President-Elect Dan Coons opened the meeting by thanking Polly Schumacher for serving as Greeter welcoming Rotarians and guests.  He asked Wendell Jones to offer the invocation and Lola McClane to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.  
 
Dan explained he was presiding over the meeting because President Jim Schmidt was vacationing in Coronado, California.
 
Guests
Colton Cagle was visiting prior to his departure in two weeks to The Netherlands where he will spend the year as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student.  PDG Jim Erickson was welcomed as a guest.  Paige Goetzenberger was scheduled to leave Friday, July 26 for her year as a YE student in Austria.  Dane Luna was attending with his mother, Aubrey.  Kiana Okonowski (Greg's daughter) was again in attendance.  She is spending her summer break as an intern in Ron Thompson's Office.  Valeria Falcon was a guest of Allan and Polly Cady.  Valeria is visiting from District 4185 in Mexico.  She is spending six weeks immersed in learning the English language while she has fun in the US.  So far, she has visited a dude ranch with Allan and Polly and spent time in Big Bear California with the Goetzenbergers.  Coming up is an RV camping trip.  Jeanie introduced two applicants for grants from The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA).  Joshua Garcia, wants to study welding, and Justine Cortez hopes to study phlebotomy.  They have met the basic criteria for the grants and were being interviewed to have Mesa West be their sponsoring Rotary Club.
 
Drawings
Allan Cady was the winner of the $5 prize when his badge number was drawn in the weekly attendance drawing.  In the weekly raffle, Chuck Flint had Colton Cagle draw the winning ticket, which happened to be a ticket that Ed Koeneman had purchased and gave to Hannah Mason.  Hannah had just arrived, rushing to the meeting from marching band practice at Westwood HS.  She was happily surprised to walk in and almost immediately win $50.  She was not so fortunate when she tried to draw the ace of clubs.
 
Happy Bucks
Allan and Polly Cady were happy to have spent time with their young guest at the dude ranch.  John Pennypacker paid for having had a good time at the Celtic festival the prior weekend in Flagstaff.  He had a challenge for fellow-members wondering if anyone had noted the time on the Rotary-faced clock in the photo of our vacationing president that had appeared in the Messenger.  No one present could come up with the answer - it was 6:30 in the evening.  John was certain it was p.m. because our president would not have been up and dressed and smiling from a park bench at 6:30 a.m. while vacationing.  Chris Krueger was happy to get to see Paige Goetzenberger before she leaves for her year abroad.  Jeanie Morgan paid sad bucks because in the 2018-19 fiscal year Mesa West dropped from being the top club in the state for personal giving to The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona the prior year to 5th place.  That may not sound like a big drop, but giving from Mesa West members was only 56% of what it had been the prior year.  Overall giving to TRVFA was up in 2018-19, but not by as much as demand for grants increased.  In fact, at the board meeting she attended July 19, she learned that in what was in process or had already been funded in July, in the first month of 2019-20, TRVFA would fund nearly half of what was funded in the entire 2018-19 fiscal year.  Jeanie encouraged members to get out their phones and visit donate.trvfa.org.  
 
Entertainment
Rotarians and guests were privileged to hear Valeria Falcon present a brief performance displaying her skill as a young violinist.
 
Program
Ed Koeneman reminded Rotarians that Rotary, founded in 1905 in Chicago, Illinois has about 1.2 million members in 35 thousand clubs worldwide.  Those numbers have been pretty steady for many years. 
 
Ed stated the first Interact Club was formed in Melbourne Florida in 1962.  Interact is a combination of the words International and Action.  Today there are 470 thousand Interactors in over 20 thousand clubs in 159 countries.  Worldwide, Interact includes youth ages 12-18.  In the United States, while there are some clubs in middle schools, Interact is more commonly a high school experience for those aged 14-18.  He shared a photo collage of Westwood High School Interact photos.
 
Rotaract began in 1968 and was sponsored by the Charlotte North Rotary Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Rotaract stands for Rotary in Action.  There are over 250 thousand Rotaractors in almost 11 thousand clubs in 184 countries.  Rotaract clubs can be campus based or community based and are for young people between the ages of 18-30.  When Rotaractors "age out" it is hoped they will become Rotarians.
 
