President Dan Coons called the meeting to order, introduced himself, then recited the 2020-21 Rotary International Theme - Rotary Opens Opportunities, followed by 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, and Darl Andersen offered the invocation.
President Dan explained that he had sent an email to members and regular visitors to let anyone who was attempting to attend via Zoom know that the hybrid (Zoom) portion of the meeting had technical difficulties that could not be overcome in time to broadcast from the in-person meeting as planned.  
Rotary Minute - Ed Koeneman - The Rotary Wheel
Ed explained that the original Rotary emblem was a wagon wheel.  As other Rotarians voiced likes and dislikes about the way the wheel appeared, there were a variety of evolutions.  In 1911, clubs were invited to submit emblem designs to a committee before the 1912 convention.  After that convention, some definition was provided, and clubs were encouraged to use something similar, and the number of spokes and cogs were unspecified.  A committee was formed to standardize the Rotary emblem.  In January 1920, The Rotarian announced the Board's decision in an article called "Redesigning the Rotary Wheel."   The emblem was a gear wheel with six spokes and 24 cogs.  Originally, the inside of the wheel was a plain circle. In 1924 the design was modified to include a keyway to make the gear wheel useful, by adding the provision for the transfer of power to or from a shaft.   This change illustrated that Rotary is a driving force.  The way it is a driving force in each Rotarian's life is a story that can only be told by each individual Rotarian. 
Introduction of Guests
  • Visiting Rotarian Dave Brauchler, is a new resident in our area and looking for a club to transfer into.  He has narrowed it down to two clubs.  
  • Dan Lamborn introduced PDG Jim Erickson and Jay Stuckey III.  In telling a little more about himself, Jay said he is not only the 3rd generation of his family with the same name, he is also a 3rd generation Phoenician.  Jim and Jay are both looking to join Mesa West Rotary.
  • Dan Coons announced that he and Colleen will be hosting what started out to be a small gathering at their home in June for new and potential members and their spouses or guests.  The number to attend the gathering who are either new members or thinking of becoming new members keeps growing.  Dan was not complaining - sounded more like bragging...
Chuck Flint explained that the weekly raffle tickets cost $5 each.  The holder of the ticket drawn would win $40, and a chance to draw the ace of clubs from the remaining deck of fifteen cards.  If a joker is drawn, they will win an additional $20.  If they were to draw the ace of clubs they would receive $1,402.  Chuck asked Colleen Coons to draw the winning ticket, which was held by Darl Andersen.  After shuffling the cards, Darl drew the four of clubs.  He let Chuck keep the $40, prepaying for eight tickets for himself for the May 13 raffle.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski
  • Jim Schmidt said he was sad to have lost his brother Steve, but happy that Steve's death brought their family together.  Jim had happy bucks because his oldest daughter had given birth recently to his 28th grandchild.
  • Dave Brauchler was happy to announce that his first granddaughter, Abigail, was celebrating her first birthday.
  • Ed Koeneman announced that because April and May contain nearly all of their family's birthdays and anniversaries, he was pledging $100 to Mesa West Foundation for Youth Services.
  • Shelly Romine contributed wishing a Happy Mother's Day for all the mothers in our club.
  • Dave McGown contributed the only $1 he had left from his new car fund after paying Dr. Ron Thompson to make him a new tooth.
  • Pam Cohen asked to be fined $10 for forgetting her computer, plus $10 to thank Chuck for bringing his laptop, which - unfortunately - she could not make work to broadcast the meeting.
  • Chuck Flint asked to be billed $10 to thank Jim Schmidt for his work in doing the necessary work to resolve a problem Mesa West Rotary Foundation needed to rectify with the IRS.  It was necessary to go back five years and document that no individual donor provided more than 10% of our funding.  Jim has a file at least 3/8" thick.  The biggest expense was paying the bank for copies of all the checks involved.  Jim did not charge for all his work.  Next, Chuck provided the following information about a community where the houses of worship experienced some pesky squirrels:
    • The Presbyterian church called a meeting to decide what to do about their squirrel infestation.  After much prayer and consideration, they concluded that the squirrels were predestined to be there, and they should not interfere with God's divine will.
    • At the Baptist church, the squirrels had taken an interest in the baptistry.  The deacons met and decided to put a water-slide on the baptistry and let the squirrels drown themselves.  The squirrels liked the slide and, unfortunately, knew instinctively how to swim, so twice as many squirrels showed up the following week.
    • The Lutheran church decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God's creatures.  So, they humanely trapped their squirrels and set them free near the Baptist church.  Two weeks later, the squirrels were back when the Baptists took down the water-slide.
    • The Episcopalians tried a much more unique path by setting out pans of whiskey around their church in an effort to kill the squirrels with alcohol poisoning.  They sadly learned how much damage a band of drunk squirrels can do.
