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
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Venue Map
December 5 - Mesa West Rotary Celebration
It is always cause for celebration when Mesa West Rotary gets to welcome a new member.  Carla Krzmaric is an Allstate Insuance agent, operating out of an office in the same business complex as President Dan Coon.  It was a pleasure for Dan to be able to officiate her formal induction into the club.  Carla's husband, Kevin Fleege was standing by her side and supporting Carla in this new chapter of her life.  Carla's enthusiasm is apparent.  She has already delivered a Rotary Minute at a weekly Zoom meeting, volunteered to present another, and participated in a service project.  This photo is of an emerging Rotary leader who saw the opportunities offered by Rotary.
The other celebration on December 5 was the culmination of a dream of PDG David Simmer to raise a lot of money for The Rotary Foundation during his year of DG service - 2019-20l  He far exceeded his goal with the money raised, but was disappointed not to be able to celebrate with the donors at a special event that was planned at The Sanctuary in Paradise Valley.
To qualify for the celebration, donors had to pledge or donate a new gift or new commitment in an estate plan to any program of The Rotary Foundation in the amount of $10,000 or more.  PDG David created a Connect Through Giving committee which included Barb Feder, Polly Cady, Jim Bissonett, Mark von Hoepzendorff, and himself .  They followed a plan to solicit and secure donations.  Barb had been part of a similar endeavor when she and Greg Podd co-chaired a Million Dollar Dinner to raise funds for TRF during the year Don LaBarge was District Governor in 2008-09.  They used a model Barb had learned about from a California Rotarian.  There were 25 donors in District 5495 who accepted and met the challenge.  Members of two clubs accounted for 32% of that total.  Mesa West had four qualifying households, as did the Rotary Club of Sedona Village.
One big disappointment for PDG David was that the planned celebration honoring donors at The Sanctuary had to be cancelled.  He searched for a way to try to give a tangible acknowledgment of the generosity of each donor.  Lovely gift baskets were created by the Great Harvest Bread Company in Tempe for each household represented and a unique card for each donor inserted in their basket.  At the December 5 gathering, Barb Feder delivered recognition gift baskets to the following Mesa West Rotarians:
Alan and Polly Cady
Chuck Flint
John Pennypacker
Bob Zarling
They may not have been able to celebrate together, all involved in fulfilling PDG David's dream should have great satisfaction in knowing that thousands they will never see will have a better life because of their generosity.  
Highlights of December 3 Zoom Meeting
While members were visiting prior to the meeting being called to order, they learned a few things about each other.
  • Allan and Polly Cady took a 20-minute taxi ride in Mexico.  The driver told them the cost of the ride would be a million pesos.  Allan wasn't sure what that would convert to in dollars, but asked how much the ride would cost in dollars and was told $55.  He later learned that the driver was more than a little off with his math.  A million pesos would convert to approximately $50,000.  When asked where they were in Mexico, Allan responded that they visited San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula.  He 
  • John Pennypacker announced they have extended the deadline for early registration for the RI convention in Tai Pei.  He was also happy to see Pam, as she was going to help him during his presentation by turning his slides for him.
  • Dan hopes that Rotary International does not cancel the Tai Pei convention.  Their son went to Taiwan on his Youth Exchange and Dan and Colleen visited him while he was there.  They would love to go back.
  • Frank Rosenberg was present and enjoying the meting from his patio.  He said that he hasn't been able to attend our zoom meetings as he has to decide whether to eat or attend our meeting.  Eating always won, but he had eaten earlier so was finally available.  In addition to his CPR and other medical-related training business, he started a carpet cleaning company last summer.  Between the two, he is staying very busy.
  • Polly Cade said that Colin Nagle, their friend from New Zealand will be coming to spend three days with them on their boat in San Diego.  They are planning to have Christmas on the boat.  They will also spend some time with him in Las Vegas.  Then, mid January, another exciting visitor will arrive for a visit.