Ed invited Hannah Mason to speak for a few minutes.  She is a member of the Interact Club at Westwood High School which is sponsored by Mesa West Rotary.  She was attending the meeting on a quick break from marching band.  She is the incoming Interact Club president and is a past treasurer of the club.  She recently returned from a trip to Kenya as an Ambassador on the Interact District 5495 Crutches 4 Africa mission.  She will be a senior this next year.  When she was a freshman, she knew nothing about Interact.  She attended RYLA as a sophomore.  When people told her she had been nominated to attend RYLA, she had no idea what they were talking about.  She said the four days of leadership training at RYLA changed her life.  Before attending, she had nothing she was passionate about.  Afterward, she applied to be an Interact Assistant Governor and got it.  She applied to be Interact Club Treasurer and got it.  Interact became her favorite activity.  Valeria, who served as secretary learned through her position, now she wants to study non-profit management at ASU.  Hannah learned about Crutches 4 Africa last year.  used devises are collected district-wide, packaged for shipment, and sent to Kenya to be delivered to people in need.  Being an Ambassador to Kenya is a competitive application process.  She learned she had been accepted at 10:00 at night.  She respectfully thanked the caller for letting her know.  When she hung up, she screamed in excitement.  Following her selection, the team had six months of training about the culture.  They learned a small measure of Swahili.  They raised funds in the larger community and at Rotary events.  She is currently working with the president of the Naivasha Girls Interact Club on a joint project.  Hannah said that the largest project Interact is known for at Westwood is the purple pinkie project where they paint pinkie fingernail purple in exchange for a donation to End Polio Now.  At the school, the club maintains a "take what you need" board where positive messages are picked up by one person at a time to make a positive difference.  Hannah feels lucky to now be passionate and committed.  She loves hanging out with Rotarians.  The free lunch helps.  She is the drum major of the Westwood HS band this year, so she had to rush off to get back to practice before it was time to resume.
 
Ed reminded Rotarians that Andrea Murphy is the sponsor of the Interact Club.  Andrea was unable to attend the meeting, but wanted Rotarians to know that at Westwood the club is student led and student run.
 
Ed met Colton Cagle when Colton was a freshman attending RYLA.  Colton returned to RYLA the following year as a junior counsellor.  He was president of Westwood HS Interact during his junior year and District Governor during his senior year.  He is postponing starting college so that he can spend this next year as a youth exchange student in The Netherlands.
 
In talking about the impact of Interact, Colton feels like it gives students purpose.  Many young people today have mental health issues.  High school years can be very stressful.  Finding an organization that helps youth find meaning, purpose and passion makes a very real difference.  RYLA started Colton's path to Interact, the Interact District Council and his trip as an Ambassador to Kenya in the summer of 2018.  His Interact involvement has provided operational and leadership experience.  He has had opportunities unmatched by any other extracurricular experience he is aware of.  He is very thankful for the difference Interact has made in his life.  Colton is thankful for all Rotary does to impact lives.  He knows he has been set-up for success beyond what he could have imagined without his Rotary-related experiences.  He can see where the investment Rotary makes in youth is an investment in the future for Rotary and the world.  He loves to share his gratitude.  When asked, Colton explained that the Westwood HS Interact club last year had 100 members.  They meet in the AM in Andrea Murphy's classroom.  Because of other activities of many Interactors, they never anticipate all members to be present for any meeting, however, members love their Interact involvement enough that the meetings were typically "standing room only."
 
Service-Learning is part of the culture at Westwood High School.  Students who accumulate 200 or more hours of service have a Service-Learning Seal on their diploma.  In The Netherlands, Colton will repeat his last year of high school.  When asked, he said if his high school there does not have an Interact Club, he will start one.  Pam Cohen told Colton that she thanked him for making Mesa West proud, stating members have observed his growth in confidence and presence.
 
Westwood HS Interact painted over 3,000 pinkies purple, raising enough money, when matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to enable 35,000 inoculations to prevent Polio
 
Ed spoke about the Grand Canyon University Rotaract Club sponsored by Mesa West and some other participating Rotary clubs in the district.  Isabel and Scarlett had the drive to start the club at GCU.  Ed is their advisor.  The students drive the club.  They run it differently.  They only have one meeting each month with service projects throughout the month.  Last fall, they packed boxes for kids in the area of the university, which is an economically deprived area.  The Rotaractors embrace the community.  They participated in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.  While the official ages for Rotaract are 18-30, with university-based clubs, the ages are more typically 18 to 22 or 23.  Community-based Rotaract Clubs can serve as farm teams for Rotary Clubs.  At this point in time, there is no community-based Rotaract club in the east valley.  Community-based clubs bridge the gap between university-based clubs and Rotary. 
 
Ed thanked Mesa West members for the club's continued support.  He closed his presentation reminding members that one way for Rotarians to tangibly support him in his effort is to save Rotary Magazines and bring them to our club meetings.  If we give them to Aubrey, he will get them from her and share them with Interact and Rotaract members.