    • But the Catholic church came up with a more creative strategy!  They baptized all the squirrels and made them members of the church.  Now they only see them at Christmas and Easter.
    • Not much was heard from the Jewish synagogue.  They took the first squirrel and circumcised him.  They haven't seen a squirrel since.
  • Colleen Coons pledged $100 if members and potential members would do all they could to make sure that her husband Dan exceeds the number of new Mesa West members brought in by Pam Cohen - Mesa West's first woman President, who brought in eleven new members during her term.  If Dan can beat that record before July 1, Colleen might at last be able to have a peaceful night at their house.  She said Dan falls asleep at night talking about how he needs to get just one more new member than Pam did...
  • Dave Brauchler indicated he was planning on turning in his membership application July 1 to save the club the cost of District and RI dues for his new membership.
  • Warren Williamson told about a motorist who was pulled over for speeding.  The motorist told the officer that he had a loaded 45 in his console and a loaded glock in his glove compartment.  He also told him there was a dead body in the trunk.  The police officer called for backup.  After backup arrived the senior officer asked what was going on.  The officer explained about the 45 and the glock adding that they needed to check the trunk as he understood there was a dead body there.  The senior officer asked the motorist what he had to say for himself, and he encouraged the senior officer to check his car and none of that was found.  After the search was completed, the motorist said to the senior officer, "I suppose next he will tell you he originally pulled me over for speeding!"
  • Jeanie Morgan was happy to announce that the reason Jeane Crouse was not introduced as a visitor was because she is now officially a Mesa West Rotarian.  President Dan had intended to make that announcement after Happy Bucks, but encouraged everyone to give our new member a standing ovation.
  • Shelly Romine announced she is working on a possible service project for May.  We may be able to participate in some necessary painting at the House of Refuge.
  • Dan Coons reminded members to grab some of the bags for the homeless to take with them when they left to give to any homeless persons they might encounter in going about their business.
  • Jeane Crouse shared some special memories about a friend she had recently lost.  She saw him as a best friend a best father, a best craftsman, etc.  She said he was extremely talented when it came to design, building and repair, and he would gladly do those things for anyone who needed them.  For many years, she observed him with his children when they would come to her home for dinner where they would talk about the peaks and pits of each of their days and talk about how to turn negatives into positives.  The sadness she saw in his life was that while he loved intensively, his ability to verbalize his feelings was lacking.  This resulted in marriages that didn't work out.  She said when he came to visit her, his eyes were darting about looking for things that needed to be fixed.  When Jeane moved into her current home, when they were eating out one night with another friend, Jeane was complaining that her baking sheets would not fit in her new oven.  Steve, remembering how the new home was arranged said they could remove a post her, relocate a wall there, and make room for a new, larger stove.  The other friend excused himself saying he'd only be gone a few minutes.  When he came back, he was carrying a Target bag which contained smaller cookie sheets that would fit in the oven that came in Jeane's new home.  Jeane's friend Steve was Jim Schmidt's brother.  His first love was building.  In his memory, Jeane paid the first $250 installment of a $1,000 pledge to The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona.  She plans to donate $250 each year to celebrate Steve's birthday. Rest in Peace and God Bless Steve Schmidt.
Program - PDG Jim Erickson - His Driving Force - Polio
Jim said the time left for his program reminded him of his DG year when he would visit clubs where they would spend lots of time on their business and leave him five minutes to present his 45-minute program.
The year prior to his becoming District Governor in 2018-19, Jim said there were 22 cases of wild polio virus.  in 2018 that number went up to 33.  In 2019-20, there were 150-200 cases.  In the most recent District newsletter, it was stated that so far, through April, there have been only 2 cases of wild polio virus reported this year.  Africa was declared polio-free last year.  The only countries where cases have been reported in recent years are Pakistan and Afghanistan.  
Rotary began our commitment to end Polio in 1988.  Ending polio has been Jim's passion since he participated in immunization trips to India and Ghana.  For a country to be declared polio-free, there can be no cases of wild polio virus for a period of three years.  For the world to be declared polio-free, we will have to wait ten years after the last reported case.  There remains plenty of opportunity for Rotarians to participate in immunization projects.  As long as the wild polio virus exists anywhere, immunizations need to continue everywhere. 
Jim answered some questions about vaccine-derived cases of polio.  The oral polio vaccine contains a weakened virus which can cause these cases.  Each year, there are 300-400 such cases.  One reason the oral vaccine is used is that it is less expensive, but the primary reason is that it can be administered by lay people.  It would be virtually impossible to have enough certified healthcare professionals available to vaccinate the millions of children needing vaccinations each year if vaccination shots were being used.
In 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio.  We've come a long way, but we cannot let up on the pressure or the passion until the world is finally declared polio free.