  • Allan told about some equipment in the hotel they visited in Cabo.  They had one piece as you entered about the size of a phone booth that you had to enter, get your temperature taken electronically, then walk on through.  Then you entered another piece of equipment of similar size where you turned around while you were sprayed with disinfectant.  You had to go through both before entering the building.  He said they looked like vry expensive pieces of equipment and estimated their cost at $50,000.
  • Frank Rosenberg said he has a hand-held mister-fogger that does the same thing and says it was pretty affordable.
  • Ray Smith and Wendell Jones were together at Wendell's home for the meeting.  Ray said that Wendell won't let him in unless he brings lunch and Wendell said that was only half true because what Ray didn't add was the money that changes hands.
Call to Order - President Dan Coons
At 12:01 President Dan Coons called the meeting to order and recited the theme for the year - "Rotary Opens Opportunities." He also repeated the Rotary Vision Statement.  He asked Wendell Jones to offer the invocation.
Rotary Minute - Shelly Romine
Shelly began her presentation by suggesting members log into the Rotary website -  Once signed in, members can see some statistics about Mesa West Rotary.  
She said that one of the top priorities of Rotary is to grow and diversify so we can do more.  It is a high enough priority that an official Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) statement has been developed:
As a global network that strives to build a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change, Rotary values diversity and celebrates the contributions of people of all backgrounds, regardless of their age, ethnicity, race, color, abilities, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
Rotary will cultivate a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture in which people from underrepresented groups have greater opportunities to participate as members and leaders.
Shelly said that Mesa West has some work to do.  Statistics on the RI website about our club indicate that only 29% of our members are female, while our district has 33% female membership.  We also have a majority of members over age 60 with 70+ being our largest age group.  Although our members who are 70+ are probably the most engaged, it is important for the future of the club to continue to grow a more diverse membership including younger members.
What we can do:
  • Make club more accessible by identifying things that are barriers to people joining and come up with flexible ideas to overcome.
  • Create a Diversity and inclusion action plan with defined activities to achieve it.
  • Connect with local organizations that are supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and work with them on projects or events.
  • Encourage club members to take the Building a Diverse Club course in the Learning Center to learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion.  This can be found on 
Shelly said it is not enough to invite people from diverse backgrounds to our meetings and events.  We need to include them in club planning and decision making and value their contributions.  "Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance."
Happy Dollars - Greg Okonowski
  • Frank Rosenberg (after a nudge from Greg) pledged $50 toward his Paul Harris for his coming 45th birthday.
  • Jeanie Morgan pledged $5 - happy to know that her granddaughter who contacted COVID is on the mend.
  • Allan Cady mentioned their Rotary friend from Mexico, Omar Falcon Aburto, had sent their daughter Valaria to stay with Allan and Polly for six weeks.  Valaria will be coming back mid January and will stay for another six weeks studying remotely using her laptop.  Allan pledged $10 happy to be at the meeting and happy to announce he already has six of eight captains identified for the Sponsorship Program Steak and Beans competition.  So far, Chuck Flint, Terry Diedrick, Brian Goetzenberger, Greg Okonowski, Steve Ross, and Tim Troy have all agreed to lead teams.
  • Jack Rosenberg pledged $50 toward Frank's Paul Harris to celebrate Frank's birthday.
  • Steve Ross pledged $5 to point out that where all could see Pam Cohen's picture on the Zoom screen, it appropriately showed her name as "Mesa West Rotary."
  • Chris Krueger was happy to finally have her dad here in Arizona.  Flying here with him was quite an adventure.  Their flight from Omaha to Phoenix was cancelled because the plane had mechanical problems.  Instead they were flown to Chicago where they had a layover.  They finally got into Phoenix about 11:00 PM.  
  • Ron Thompson was happy to be able to attend the meeting.
  • Pam Cohen was happy to have enjoyed a very nice, with careful social-distancing Thanksgiving with her with Alex and Wilder.
