President's Message
Each day seems to bring a new surprise in this crazy world we now live in. Nations, states and economies are shut down to a standstill. There are restrictions on travel, working, eating out and human contact. All the things we treasure and encourage as Rotarians and assume are part of our daily life. Everything normal seems to be temporarily put on hold. A week and a half ago (seems so much longer) when we took a vote on whether we should continue to meet, the process taught me one important thing. While I did not think it was a good idea to continue and felt like it would soon be too dangerous to our most vulnerable, an overwhelming number of our older more vulnerable members wanted to continue to meet. Rotary connections, our close friendships, and the social camaraderie we share at Rotary are important. They contribute to a better way of life for each of us and all the people that we serve. While we have had to temporarily cancel our weekly meetings, I look forward to meeting again and rejoicing with my friends who make life so much richer from just knowing you and associating with you weekly. The dedication of the great women and men of the Mesa West Rotary club inspires me, and encourages me to be a better citizen, a better community humanitarian, a better man.  I am an optimist and have hope and confidence in the future—hope in the resiliency of America and the good people I know throughout the world. This challenge will bring us even closer together, and hopefully even more prepared for other challenges to come. But through all this, it is comforting to have a club and a world full of Rotarians that I can cherish as friends, knowing they make a difference in the lives of others. Little things that people do make a difference. I was surprised by how much my spirits were lifted when I heard Neil Diamond’s remake of Sweet Caroline into Hands…washing hands ( ).  Whatever little things you can do to lift others in anxiety and need will make a big difference. Things will return to a new more normal lifestyle. It may not be exactly the same, but life will return. And we will enjoy it all the more. Reach out by text or phone or social media to your Rotary friends and those in need. And most of all, treasure and enjoy this unique opportunity with your loved ones in your homes. Our thoughts, prayers and service go out to all of you!
Greetings Fellow Rotarians. This week we are doing virtual greetings since handshakes, fist bumps, high fives and hugs are just not safe or responsible at this time. I do love that Jeanie is still putting together “the Messenger” so we can stay in touch! It has been a crazy couple of weeks full of frustration, disappointment, and having little control over how we are able to live our lives. Being a person who very much leans to being an introvert I am even struggling with the lack of social interaction I am able to have. I don’t even know that I am actually missing out on things that I would have done, or it is more the idea that someone is telling me I can’t do them.

I heard someone on the news trying to rate how Americans are going to do with “social distancing” “self-quarantining” and “shelter in place” because American’s don’t like being told what to do. I one  hundred percent agree with that statement and trust me – you can ask my mama – I never liked being told what to do! However for the greater good of hopefully putting a quicker end to the spread of this virus I am trying my best to do as I am told.

I do miss my Rotary family terribly and hope you are all staying well. I do want to leave you with a poem that I found. Although things can seem gloomy right now, we need to cherish what we have.

Have a good week and know that you are all in my thoughts. I look forward to seeing you all soon!

