Opening of Meeting - President Dan Coons
President Dan opened the meeting by thanking members for the gift of being able to serve as Club President.  He then reminded Rotarians and guests of the Rotary International 2021-22 theme - Serve to Change Lives - after which he 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.
Warren Williamson led the Pledge of Allegiance.  The invocation was offered by Dick Myren. 
Rotary Minute - Shelly Romine
Shelly referred members to the June 2022 issue of the Rotary Magazine.  The magazine used to be called Rotarian.  She apologized in advance for the redundancy if anyone had actually opened their magazine and read the article found on page 16 which featured information and history of Rotary Youth Leadership Awards - RYLA.  For others, she hoped she might spark some interest in taking advantage of the information shared in our magazine each month,

It was started in 1959 in Queensland Australia to celebrate the Royal Visit of 22-year-old Princess Alexandra of the United Kingdom.  It became an official Rotary program in 1971 and continues to be a huge program in Australia.
The RYLA camps are organized locally.  The goal originally was to develop confidence and life-management skills in the 14-30 age group.  In the District in Idaho where Shelly was formerly a member their RYLA was for 18-22 year-olds.  They often had a hard time getting participants.  In our district, the focus has been on three-day camps for high school students, with a new camp being held for the first time this summer - a Junior RYLA - targeting middle-school students.  Shelly feels like this is a better focus.  
It's really a leadership development camp.  They do team-building, confidence-building, and have seminars.  She believed it was possible participants might receive awards at the end of camp, but the focus is on development of leadership and life-management skills.
It is estimated that 50,000 youth participate in RYLA each year.  Each camp averages 100 participants.  Information is available on the District website about local RYLA opportunities.  
Dan thanked Shelly and added that when he led a GSE team to Australia eleven years ago, he witnessed their enthusiasm for RYLA for all three age groups - young adults, high school, and middle school!
He thanked Robin Harris for serving as greeter.  He also noted that there were no guests present other than our speaker.
Dan apologized for missing Sean Green's new member presentation on May 2, adding that he had a good excuse - he was listening to a presentation from the President of Rotary International.  He thanked Robin Harris for running the May 2 meeting noting Robin had expressed gratitude that nobody got up and left while he was conducting the meeting. 
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck explained the raffle.  Tickets are sold for $5 each.  A third of the total sales goes to club operations, another third is added to the large pot, which is now up to $575 and the final third (the small pot) goes to the daily winner.  Chuck asked speaker Nancy Salmon to draw the winning ticket which was held by Don LaBarge.  Don automatically won the small pot which was $40.  He additionally was entitled to try to draw the Ace of Clubs from the deck, which would entitle him to the large pot.  After being asked by Chuck, Don did speed up his shuffling compared to the prior week.  The card Don drew was the 3 of Spades.  
Update on Sponsor Program  and Vacation Rental Auction - Allan Cady
Before acting as auctioneer, Allan Cady announced the $50,000 mark had recently been passed in this year's sponsor campaign raising money to support Mesa West Rotary Club's charitable endeavors.  He thanked everyone who had already participated with a donation or by soliciting one or more donations.  He reminded members who might not have given yet, that we need to wrap it up and making a donation will allow donors to be participants rather than observers as the funds are spent on worthy projects.
Tim Troy has put up as an auction item a three-night stay at either his Pine Arizona or Lake Arrowhead California on a non-holiday weekend, based on availability.  Both getaways can hold six occupants comfortably and a maximum of eight.  The value including cleaning deposit is at least $825.  Proceeds of the auction will be credited to Tim's fundraising team in the sponsorship program.  Tim suggested the bidding start at $350.  
Dan thanked Tim for his generosity and Allan for his work on the Sponsorship Campaign.
Happy Dollars - Greg Okonowski
  • Colleen Coons contributed "inspired dollars" having just returned from the RI convention the night before the meeting.  She shared a teaser of what she and Dan will share about the convention during their Rotary Minute on June 16.  You can find yourself seated with people from all over the world and find yourself talking about the same things - inspirational speakers, amazing projects, interesting, informative breakout sessions, and everything from A-Z in the House of Friendship.
