Club Information
Welcome to our Rotary Club of Mesa West!
Mesa West
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Via Zoom
Mesa, AZ
United States of America
District Site
Venue Map
ASU Rotaract/Rotarian Mentorship Program
The ASU Rotaract Club is starting a new Rotaractor-Rotarian Mentorship program for the 2020-21 school year! Interested Mesa West Rotarians who are interested in being paired with a member of the Rotaract Club of ASU can CLICK HERE or on the image to complete a form which will help them make mentorship pairings that will serve all parties. Each pairing will remain in a formal relationship for the remainder of the 2020-21 Rotary year, but may well result in a friendship that will last a lifetime.

Program expectations are very loose-- They hope to see groups that make the most of their relationships in the way that best serves them! Their only expectation is that Rotarians and Rotaractors will meet at least once a month to discuss life updates, advice, and career and service goals. A form will be provided to each grouping where a submission can be made detailing the contents of that month's meeting. Additionally, once pairings are made, a contract will be sent to all parties regarding program expectations, which will ensure that no mentorship group dissolves.
Highlights of September 24 Meeting
President Dan Coons called the meeting to order reminding those present of this year's Rotary theme - "Rotary Opens Opportunities."  He also repeated the Rotary Vision Statement.  Greg Okonowski was prepared with a thought for the day.  The first thing he said, he gave credit to his wife, "It's okay to be a glow stick.  Sometimes we have to break before we can shine.  He also remembered and shared our late member Al Mabry's favorite song - This Little Light of Mine, adding that Carolyn Jones was our light.
Rotary Minute - James Schmidt
Past President Jim is enrolled in Rotary Leadership Academy and is currently taking a module about the Rotary Brand.  He shared a video which unfortunately was difficult for some in attendance to hear.  CLICK HERE to view it.  In five minutes it explains how the wheel - the Rotary Brand of Excellence - should and should not be used in our publications, websites, etc.  Jim also pointed out that the Rotary logo is only part of our brand.  Our vision statement defines who we are and when we buy into it, we begin to share a voice - a voice that is smart, compassionate, persevering, and inspiring.  Mesa West has many leaders in our membership - some in office and others who are not - but these descriptive words could be used to describe all of them.   That voice is also part of our brand.  The epiphany that Jim wanted to share was that this new knowledge and how it was all put together created a Rotary moment for him.  When you put it all together - the voice, the image, the vision - it's who we are!
Presidential Humor - Dan shared a story that a comedian shared some time back when it seemed like a new Starbucks would appear 
Happy Bucks - Collected by Greg Okonowski
  • Warren Williamson announced he and Son Hee would be celebrating their 14th wedding anniversary next week.  He pledged to continue his tradition of celebrating by donating $100 to his Paul Harris Fellow account.
  • John Pennypacker pledged $10 because he would be flying to Virginia next week
  • Jeanie Morgan pledged $10 for all the pleasant memories of Carolyn Jones she enjoyed while preparing the Messenger all the while - very appropriately - hearing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" play over and over in her head.
  • Wendell Jones pledged $750 for the Guaymas mission in - Carolyn's funeral service was planned to take place on Wendell's 74th birthday, September 25.
  • Greg Okonowski pledged $100 for the Guarmas mission in Carolyn's memory.
  • Pam Cohen showed screen showing the basket Pam delivered to Wendell's home from Mesa West Rotary for him to enjoy with his family and friends.
  • Ray Smith complained that Wendell had not told Ray about all those goodies - especially the chocolate.
  • Lola McClane was participating in the meeting from Fort Worth.  She pledged $10 because she has enjoyed having a delightful time with old friends and was able to spend time visiting with the judge she worked with for years.
  • John Pennypacker pledged $25 to the Guaymas mission in memory of Carolyn.
  • Bob Jensen pledged $100 in memory of Carolyn who had been one of his patients.
  • Erwin and Joan Reiman pledged $100 for the Guaymas mission in memory of Carolyn.
  • Shelly Romine pledged $50 for the Guaymas mission in memory of Carolyn.
  • Dan and Colleen Coons each pledged $50 for a total of $100 for the Guaymas mission in memory of Carolyn.
  • Jim Schmidt - pledged $100 for Guaymas in Carolyn's memory
  • Erica Williams - pledged $50 for Guaymas in Carolyn's memory.
  • Ray Smith - led those in attendance in singing Happy Birthday to Wendell.
  • President Dan was very happy to announce that the seven-day waiting period following club member notification had expired and Erika Yost is now officially elected to membership to Mesa West Rotary and will soon be formally inducted into the club.