Shelly Romine

Time Goes By
© Crystal Lewis
Time goes by and slips away
Just as the sky turns from blue to grey.
We are here but only for a short stay.
Don't let life pass with words you never say.
Don't live in anger, with fear and regrets.
Seek forgiveness and lay your pain to rest.
Don't judge too quickly, as you may be wrong.
Instead, choose to live life as an uplifting song.
When tears fall, wipe them away
As they will only last but for a day.
Sometimes we hurt because we care.
Sometimes life seems unfair.
We make mistakes we wish we could change
And wonder how our life could be rearranged.
Second chances last only for so long, reach out to others
As we are all sisters and brothers.
There are angels in heaven that watch us every day.
They look over us as we laugh and play.
Live with joy, and when you lie down at night,
Thank the Lord and release any strife.
Shelly is greeting you with a friend she met at the Nutcracker Museum in Leavenworth, Washington.
Gratitude - thought for the week
If I were to have given the prayer at Rotary March 19th it would have focused around the principle of "Gratitude"   Grateful for belief in a higher power, family, friends, Rotary and service. Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation and thankfulness for blessings or benefits we have received.
If we spend some time finding and writing down one simple thing to be thankful for it will lead, many times, to making a list that goes on and on.
I once read an article by Norann Voll on ways to practice Gratitude.  He listed 5 things to do:
1.  Set time aside each day to make a list of what we are thankful for.  Start with the tiniest details.
2.  Tell other people "thank you" when they do something kind for you.
3.  Don't allow other people's bitterness or negativity to influence your inner peace.
4.  Anger, disappointment, failure, and frustration are parts of life, but don't let them become your default emotions.
5.  Build gratitude around you with small, daily, unexpected, undeserved acts of love, compassion, grace and forgiveness.
I express gratitude to Mesa West Rotary and all the good things you do.
A New Kind of Patriot is Emerging
Pam Cohen had volunteered to lead the pledge at our March 19 meeting.  The first meeting we did NOT have during the social distancing restrictions to protect our population from the coronavirus pandemic.  She chose to share the following:
A new kind of patriotism as shown in our Corona Virus heroes
“When a nation is filled with strife, then do patriots flourish” - Lao Tzu – Chinese Philosopher
When the story of the coronavirus pandemic is written there will be a long list of heroes. Many of them will come from the field of medicine. Doctors. Nurses. Laboratory technicians. Emergency medical technicians and so on.
But also on that list will be the millions of regular working stiffs who kept things going, kept things running, kept things clean, when the rest of us were stuck at home.
Think of them all.
Custodians. Cooks. Clerks. Cleaning crews. Electrical workers. Plumbers. Maintenance and repair workers. Caregivers. Bus drivers. Mechanics. Secretaries. Cashiers. Warehouse workers. Delivery drivers. Pharmacists. Sanitation workers. Mail carriers. Construction workers. Corrections officers. Power company employees. Road and highway crews. Government workers who assist the disabled and the unemployed, and who help to maintain all the necessary services in every block of every city.
Police and firefighters.
And on and on.
The men and women who keep the engine of the country idling smoothly while the vehicle itself remains in neutral, parked on the side of the road.
Rotary Minute
Back in 2008, I was involved with a neighborhood effort to renovate the playground at the Park of the Canals. The Park had become a real eye sore and was a magnet for criminal activity. I learned about an organization called Kaboom that could help with the capital and volunteer effort needed to renovate the playground. But they required a significant amount of seed money from the community. Our club responded enthusiastically offering not only to pay the seed money, but to supply many volunteers for the one-day community park build (like a barn raising, but with playground equipment). It was an absolute game changer for the Park and for the neighborhood. Instead of avoiding the Park, it became a destination for families to enjoy. For its part, the Mesa West Rotary Club is listed prominently along with some other sponsors on a mural featuring the names and handprints of children in the neighborhood. Not far from the mural is a bronze plaque listing the charter donors of the Park built many years ago. Not surprisingly, Rotary is listed there as well.
