John Pennypacker opened the meeting asking Daryl Bethea to offer the invocation and Warren Williamson to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.  Ray Smith led those present in singing Vive La Compagnie, which sounded wonderful as it was amplified by the reverberating harmonious sounds in the room where the meeting was held.
We had several visiting Rotarians:  Joan and Erwin Reimman from Rapid City, South Dakota; Tom Draggoo from Springfield, Oregon; Heidi Begeot from Hood River Oregon and Penny May from Alaska.
Rotary News
John Pennypacker reported on two things he had heard when attending a Zone webinar with RI Director, John Matthews.
  • In 2019-20, the zones are being restructured.  We will be in zone 26 with districts from West Texas, Southern Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Southern California and Hawaii.
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates approached The Rotary Foundation about extending their matching pledge to support polio eradication.  It will be needed.  We are very close, but there have been more cases year to date this year than at the same time last year.
The attendance drawing prize of $5 was won by Melodie Jackson.  Frank Rosenberg won $25 as the holder of the raffle ticket that was drawn, but he drew the two of hearts, so the accumulating pot, which is now up to $201, will continue to grow.   Chuck Flint explained the Buck Board for the benefit of our guests, then circulated to sell some of the open squares to those present.
Penny May had a bag of goodies to auction from her recent 10 day cruise that included Havana, Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel.  Bob Zarling's high bid of $35 made him the lucky winner.
Guaymas Trip Drawing
The names of all Rotarians who committed to donations supporting the annual gift of hearing mission were entered into a drawing.  There were three prizes - all handmade by Son Hee Williamson.  Pam Cohen won a beautiful black and white crocheted afghan, and Wendell Jones and Steve Ross each won very nice colorful bags which will likely make each of their wives very happy.
Happy Bucks
  • Pam Cohen had a very enjoyable time celebrating her 63rd birthday with friends and family.
  • Melodie Jackson contributed for an enjoyable vacation on a Mexican Riviera cruise.
  • Dick Myren contributed $1 continuing the tradition of Rod Daniels of being happy to be a member of Mesa West Rotary.
  • Pam Cohen was happy to have learned that our server, Liz, is going to have a baby boy in January.
  • John Pennypacker was happy to have attended the Interact Fall Leadership Conference where he participated with Jeanie Morgan in honoring Colton Cagle as a Paul Harris fellow.
  • Bob Zarling was happy to announce that Westwood High School Interact Club's Purple Pinkie project netted over $1,400.  He thanked Mesa West Rotarians who contributed the day Colton and Shakima Fagan visited our club.
  • Chris Krueger was happy that John Pennypacker covered for her being late to the meeting due to an appointment with her eye doctor.  She was also happy her vision was starting to return to normal from the distortion caused by dilation drops.
  • Our club will be dark (no meeting) on November 15
  • The Chile Cook-off and Fireside Fun will be held at Pam Cohen's house on November 16
  • The club will again be dark on November 22 as we all celebrate Thanksgiving with friends, family, and extended family.
  • One final announcement turned into all present singing Happy Birthday to Pam Cohen.
  • Dick Myren suggested Rotarians look around the room and call someone who was absent from the meeting.  There were too many empty places at this meeting.
Jeanie Morgan shared information about The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA).  She began by reminding Rotarians and guests about the Object of Rotary - particularly the second point made in that core statement of Rotary values:  "High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society." 
She also reminded everyone of a couple of points made in Rotary's description of the concept of vocational service:
  • Help young people achieve their career goals.
  • Guide and encourage others in the professional development.
The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona gives Arizona Rotarians a unique opportunity to bring vocational service to life.  TRVFA had its beginnings in the late 1980's when an idea was born and fostered by a few forward-thinking Arizona Rotary leaders including Dave Wastchak and Roger Bonngard. 
  • In 1991, The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona was incorporated.
  • In 1992, TRVFA was approved as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
  • In 1993, Rotary International approved TRVFA as a multi-district project endorsed by RI.  To accomplish this distinction, two thirds of the clubs in each of the three Arizona districts had to approve applying for that status.
  • For the last twenty-five years, TRVFA has been the only Rotary-founded, RI blessed and Rotarian managed Qualifying Charitable Organization in the State of Arizona which can accept tax-credit donations.
  • Arizona is unique in allowing individuals and couples to direct a portion of their state income tax obligation by giving directly to a QCO.  $400 for an individual an d$800 for a married couple filing jointly.
  • Effective this tax year, it will be necessary when claiming that donation on Arizona income tax returns to show the QCO number.  The codes were assigned by the State earlier this year.  The QCO code for TRVFA is 20698.
TRVFA provides vocational education grants for eligible programs to individuals who meet certain low-income guidelines and residential requirements of their programs.
Once the financial, residential and program requirements have been met, students have one more hurdle.  They must be sponsored by a Rotary Club.  The sponsoring club does not have to put up any money, but they do need to interview the candidate to be sure they are committed to and likely to be successful in their chosen occupation.  The club is asked to develop and maintain a mentoring and supportive relationship with each student they sponsor.
TRVFA has a Chairman, Dennis Haberer.  He is a District 5495 Rotarian with multi-year history in TRVFA leadership.  Current President is District 5490 PDG Dan Messersmith.  After Districts 5510 and 5490 merged into District 5495, the TRVFA bylaws were revised.  They now require that the board be made up of 10 board members with six from District 5495 and four from District 5500.  The proportion of board members reflects the number of clubs and Rotarians in the two districts.
Jeanie joined the board of directors in early 2018, replacing Pam Cohen who had to resign due to being spread too thin with her Rotary-related commitments.  In interviewing for the position, she suggested several changes to be made to make the electronic presence of TRVFA more user-friendly.  Since her first meeting in April, she has updated their website, moving it to a ClubRunner platform which will allow newsletters to be distributed to donors and TRVFA alumni.  
Jeanie was not the only new member this year.  The board is evolving into a working board.  Several members are making presentations at Rotary Clubs.  One member is the editor for the Alumni newsletter and Jeanie is editing the Donor newsletters.  
In 2017-18, grant demand exceeded donations.  Because of this shortfall, the maximum grant has temporarily been reduced from $3,000 to $2,000.  In June it was announced that we would not process any more new grant applications for programs with a start date prior to October 1.  We have continued to process applications for programs starting after that date.  We have also restricted grants to a preferred list of vocational fields including trades, maintenance and construction, health and wellness, and emerging technologies.  
Mesa West was the top giving club in individual Rotarian support of TRVFA.  There was one club - the largest club in Tucson, topped Mesa West with overall giving, as their club donated in addition to the donations of individual members.  Unfortunately, far too many clubs had very few members who supported TRVFA.  It is essential that a more effective job of communicating with Rotarians throughout Arizona this year to inspire higher levels of participation in making these "NO BRAINER" donations that really don't cost donors anything unless they have maxed out their tax credit donations.
If this "season of giving" goes well, we hope to restore the $3,000 maximum for grants.  We also hope to be able to again fund grants in vocational fields outside their "preferred" list.
Jeanie thanked Mesa West for their historically strong support and reminded them to share the opportunity with their friends, family and associates.  It is a Rotary born, Rotarian managed charity, but donations are welcomed from non-Rotarians as well as Rotary club members.  To view the revised website, go to  To make a donation on-line, go to  To make a donation by mail, CLICK HERE to download a donation form.