  • Ray Smith pledged $5 to pick on Colleen Coons for being the best-dressed gardener he'd ever seen  at the recent volunteer opportunity at St. Vinny's Urban Garden.  He also picked on John Pennypacker for being unrecognizable when he arrived looking like a bum, but carried his weight very well - even enduring a fight with a rooster - while working with Ray cleaning out the chicken coop.  
  • Wendell Jones pledged $35.  He had 35 kids and grandkids at his place for Thanksgiving.  The bouncy houses and golf cart provided tons of fun for the kids!
  • Polly Cady was happy with the opportunities created by Rotary to have friends from throughout the world.  They will soon be seeing Rotary connections from Mexico and New Zealand.
  • John Pennypacker pledged $20 because he'd had his battery checked and was good for another 12 years.  He was also happy that Lew Holtz received the Medal of Freedom award.  One of John's favorite memories was wisdom from one of Lew Holtz' many inspirational speeches - to make a happy life, you need:  
    • Something to do
    • Something to believe in (cause or church)
    • Someone to love
    • Something to hope for
  • Melodie Jackson was happy to have worked and visited with Rod Daniels at the Salvation Army kettle.
  • Colleen Coons pledged $25 for the compliment about her fashion statement at the gardening event.  She also enjoys Ray and Wendell's friendship which goes back to their childhood.  She thanked John Pennypacker for keeping UPS in business.  She also celebrated being Dan's wife and getting to serve as Mesa West's First Lady.  She closed her comments wishing Frank Rosenberg a Happy Birthday.
  • Chuck Flint said one might not know that Wendell and Ray were childhood friends, but it might be apparent that they enjoy their long lost childhood.  He pledged $10 for the four shifts covered by Tim Troy, Wendell and Ray, niece Pat, and Steve West on the day that he had committed to fill.  He also asked for Wendell and Ray to sing for the club the Salvation Army duet they supposedly sang while ringing the bell.  
  • Dan Coons pledged $10 - glad he got to see Melodie and commenting that bell-ringing this year has been very heartwarming as he's seen Rotarians and their friends step up to fill the vacancies soon after Don LaBarge sends out an urgent request.  He was also proud of Colleen for being so cheerful, which was surprising considering she'd had a root canal that morning.
  • Lola McClane pledged $5 for the very enjoyable Thanksgiving she enjoyed with her daughter who had come to Arizona from Fort Worth with her significant other.  It was a very pleasant time.
  • Salvation Army Bell Ringing - members were encouraged to check their e-mail regularly in case Don LaBarge has broadcast a need for help filling shifts.
  • Mesa west Rotary will be dark - NO MEETINGS December 24 and December 31.
  • Carla Krzmaric to be inducted Saturday, December 5 at Pam Cohens house.
  • Calling program to Help Connect Those in Need With Valuable Resources.  Shelly and Pam are doing it and hope others will join them.
Program - John Pennypacker - The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona
Jeanie Morgan introduced John Pennypacker telling about the several occasions she had witnessed his intentional generosity.  She said that John was the first to take advantage of the recurring donation opportunity offered on the on-line donation form available through the website of The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA).  There are now four who take advantage of the painless way to give and they are all Mesa West Rotarians.  As a Past District Governor in our District, John is part of a cadre of PDG's who have agreed to take the TRVFA message to clubs throughout our District.  Jeanie was glad to have a PDG and good friend make the presentation at her own club.  John doesn't just talk about supporting TRVFA - he is a loyal, reliable donor.
John first shared some history about TRVFA.  Thirty years ago, some visionary Rotarians in the Phoenix Rotary 100 club had a dream that would involve Rotarians throughout the entire state of Arizona.  They identified some key steps they would have to take to realize that dream.  They would need to incorporate, apply to IRS for non-profit status, get approval to receive donations that would qualify for State of Arizona's tax credit.  They went one step further, they applied for and were sanctioned by the board of Rotary International to be an on-going multi-district project.  Their stated purpose then remains the purpose to this day - to life people out of poverty through vocational education.
