President Jim opened the meeting by asking Ray Smith to lead everyone in singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."  Wendell Jones offered the invocation and Lola McClane led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Jack Rosenberg was thanked for serving as our extra-friendly official greeter.
 
Guests
Mark Lavell was visiting.  He is with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the East Valley.  Shelly Romine, an Idaho Rotarian with the classification of commercial banker, who has recently relocated to Arizona was again visiting Mesa West.
 
President Jim thanked Rotarians for bringing friends and guests and thanked John Pennypacker for putting up the club's banners every week.  
 
Drawings
Shelly Romine was asked to draw the token to determine the winner of the weekly attendance drawing.  The holder of badge number 36 was not present to collect, but on the second try, Frank Rosenberg was the lucky $5 winner.  PDG Gary Whiting was asked to draw the winning ticket for the weekly raffle, which was held by Ron Thompson.  Instead of drawing the ace of clubs, however, Ron drew the six, so the accumulating large pot will continue to grow.
 
Happy Bucks
Penny May contributed $5.  She was happy to be back in Arizona, but was also happy to recently receive a payment from the Alaska permanent fund of $1,106.  Bob Jensen reported that on September 19 he turned 70.  He spent the day with his wife.  He was also celebrating the birth of his second granddaughter.  To celebrate, he announced he was donating $100 to support the Guaymas Gift of Hearing Mission.  The YMCA was happy to report their golf tournament netted $37,000 which will be used to help families with limited resources enroll their children in YMCA programs.  Chuck Flint announced he was able to help a waitress in Filiberto's who had a legal problem.  When Chuck learned of her problem, he sent a text to fellow Rotarian, Bert Millett.  Bert returned Chuck's call from Ecuador.  Lola McClane was gone two weeks visiting her daughter and her daughter's "other significant person" in Fort Worth.
 
Auction Items
Bert Millet had a bag of non-consumable items - all from Peru - where he travelled in the Amazon and the Andes.  John Pennypacker offered the winning $50 bid and found some cold weather accessories among other things in the gift bag.  Polly Cady had a gift bag containing edible and decorative items purchased on their recent travels to Canada, Illinois, Colorado and Georgia.  Chuck Flint offered the winning $40 bid.
 
Accounting Humor
What a 90-year-old accountant who had reached the end of his useful life had to say about a homeless person:  "It's accrual world."  When asked about how to value Santa's sleigh, the accountant answered, "You have to assess its net present value."  Editorial note:  These may have been misquoted, but the effect is likely the same.
 
Announcements
  • Paige sent letter reporting on her youth exchange experience to date.  (see separate article in this newsletter.)
  • Mesa West will be dark on Thursday, October 31.
  • Pam Cohen announced that Alan Ramsdell's celebration of life would be held Sunday, October 6, at 2:00 PM at the Salvation Army facility.  Jim Crutcher was invited to be present to speak on behalf of Mesa West Rotary.
  • Pam proudly announced that sixteen members of Mesa West Rotary were at the annual Child Crisis fundraising luncheon.
  • She also reminded members that at our next meeting, October 10, we will be discussing various ideas from members about what might be a good legacy project that would be an on-going memorable benefit in and for our community.  A notice will go out after the meeting to members explaining how the process will work.
 
Budget Presentation
President Jim presented his 2019-20 budgets which included the operating budget for Mesa West Rotary and the philanthropic budget of Mesa West Rotary Foundation, which now holds all the assets previously held by the Mesa West and Mesa Baseline Foundations as a result of the recent consolidation of the two charitable foundations.  Both budgets were approved.
 
Program
John Pennypacker introduced PDG Gary Whiting and his unpaid Uber driver, John McCoy.  In introducing them, John briefly told of his recent trip to visit the completion of the second  phase of delivering water to remote homes on the Navajo Nation. 
 
The recently completed project was near Window Rock on the Navajo Nation and covered an area approximately the same size as West Virginia, and where only 40% of the population had running water.
 
The first project benefitting the Navajo Nation was initiated by the Gilbert Rotary Club.  With $78,000, that project provided water to eighteen homes.
The second, recently completed, project delivered water to thirty-three homes.  It was initiated by Sun Lakes Rotary and provided running water to thirty-three homes.  It was funded by nine Rotary Districts, seventeen US Rotary Clubs and twenty-six international Rotary Clubs.  When it was announced that this grant would be providing water for the first time to homes on the Navajo Nation in the United States, e-mails expressing interest in participating came from Rotary Clubs from all over the world.
 
When there was no existing sink in the homes receiving water, the size of the sink that was installed was large enough to bath a baby.
 
Gary Whiting was very impressed with the Dig Deep team which managed the project.  "The left hand knows at all times what the right hand is doing."  Cindy Howe is the individual that keeps them organized.  He said there is a story behind every home, hogan, or old trailer where water was installed.  Home number 32 was built in the 60's.  They had no water except what their son hauled with his pickup when the roads were passable.  The water he brought in three barrels would have to last a month.  In warm months, the barrels were stored on the porch, but in the winter, they had to be stored inside so the water would not freeze.  For that installation, the Dig Deep team encouraged the Rotarians to help.  They were mostly "gofers" fetching and assisting - except for John Pennypacker who Gary said was "afraid he'd get his pants dirty."
 
Once you carry your own water, you learn the value of every drop.
 
One photo that Gary showed was of a 12-year-old girl with the Water is Life driver.  She was the water girl for her grandmother.  Every morning she would carry water weighing twenty pounds 150 yards to her grandmother's house.  Her siblings did not have shoes.  The team took care of that, but when the girl understood that the installation at her grandmother's home would free her of her daily water girl duties, she was radiant.
 
In addition to the water project, Gary was proud that they also brought the third-grade dictionary project to the community.  
 
The next phase will be to serve the Dilkon, Arizona community which is west of Window Rock.  With that project, it is planned to serve 160 homes and will cost close to $720,000.  District 5495 is being joined by District 5280 in Hollywood to initiate phase three.  John reminded members of his own creation of a fund within TRF in memory of his wife to fund water projects.   He had a check to deliver to Mesa West Foundation as the first contribution to stimulate support from Mesa West Rotary for the third phase of bringing water to our neighbors.
 
Several members had questions:
Q  Who owns the water truck?
A  It was donated by another foundation.
Q  Who pays for the water?
A  The people receiving the water pay for the water delivered.
Q  How is the system maintained?
A.  Filters have to be changed, and batteries have to be charged/replaced and are responsibility of the resident.  There is some financial backup.  The delivery driver makes an inspection - to date there have been no problems.
Q.  Is water quality safe?
A.  Water will meet all safe water standards.
 
Gary stated that the next project site is barren of water.  In trying to drill a well, they will have to go more than 2,000 feet and there is risk that past uranium mining may have contaminated the underground water supply.
 
To see the slides presented by Gary Whiting at the meeting, CLICK HERE.