CLICK HERE to download information that was published in the District Newsletter in 2008.
CLICK HERE to see more information and photos of the Park of the Canals
Happy Thoughts
Lucinda General – is sharing some "Blast from the Past" photos, which she hopes will trigger many happy thoughts for her fellow-Rotarians.
Greg Okonowski – said Laura is getting a lot of laughter from a You Tube dog named Pluto giving some four-legged advice about our current crisis.  Greg thought you might want to check it out:
Chris Krueger – I am just happy to be healthy and able to work from home in these difficult times.  I am trying to remember all the positive things right now and I realize just how blessed I am. 
Daryl (Pai) Bethea - Saw a man in a wheelchair at Disney World two weeks ago being escorted into the most popular Avatar ride by a group of teenagers, after giving up their places in a very long line. Happy to see the younger generation so kind and charitable.
Wayne General - Friday 03/20/2020 my mom, Alice, celebrated her 93rd birthday at our house.  Lucinda made a wonderful filet with raisins and peppercorns and we all enjoyed the evening.
Erwin and Joan Reimann - We did FaceTime with our grandson and family on Sunday. Our 1-year old great grandson was kissing their phone when he saw us.
Jane and John Benedict - We welcomed our new granddaughter, Dylan Jane De Marco, on Thursday, March 12, in Phoenix. Baby, mom, dad, and big brother Derek doing well!
Polly Schumacher - Happy and relieved my granddaughters are home from studying abroad this semester (London and Italy).  Although, haven’t seen them yet, as we are self-quarantined for another week.  Will be especially happy when I can give them a big hug!
Ray Smith - I am thrilled BEYOND WORDS TO DESCRIBE, with the Income Tax Return deadline extension to July 15th!!!!!
Lo Wiesner - I'm enjoying the quiet country life.  There's light snow falling today, the wood burning fireplace is crackling and Hans is baking sourdough bread.  Life is good.
Jim Schmidt - My son Paul and his wife Sheri in Denver Colorado had a miracle baby girl. They named her Halle (short for Hallelujah).
Know Your Fellow Rotarian - Jim LeCheminant
Jim LeCheminant was born in Glendale, California.  He was one of four children.  He was next-to-oldest with one sister and two brothers.  
Jim has been an Arizona resident for forty-eight years.  In addition to California and Arizona, he has also resided in Utah and Kansas.  His travel outside the US has included England and Canada. He has not yet found a need to be fluent in any language other than English.  
As a teen, Jim dreamed of being a basketball coach, but ended up with what is now an eleven-year career in banking.  He is still employed part-time as a commercial lender.
Jim has been married to Michelle for nearly fifty years.  They have three sons and two daughters.  They have eleven grandsons and fifteen granddaughters.  So far, there are no great-grandchildren.
Jim loved serving as a Rotary Club President and has enjoyed serving in various leadership positions in his church.
Celebration of Life Postponed
Jim Crutcher had invited his friends in Mesa West Rotary to join him and his family in a celebration of his mother's life on Sunday, March 29.  
That event has been indefinitely postponed as the restaurant has closed as a result of the social distancing we are all currently experiencing.  He will let us know when it is re-scheduled.
Experience Matters Seeking Help
Melodie Jackson received an appeal she wanted to share with her fellow-Rotarians:
The current COVID-19 pandemic is creating several challenges.  During these times, many rely on community organizations for support.  For almost 11 years, Experience Matters has served as a bridge between highly skilled experienced talent (like you) and capacity building projects for local nonprofits.  These nonprofits need your experience and skills more than ever during this time of crisis.  If you are willing to lend your skills pro bono for a brief period of time to provide support to a nonprofit that needs your help now more than ever, please follow the link below and complete the form.  
Lockdown  by Brother Richard Hendrick

