  • There will be no meeting Thursday, July 30 - we will be dark.
  • Reminder - there will be a service project Wednesday evening July 29.
  • Polly Cady announced that the next Rotary Leadership Institute will be held virtually on Saturday, August 15.  Whether you are starting your first session or ready for session two or three, you can EMAIL POLLY CADY to register for this Rotary College of Knowledge.
Ed Koeneman said that the planned speaker who was going to tell the club about Clydesdale Horses had to cancel so she could be present for a family funeral.  Ed was thankful that Andrea Murphy, who is the faculty advisor for the Westwood High School Interact Club, which is sponsored by Mesa West Rotary, agreed to provide our program.  Ed pointed out that her program would not be about Interact or school.  Instead it is about a fun club she and her husband belong to - The Arizona Bus Club.  They, and all the other members, have one thing in common.  They all love their VW Micro Buses.
Andrea said that although her husband has owned the bus since he was nineteen, for many years it served as storage space in their garage because it was not running.  About six years ago, using a small inheritance from his mother's estate, they decided to get the bus up and running.  As they travel in their bus, they meet lots of people.  It seems nearly everyone has a VW story.  They became members of The Arizona Bus Club which will have its 30th anniversary next year.
When they first started with the club, there was one charity fundraising event held each year.  They sold raffle tickets at 50 cents each to raffle a restored bus.
Through the club they have made friends, found resources who could share "how-to" knowledge about making repairs and referring quality, reputable mechanics when professional help was warranted.  They enjoy getting together for socials, camping outings, and cruises.  It is pretty common advice/knowledge that the buses should not be driven over 63 miles-per-hour.
One of the best-known VW Bus events in Arizona is held in the summer at the bottom of the Gold King Mine at Jerome, Arizona.  This will be the first July that 400 buses will not be able to gather for their annual three-night camp-out.  It is always fun and loud.  Andrea's husband says it is like a $20,000 high school graduation party.
The club makes money for their charities by charging those who walk in to the event.  The also sell raffle tickets to raise money for charity.  The Jerome Firefighters are always among the benefiting charities.
Since the Murphy's joined the club, some additional charitable activities and fundraisers have evolved.  The Joy Bus Restaurant delivers meals to those battling cancer.  Two times each year Four Peaks Brewery helps the club with a Bus and Brew event where they raise about $2,500 for charity in just four hours.  Beer and Wine is served and they have food vendors available plus a live band.  Admission is charged for the event.  They also charge for anyone who wants to have a display and they sell tickets for some really cool raffle prizes.  
They keep adding service projects.  They have a trunk or treat party to raise money to help the Camp Civitan for people with special needs from age 7-77.  Bus Club members have held work events at the camp.  Two years ago, they painted.  Last year they built a gaga pit. 
Many Mesa West members remember Andrea's earlier presentation about the Sleep in Heavenly Peace bed-building project where they make and stain the bed parts which are then delivered and assembled at each benefiting child's home.  The goal of that project is that no child should have to sleep on the floor.  In March, 2019 at Chapman VW in Scottsdale, they built 40 beds in one morning.  During the Christmas season, the club adopts families in need.
Andrea said that in addition to their '74 bus, they also own a '74 bug.  The bus is the first vehicle her husband ever owned.  He purchased it during his second year of college.  The both love it!  It has brought so much joy!  To see all the images from Andrea's fun presentation, CLICK HERE.