Highlights of January 9 Meeting
President Jim Schmidt opened the meeting by asking Dick Myren to offer the invocation and Tom Mellen to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
PDG Terry Cowan was visiting from the E-Club.  Don Bevis was visiting from the Rotary Club of Calgary.  Bob Zarling introduced Maria Lopez, an applicant for a vocational education grant from The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona who had been interviewed prior to the meeting hoping Mesa West Rotary would sponsor approval of her application.  Penny May was back from Alaska.
The attendance drawing was won by John Pennypacker.  Chuck Flint announced that the holder of the winning ticket in the weekly raffle would win $30 and have a chance to draw the Ace of Clubs from the dwindling deck of cards.  Should that person draw the Ace of Clubs, they would win $896.  Bert was asked to draw the ticket and John Pennypacker was lucky a second time.  John's luck did not hold out, however, because when he drew from the deck, the card he chose was the Five of Hearts.
Happy Bucks
Penny May was happy to be back among her Arizona Rotary friends and enjoying warmer weather.  She said the Tuesday high back home in Alaska was -14° with snow falling.  Rik Bucy from Soldatna Alaska said it was -16° there on the morning of our meeting.  Bob Zarling was happy to report four Rotarians have already signed up to go to participate in Dr. Blessman's mission projects in South Africa in the fall of 2020.  Steve Ross was happy to report he would be celebrating his 73rd birthday in Las Vegas.  Dick Myren was happy to report Rod Daniels may be back to Mesa West Rotary soon.  John Pennypacker paid $20 for the twenty days he had just returned from spending with his 3 and 5-year-old grandsons.  He had adopted Warren Williams' resolution to no longer indulge in excessive moderation.  Lola McClane was happy to report good news.  She said her world was turned upside down when she lost her husband two years ago.  She needed to sell her home.  Her good news was that the woman they had purchased their home from called and wanted to buy it back.  Polly Schumacher was happy to be able to see PDG Don Kelley.  She had served as his District Registrar during his term as District Governor.  John Pennypacker reminded members that it was National Law Enforcement Day.  Pam Cohen contributed because she was happy to see PDG Terry Cowan.
Presidential Humor
  • President Jim explained that Dick Myren (an accountant) was having problems sleeping.  His doctor suggested he count sheep.  Dick explained that counting sheep actually caused him to have trouble sleeping because if he noted he had made a mistake, he had to do an audit to find out what went wrong.
  • A customer in a bar told the bartender he would like to share an accounting joke.  The bartender cautioned him telling him that the patron on his right was an accountant that was about 6' tall and weighed around 200 pounds.  The bartender further cautioned that the individual on his left was also an accountant and was even bigger - about 6'2" and 225 pounds.  The original customer said "Never mind, I don't want to have to explain the joke twice."
  • Toastmasters and Rotary International have announced an Alliance and both organizations are encouraging local relationship.
  • Melody Jackson stated that January is a tough month for the homeless population.  She announced that Tuesday January 28 a Point-In-Time Homeless Count must be taken.  Volunteers are needed to support the Salvation Army in surveying families and individuals on that date who are living on the street and in shelters.  Mesa must participate in the count to continue to receive Federal assistance to support the needs of our homeless population.  Since it starts with an orientation at 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 28, and volunteers will be sent to their location by 5:30 a.m.  Wednesday, January 22 Melody was hopeful the count would be finished without intruding on too much of normal workdays for Rotarians.  A volunteer training session will be offered prior to the count.  The training will be offered at the Salvation Army, Building 3 (241 E 6th St., Mesa, AZ 85201) from 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.  CLICK HERE to register for the training and to help with the count.  Care packages will be handed out on the day of the count.  Members were encouraged to bring donations of items for those packages to the January 15 Mesa West Rotary meeting.  Suggested items to donate are:
    • Socks
    • Chapstick
    • Band-Aids
    • Hand warmers
    • Waterless shampoo
  • Pam Cohen reminded members of the Post-Holiday Party to be held Saturday, January 18 at the home of Dan and Colleen Coons
Before Pam Cohen introduced the speaker, she reminded members that any month with five Thursdays, Mesa West Rotary has elected to have a hands-on service project rather than have a regular meeting.  Since January does have five Thursdays, we will not meet on January 30.  Participating in the homeless count Melodie had announced will be the Mesa West hands-on service opportunity for January, 2020. 
Pam said it was her humble pleasure to introduce Don Kelley, a Past District Governor who has been a Rotarian since 1989.  Don is a member of Tempe South Rotary Club. Don achieved the highest academic rank at Arizona State University as a Professor of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology.  He served as Department Chair for five years and is a founding member of the Emeritus College at ASU.
Don was on an Eniwetok Island in the Pacific in the winter of 1954 during Operation Castle at the US Pacific Proving Ground.  He saw the first hydrogen detonation from 200 miles away. Cameramen were there to record the event.  Following the countdown, in less than a second they were bathed in light and the mushroom cloud expanded by 1,000' per second.  The detonation evaporated an island which was over a mile across.  The resulting crater was 200' deep.  
Don was in the Air Force.  He was trained to repair the B36 - the largest plane the government owned.  The tail section was five stories high.  Its wingspan was 230'.  It did not drop the bombs - it flew over the bombs which were already on the ground.  It could not fly fast enough to escape the shock-wave of the exploding bomb.  Its wheel-well doors, bomb bay doors and elevator were broken.
In the winter of 1954, six bombs were detonated in all.  The last one was only twenty miles away.  The commanders were warned that the winds were in a bad direction followed by a response that the winds would change.  That didn't happen.  Don realized the volunteers for this project were actually guinea pigs - to study the effects of radiation.  When that last bomb detonated, his skin was so hot, he thought it would melt.  He could see the bones in his arm.  When the heat subsided, there were white spots all over his back. 