  • Pam Cohen thanked Shelly for her Rotary minute focused on RYLA and for sharing the value of the Rotary Magazine.  Years ago Pam had the opportunity to attend the international convention when it was held in San Antonio.  Prior to the convention that year, they had a RYLA convention.  About 100 young people between 18 and 30 participated.  Pam remembered it being an amazing experience.
  • Melodie Jackson (on Zoom) was happy to be back in the USA.  She pledged $5 for each of the seven countries visited on their recent vacation - Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Holland, Greece and Italy.
  • Lola McClane was happy to be at the meeting.  She had been out of town and missed the last two meetings and was "fixin'" to leave again on another fun vacation which would take her away for another three weeks.  She just came back from the sunny state of Kanas and would be headed for St. Louis on her next trip.
  • Jim Schmidt contributed remembering the first Rotary convention he attended in Melbourne Australia back in the 90's.  He said it was awesome!
  • Dick Myren contributed his traditional $2 for himself and Rod Daniels.  He was also happy to be reminded by Pam of the San Antonio convention which he had also attended.  The one thing about that convention he will never forget was a program presented by Glen Campbell which was absolutely outstanding.
  • Polly Cady contributed for their recent wonderful family vacation in North Carolina, which included two high school graduations.  One granddaughter was third in her class, and will be going to Auburn.  The thought she was going to be late for a meeting at Thunderbird School regarding RLA, but since it was on zoom.
  • Don LaBarge contributed some of his $40 winnings.  He was a little concerned about possibly having to file bankruptcy after his high bid on the vacation rental.  He explained that he likes Pine Arizona a lot, but the real reason he was inspired to be so generous was that Tim Troy had purchased a power washer with a generous bid when Don auctioned an industrial power washer to benefit the Salvation Army last December.  He does like Pine Arizona a lot and is looking forward to using the stay at Tim's place there.  He added that he is always looking the paper for something about Rotary noting that he rarely finds anything.  Two or three days prior to the meeting there was an article in the Republic about a club in the State of Washing that had been a Rotary Club for over 100 years.  At one point they had 200 members.  The article was about COVID.  A lot of their members had a hard time with that.  They finally got down to only seven members and had their final meeting the other day.
  • John Pennypacker echoed everything Colleen said about the international convention.  He has attended two conventions - Sidney Australia and Sau Paulo Brazil.  He participated this year via zoom.  He especially enjoyed the presentation of all the country flags.  He was especially touched by the long ovation when they presented the Ukranian flag - he said it felt like about ten minutes.
  • Ed Koeneman was also at the Sau Paulo convention with John and said the way they found each other was they were both in the plenary hall with 5,000 of their closest Rotary friends.  When he walked out of the hall, he looked right and he looked left, and to the left there was a bar.  John was at the bar.  Ed had a happy $ to ask a question - did anyone know what Mesa West member was interviewed on KTAR radio yesterday (June 1)?  The answer - it was Major Scott Ramsey with the Salvation Army talking about the water stations they will have set up this summer.
  • Dan Coons contributed.  He had a few dollars left after the convention.  He wanted to acknowledge his appreciation of the work Lola has provided as Club Secretary during both of his terms as Club President.  Since she will be out of town when we have our celebration dinner he wanted to let her and other club members know how much he appreciated her.  He added a few of his own comments about the RI convention.  Pam mentioned the pre-convention event for RYLA in San Antonio.  There were two pre-convention activities this year.  Dan attended the one about Youth Exchange, and Colleen attended the one about Rotaract - where she got up and spoke.  Colleen added that people there actually heard what she said because she started getting emails indication donations were being received from people who had clicked on the link to the Arizona Rotaract site which she had mentioned, and they actually also made donations while they were on the site.
  • Service Project - Shelly Romine - The last Tuesday of the month, we will be at Midwest Food Bank.  A friend of Shelly who owns Desert Sun Technology will be there with a group, and there will likely be another service group working alongside our club as well.  She encouraged members to use the link in the article in the Messenger to sign up if they have not already done so.  They will be repackaging food for distribution.  