John Pennypacker thought Mesa West Rotarians would be well-served by an opportunity to read this...

Brother Richard Hendrick, a Capuchin Franciscan living in Ireland, has penned a touching poem about coronavirus:


Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.


They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise

You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet

The sky is no longer thick with fumes

But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

People are singing to each other

across the empty squares,

keeping their windows open

so that those who are alone

may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland

Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know


is busy spreading fliers with her number

through the neighbourhood

So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples

are preparing to welcome

and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting

All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

To how big we really are.

To how little control we really have.

To what really matters.

To Love.

So we pray and we remember that

Yes there is fear.

But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.

But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.

But there does not have to be disease of the soul

Yes there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic

The birds are singing again

The sky is clearing,

Spring is coming,

And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul

And though you may not be able

to touch across the empty square,



Message from Buey Ray Tut
Hello Everyone,
I departed for South Sudan just as cases of Covid-19 were starting to surface around the U.S. The news reports of panic, empty grocery shelves, and countries around the globe restricting travel went from once-a-day coverage to hourly updates. As I sat absorbing all this, I was forced to relive a difficult period in my African youth.
Before this pandemic, the most frightening time in my life was the four months my family waited for the rebels to enter our city in Africa. As it became clear the Ethiopian government would fall, neither my family nor my community knew what was going to happen to any of us. Needless to say, fear and uncertainty made the situation almost unbearable. It’s easy to assume that during times like that people would fend for themselves. Some did.
However, looking back, quite the opposite happened with the vast majority of the public. Although we were all scared, Ethiopians everywhere stepped up to help one another. Whether it was a neighbor sharing their last spoon of sugar or a stranger hugging a 10-year-old to tell him it would be ok. Love and compassion edged out fear and uncertainty.
As I watch Covid-19 threaten our way of life, I am once again reminded of the tenacity of the community I am a part of. It fills me with hope and optimism to hear stories of Nebraskan’s and the country as a whole coming together. Ordinary people from churches, businesses, organizations uniting to look after the most vulnerable. Over the next few days, Aqua-Africa will also outline efforts to support our local community through partnerships and collaborations such as being a “food pick up location” or delivery to shut-ins. Please let us know if there is any way we can help.
No doubt these are challenging times, and things will most likely get worse before they get better. But, everything in my life also leads me to believe that we will endure, we will persevere, and we will overcome together. God Bless.

Buey Ray Tut. 
Today's Chuckle
John Pennypacker has been looking for a Pure Bread Dog - finally found one!
March is Water and Sanitation Month in Rotary
Clean water, sanitation, and hygiene education are basic necessities for a healthy environment and a productive life.
We support local solutions to bring clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to more people every day. We don’t just build wells and walk away. We share our expertise with community leaders and educators to make sure our projects succeed long-term. 
When people have access to clean water and sanitation, waterborne diseases decrease, children stay healthier and attend school more regularly, and mothers can spend less time carrying water and more time helping their families.
The Most Efficient Way to Support The Rotary Foundation
The Rotary Foundation is the charitable arm of Rotary that enables the amazing work we, as Rotarians, are all proud to be a part of.  Every Rotarian is strongly encouraged to support TRF every year by donating to the General Fund of TRF.  The target gift is $100 per year per member.  That has been the target for a very long time and in the US the average family income has multiplied a few times since that target was set.  Many Rotarians who have the means to do so have set their personal target at the $1,000 per year mark making them eligible for the Paul Harris Society level of donor recognition. 
The End Polio Now campaign is a separate fund to which gifts are matched two-for-one by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Many Rotarians choose to support both the general fund and the fight to end polio.
No matter what level you decide to donate, please support the Foundation by giving through Rotary Direct.  CLICK HERE to get answers to commonly asked questions about this program.  DOWNLOAD A FORM to authorize your Rotary Direct donations.  By giving through Rotary direct, the opportunity for human error is eliminated and recognition credit for the Rotarian and their club is much more accurate and timelier.
Support TRVFA
Donations to The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona made through April 15, can be used to qualify for the
Arizona's Credit for Contribution to a Qualifying Charitable Organization for the 2019 or 2020 tax year, but not both!  Their QCO Code is 20698.
When everything starts to settle after our current pandemic-related business slow-down is history, some things may never to back to the way they were.  There may well be a shortage of workers that require vocational certifications available to those in low-income groups through TRVFA grants.  Your gift today may help someone have a better tomorrow!  CLICK HERE to donate on-line or CLICK HERE to download a mail-in form.
Upcoming Events
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Apr 15, 2020 5:30 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
May 20, 2020 5:30 PM
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Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Jim LeCheminant
March 3
Dick Myren
March 12
Erica Williams
March 31
Join Date
Tom Bradford
March 1, 2019
1 year
Wendell Jones
March 1, 1989
31 years
Kurt Klingenberg
March 17, 1994
26 years
Download Files
October, 2019 Mesa West Rotary Calendar
Rotary District 5495 Links
District Links
Rotary Interact District 5495
Rotary District 5495
The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA)
Rotary Youth Exchange
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards - RYLA
RYLA Service Project Support
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Club Service Director
Service Projects Director
Foundation Director
Membership Director
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Jeanie Morgan
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