After the second detonation, he had to check the plane.  A corporal who had tested the plane for radiation said it would be okay to go aboard as there was no structural damage.   Afterward he returned to his tent.  Before long, police came running calling his name.  What he learned was that the technician who had cleared the plane to be entered had not turned the machine on.  They took Don to be examined by a doctor who stayed 20' away from him.  After scrubbing himself in a shower nearly making his skin raw, there was very little change in his radiation level.  They let him go indicating he would likely die soon, and definitely wouldn't live past 40.  After Don was back in Fort Worth, Texas, all the B36's were gone.  He had to stay until all the planes were back.
Don suffered from PTSD, but it was not yet diagnosed.  He would be overcome at times with fear of an evil, faceless force.  When his wife would ask him what was wrong, he could not tell her as he was sworn to secrecy.  He worked in many different jobs before he happened into a path that uncovered his enjoyment and aptitude for working with metal and fixing things.  For a long period, he worked as an engineer but was paid technician wages.  He went to ASU to formalize his qualifications as an engineer and stayed on as a Professor.  He accepted the department chair position before he had tenure.
Don is now past the thirty-five years of "required secrecy."  He has written a memoir of his hydrogen bomb radiation survivor experience .  He had copies of the book available at the meeting.  The book is also available on Amazon.  
Rotary Leadership Institute
Pollyanne Cady, who is currently serving as Chairperson for Rotary Leadership Institute is hoping several of her fellow-club members will commit to starting and completing the three one-day sessions that are required to graduate from RLI.  All three sessions are typically offered concurrently so club members could carpool and go as a group even though some are just starting and others will be attending session II or III.  The next RLI offering will be held at Grand Canyon University Saturday, February 6.  The cost of each institute session for Rotarians in District 5495 is $60, which includes materials and lunch.  For visiting Rotarians from other Rotary Districts, the registration fee is $75.
Many past graduates have gone on to serve in leadership positions in their own club and/or the district.  Anyone who has been approached to serve on the club Board of Directors or in an officer position would be wise to choose to invest their time in this valuable Rotary education resource.
To register, CLICK HERE.
Post Holiday Party Slated for January 18
Dan and Colleen Coons have once again agreed to host the Mesa West Rotary post-holiday party in their beautiful home on Saturday, January 18.
Members who plan to attend need to CLICK HERE to let Pam Cohen know how many will be in your party as well as the appetizer or dessert you plan to provide.  The main course will be catered by Rotarians.  
Participation in the gift drawing is optional. Those who choose to participate should bring a gift with a value of $25.
Festivities start at 6:00 PM and will last at least until the last gift is opened.
Today's Chuckle
January is Vocational Service Month in Rotary
Arizona Rotarians have a unique opportunity to support this Rotary Avenue of Service by donating to
The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona.
Donated funds support vocational education grants for those who meet low-income guidelines.
Donations may not actually cost the donor anything in the long run since
TRVFA is an organization which meets
Arizona's Credit for Contributions to a Qualifying Charitable Organization requirements.
Their QCO Code is 20698.
The amount of a donation can typically be deducted from Arizona state income tax liability for 
up to $400 for an individual or $800 for a couple filing jointly.
CLICK HERE to donate to TRVFA on-line
or to download a form you can mail with a check, CLICK HERE.
Donations made between January 1 and April 15, 2020 can be used to offset Arizona State Income Tax liability for the 
2019 or 2020 tax year (but not both).
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 gifts are matched 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.
Upcoming Events
Mesa West Rotary Monthly Evening Meeting
Mesa Hilton
Jan 23, 2020
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Mesa West Rotary Meeting
Mesa Hilton
Feb 06, 2020 12:10 PM
Mesa West Rotary Meeting
Mesa Hilton
Feb 13, 2020 12:10 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Schmidt Westergard & Company PLLC
Feb 19, 2020
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Mesa West Rotary Meeting
Mesa Hilton
Feb 20, 2020 12:10 PM
Mesa West Rotary Monthly Evening Meeting
Mesa Hilton
Feb 27, 2020
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Mesa West Rotary Meeting
Mesa Hilton
Mar 05, 2020 12:10 PM
Mesa West Rotary Meeting
Mesa Hilton
Mar 12, 2020 12:10 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Schmidt Westergard & Company PLLC
Mar 18, 2020
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Mesa West Rotary Meeting
Mesa Hilton
Mar 19, 2020 12:10 PM
View entire list
Jan 23, 2020
Smoke Alarms and Fire Danger in Homes
Jan 30, 2020
5th Thursday Service Opportunity
Feb 06, 2020
Busting the Myths About Hospice
Feb 13, 2020
Business Presentation
Feb 20, 2020
The Holocaust in Holland
Feb 27, 2020
Waste Management
Mar 05, 2020
Education for the Disadvantaged in Mexico
Mar 12, 2020
Fed Regs for air travel - new AZ Travel ID license
Mar 19, 2020
Business Owners Goal Achievement
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Ted L. Williams
January 3
Steve Ross
January 10
Andrea Murphy
January 19
Spouse Birthdays
Colleen Coons
January 25
Join Date
Dan Coons
January 1, 1993
27 years
Donna Goetzenberger
January 1, 2017
3 years
G. Bryan Goetzenberger
January 1, 2017
3 years
Pamela Cohen
January 1, 1992
28 years
Warren Williamson
January 1, 1990
30 years
Scott Morris
January 7, 2010
10 years
Mai-Ly Duong
January 11, 2017
3 years
Greg Okonowski
January 22, 1998
22 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
Public Image Director
Executive Secretary
Bulletin Editor
Jeanie Morgan
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