  • Upcoming Meetings - Dan reminded everyone that the June 16 meeting would be the last regular hybrid meeting this fiscal year.  The final meeting will be the "Changing of the Guard" celebration dinner to be held in the evening at the Doubletree on June 23.  Since we do not meet on the 5th Thursday of any month with 5 Thursdays, there will be no meeting June 30.
Program - Nancy Salmon - East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT)
Warren Williamson introduced Nancy Salmon, saying she has been a very good friend of  his wife, SonHee, for a very long time and a friend of Warren as well.  Nancy was born and raised in Tempe until she was married to Matt Salmon and they moved to Mesa.  He said Nancy and Matt would be celebrating 43 years of marriage this week. Nancy has four grown children and nine grandchildren ages 4 to 19.  They have both been active in the community for many years.  Nancy is the current President of the Mesa Republic Women's Club with over 250 members and is the longest attending member with more than thirty years.  She is also very active in her church community.  Nancy worked for several years for a healthcare organization that worked with the intellectually and developmentally disabled as their Vice President of Communications.  She currently works for the East Valley Institute of Technology better known as EVIT.  She works as their external affairs coordinator for adult education and loves interacting with members of the community and advocating for vocational education.  He invited her to come forward and "interact."
Nancy shared some history about EVIT.  It had its beginnings in 1970 as a Joint Technical Education District (JTED) under the leadership of Dr. Keith Crandall.  Dr. Crandall had been a high school business teacher who was very aware that some students would prefer a vocational education path over the traditional college preparatory path for their education.  Mesa began with the Mesa Alternative High School which was eventually renamed to Mesa VoTech.  In 1988, Dr. Crandall had reached out to State Senator Lester Pearce and Eddie Basha, of the State Board of Education.  In 1990 an independent JTED district for this school was created.  It is an overlay district and serves schools in several contiguous districts.  Beginning in 2018, JTED's are now called Career Technical Education Districts (CTEDs).  They serve students all the way from Cave Creek to Queen Creek.
Funding for the districts comes from local taxes.  Five Cents for every $100,000 of assessed property value.  She recalled a gentlemen who came to her several months ago checking out what his taxes were being used for.  He upset because he was paying $15/year to EVIT and had no idea what it was.  She spent 2 1/2 hours with him explaining all kinds of things, giving him a tour, and she asked him if he had any unanswered questions.  He paused for a minute and asked, "Can I give you a hug?"  He said he expected to find students sleeping on their desks, very old equipment, and instead found "state of the art" equipment and very engaged, enthusiastic students.  She would be glad to provide a similar experience for any Rotarians wanting to see EVIT.
They have two campuses.  The main Campus is at 1601 W Main (Main & Alma School Rd) and the other is the Power Campus located at 6625 S. Power Rd (Power Rd & Williams Field Rd.).  They have an extension in Apache Junction.
Dr. Chad Wilson is their current Superintendent.  Their mission is "to change lives by loving our students and serving our communities with a career and college preparatory training experience that produces a qualified workforce, meeting the market-driven needs of business and industry."
Many are aware EVIT serves high school juniors and seniors.  A less-well-known fact is that they also serve youth transitioning out of the foster care system.  They are trying to get funding to support a dorm to serve the housing needs of those transitioning students enabling them to have a better chance of success in their programs.  They also serve veterans.  They have adults-only programs to utilize their campus facilities at night.  They do GED in addition to skilled training programs.
They serve 11 high school districts.  Some of the training actually takes place in some of the high schools.  They have students from public, private, parochial and home-schooled environments.  They have 500 adults program.  98% of their students graduate from high school.  They are very serious about job placement for their students.
In the adult only classes their students come from all over the valley.  Their students are certified and licensed, ready to go to work, when they leave the program.  EVIT  helps them with finding resources for their funding needs.  Some are funded by TRVFA grants.  
The public is encouraged to use their services, giving their students practical experience and the prices for the services are very affordable.  People can also get involved in advisory councils.  Ed is likely going to be involved in one of those councils.
On the east side of the campus is a Bistro which is open to the public.  They also have a banquet facility where they can seat 400 for an event.  Culinary Arts students have the opportunity to practice their skills in both areas.
There are nine members on their school board.
CLICK HERE to see the very informative slide presentation Nancy used during her program.