  • The October 15 program will be presented by C-Span.
  • October 9-10 Virtual RYLA will be held and organization of the event is being led by Colton Cagle.
  • Shelly Romine reminded members of the Service Project to help with food distribution of United Food Bank at the Mesa Convention Center Friday September 25. She also mentioned that she has a sign-up list going now for another project with United Food Bank on October 15.  At that event, volunteers will be packaging emergency food supplies.
  • Colleen Coons announced that there will be another Vello introductory session Friday morning and she expects to have an announcement in the next week or two on the launch of the tutoring program.
  • The Program October 1 will be presented about Vello.
Program - Help Me To Hear
In introducing the program, Ray Smith listed many club members who have travelled to Guaymas Mexico over the years to help with the "Help me to Hear" mission:  Bryan and Donna Goetzenberger, Don LaBarge, Lucinda General, Chris and Mike Krueger, Polly and Allan Cady, Pam Cohen, Chuck Flint, Jim Schmidt, Geoff White, Wendell Jones, Bob Jensen, Erica Williams, and Wendell Jones.
Erica Williams was brought into the program a few years ago as a backup to the leadership of Bob Jensen with the hope that she would one day step into his shoes.   In her professional position at ASU she has access to students who are motivated and willing to participate in the mission.  Bob gave Ray Smith credit for being the logistical organization expert for the mission each year, and thanked both he and Wendell, saying Wendell was the man who got them through customs.
Erica began her presentation by introducing herself.  She is a clinical Associate Professor in the College of Health Solutions at ASU, and in addition is a clinical audiologist.  Erica is an active member of Mesa West Rotary, but her schedule conflicts with our meeting time, so we rarely get to see her.  CLICK HERE to see the slides Erica used during her presentation.
To illustrate the importance of hearing, Erica asked everyone attending the Zoom meeting to cut their volume in half and try to hear what she was saying.  She did this to illustrate in a real way how left out those who live with hearing loss feel.  It can lead to frustration, embarrassment and social isolation.  In children hearing is essential for proper speech and language development.  Without being able to hear sounds, it is much more difficult to learn how to make them.
Erica shared some information about the Guaymas itself. It is located in the state of Sonora, Mexico.  Its economy is centered around the fishing industry, other industrial ports and agriculture.  It is closely neighbored by San Carlos.  The nearest large cities are Hermasillo 130 KM to the north and Obregon 130 KM to the southeast.
In the Guaymas community 24% live on less than $2.00 US/day.  Government healthcare is available for those who are employed or have private healthcare.  For those who do have coverage, using services is often prohibitive as services are concentrated in major metropolitan areas and involve a great deal of travel.
In Guaymas/San Carlos areas, there are currently no audiologists/hearing aid dispensers/Otololaryngologists.  Audiology services are often provided by otolaryngologists who receive specialized training.  They have been there occasionally over time, but have not been there consistently for a number of years.
In 1992 an exploratory trip comprised of multiple medical professionals from varying disciplines.  After many discussions, there was commitment from both Guaymas and Arizona healthcare professionals/educators to move forward with a mission centered around hearing.  A pilot program was supported by the Mesa Baseline Rotary Club and the Guaymas Rotary Club. The first group of four audiologist and an ENT flew down in 1993.  The need was great, so additional volunteers were added each year.  A limiting factor was the number of hearing aids available, as the program was dependent on hearing aid donations at that point in time.
As in running any humanitarian program there were several key factors that needed to be in place.
  1. A clear need was apparent
  2. Support from the local community is essential
  3. Belief support from the professional community would grow over time
  4. Commitment for financial support from Mesa Baseline and local community was a critical factor.  Mesa West Rotary has continued that valuable support.
  5. The number of audiologist and physician volunteers willing to participate has been ongoing and has grown over time.
The trip historically has taken place in October or November of each year.  They have moved toward early November to avoid the tropical storm season as well as dios de los muertos festivals.  Volunteers have included audiologists, audiology students, ENT's, other medical assistants or students who facilitate as translators, and Rotarians who serve as translators or runners.
Over the years over 5500 individuals have been seen ranging in age from six months to 108 years.  In 2019, 40 volunteers handled 400 patients, fit 287 hearing aids and made 286 earmolds.  13 patients were given hearing aids but the team ran out of earmold material.  They planned to go back in the spring to finish the fittings for those patients but COVID-19 hit.   They had 80 hearing aids left in inventory at the school.  They were informed the school had been broken into, but the aids had been hidden in a locked area and it didn't appear any of the equipment or inventory were taken.  
In the future, they will limit the number of patients to be seen so volunteers don't experience burnout and patients who attend the clinic can be fully serviced.  
The clinic is held in a local school for the hearing impaired.  Patients will begin triage after which it will be determined if they go to ENT, audio, or hearing aids.  ENT provides non-surgical services including infection control cerumen management.  They have antibiotic and allergic medicine that are either purchased in Mexico or taken down with the team.  They also will complete PE tube placement. 
There are two sound booths that are used for audio testing one which has special equipment for testing children.  Patients with multiple type s of hearing are treated and they have a counseling station staffed with bilingual audiologists/audiology students to explain results an future directions or to orient patients to the hearing aids.
There are many challenges.  They see patients who have lost or broken their hearing aid.  There is a high amount of cerumen/foreign bodies and cerumen impaction.  One short-term goal is developing counseling videos or pictorial counseling materials in Spanish for care, maintenance and troubleshooting, noise exposure, and cerumen management.  Everyone comes in with phones, but literacy levels are sometimes limited making utilization of the printed handouts they are given difficult.  A You-tube video would be ideal.
There is not a clear structure for continuity of care.  Follow-up appointments that require travel to a larger community are prohibitive.
Since the team is only there two days a year, the program would benefit from increased services.  This is being actively addressed.  They are working with a group from Los Alamos, NW of Guaymas, but also in the state of Sonora, they are beginning to provide services on a quarterly basis.  A very well qualified audiometric technician is training local volunteers to conduct hearing screenings.  Future plans include hearing aid repair/replacement, providing batteries, replacing earmolds, and community education.   These efforts should allow for services to be provided on a more timely basis. in addition to reducing the load on the yearly clinic.  At this point it is being paid for by private donations but a Rotary International Grant is being pursued to ensure sustainability of the program.
These challenges are made apparent by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Due to border closures and health and safety concerns for our volunteers there will not be a trip this fall.  It is optimistic to think there could be a small contingent this spring dependent on a vaccine.  At this point, not even their audiometric tech will be able to provide any sort of services.  They look forward to the day they will be able to return and hope they can count on the continued support of the club.
Next Community Service Project - October 14 - United Food Bank
Your help is needed! Volunteers are required for the following event. Click on Sign Up to view available slots and book yourself directly online.
  • Event: Emergency Food Bag Build -
  • United Food Bank Date: Oct 14, 2020 at 5:45 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Chair: Shelly Romine
  • Location: United Food Bank 358 E Javelina Mesa, AZ 
We will be building emergency food bags for United Food Bank. It’s an assembly fashion of placing food into bags and getting them ready to ship out to their agencies. Everyone must wear closed toed shoes, wear masks and gloves

You can sign up directly on the Mesa West Rotary Club website by clicking here. We appreciate your participation and look forward to making this a great event together!
Thank you.
Shelly Romine
Community Service Chair
Today's Chuckle
Something to Ponder

The greatest remedy for anger is delay.

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.
You CAN make a difference!
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Foundation Director
Public Image Director
Club Service Director
Service Projects Director
Executive Secretary
Upcoming Events
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Oct 01, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Oct 08, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Emergency Food Bag Build - United Food Bank
United Food Bank
Oct 14, 2020
5:45 PM – 8:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Oct 15, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Monthly Board Meeting
Oct 20, 2020
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Oct 22, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Oct 29, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Nov 05, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Nov 12, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Monthly Board Meeting
Nov 17, 2020
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
View entire list
Oct 01, 2020
Vello/Valley of the Sun United Way
Oct 08, 2020
Borgen Project - Elimination of Global Poverty
Oct 15, 2020
C-Span Networks - Government issues (pandemic, economy, election, etc.)
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Don LaBarge
October 12
Jim Schmidt
October 15
Warren Williamson
October 15
Greg Okonowski
October 25
Pam Cohen
October 29
Spouse Birthdays
Sandy Myren
October 20
Scott Williams
October 25
Vickie Smith
October 29
Dick Myren
Sandy Myren
October 5
Greg Bouslog
Sheena Bouslog
October 25
Greg Okonowski
Laura Okonowski
October 25
Join Date
Andrea Murphy
October 1, 2017
3 years
Shane Buntrock
October 1, 2012
8 years
Sharon Spane
October 1, 1988
32 years
Melodie Jackson
October 4, 2007
13 years
Brian Harvey
October 20, 2010
10 years
Ed Koeneman
October 28, 2010
10 years
Aaron Huber
October 30, 2001
19 years
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
Bulletin Editor
Jeanie Morgan
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