The founders had an optimistic vision believing Rotarians would support and Rotarian accountants would encourage clients to support TRVFA.
The less romantic reality is that under 10% of Rotarians in Arizona support TRVFA.  Ethics restrains accountants from advocating.  Unfortunately, Rotarians rarely include TRVFA when talking to friends, family, and associates about Rotary.
John provided some information about the process.  Generally, a counsellor at school or institution offering vocational education lets a student in need know about the grants available through TRVFA and suggests they go to to read the qualifications and if they meet the criteria, use the on-line application to apply for their grant.  TRVFA grant application processing will review the application to make sure the program of study is one that is supported by TRVFA and that they meet the residency requirements.  They also ask the student to submit standard documentation to verify the student meets specific low-income guidelines.
Once the application has passed all the measurable criteria, the student is referred to an Arizona Rotary Club so they can consider being a sponsoring club for a TRVFA grant.  Being a sponsoring club does not mean the club has financial responsibility for making the grant.  What sponsoring clubs are asked to do is interview the student to determine if the student is motivated, likely to complete the program, and is the vocation likely to be a good fit.  The Rotarians interviewing the grant applicants also try to gain a sense of whether the student has a realistic life plan.  Following the interview, the club makes their recommendation to TRVFA.  Brian Goetzenberger, Vocational Service Chair for Mesa West, told of a recent interview with Elizabeth (whose photo is inserted).  She had been working in a medical office, but was let go when traffic in their office slowed down because of COVID-related fears.  She saw that the need for phlebotomists was growing and was very motivated to get started in the  Phlebotomy program she found at Arizona Technical Training Institute.  Brian said they were very impressed with her in her interview, which was handled remotely,  and were happy to approve Mesa West as her sponsoring club.  Elizabeth's grant was funded December 1.
Jeanie inserted that being interviewed by Rotarians, who are established leaders, and having those who interviewed them agree to sponsor their grant is a gift that most do not fully understand.  When you have existed in poverty, having leaders believe in you, provides an unimaginable boost to the applicant's ability to believe in themselves.  That belief in the applicant is a large part of what will drive their success.  Tahlonie, who was sponsored by Mesa Rotary, recently sent this statement to TRVFA:  "In February of 2020, immediately before COVID-19 took over our lives like a whirlwind, I was privileged to receive a Rotary Vocational Grant. I attended Arizona Medical Training Institute’s CNA program. I am proud to report that I completed the program in March 2020, gained my CNA certification through the State of Arizona and am currently attending school to become a Registered Nurse, which I am set to complete in 08/2021. It has been my dream to be a nurse for as long as I could remember. This would not have been possible without the faith that the members of the Mesa Rotary Club had in me and my dreams, and the kind donation that they made through the grant sponsorship. I hope this is a testimony to their generosity and to those looking to do the same, it is very possible and there are people out there who will help you. Thank you Mesa Rotary Club!"
Among the thinks TRVFA would like to see from sponsoring Rotary clubs is that they develop and maintain relationship with the students they sponsor.  They can add them as subscribers to their club newsletter.  They can seek input from the student on a variety of topics - from needs they see in the community to how to attract and retain younger Rotarians.  Some students might be willing to help with service projects.  Some may eventually become Rotarians and encourage their children to be in Interact. 
TRVFA has some current limitations that prevent them from being all that the original founders envisioned.  In 2018, demand for grants had grown faster than income and the maximum available grant was reduced from $3,000 to $2,000 in order to serve the needs of more students.  In 2019-20, there was a period where the budget had been entirely spent and they had to stop accepting applications for an earlier start date than July 1.  The demand for vocational education is growing.  College graduates are saddled with higher and higher student debt.
Additional donations are needed.  Growth in donations would allow restoration of the former $3,000 maximum available grant.  Increased funding would ensure that no qualified applicant would be turned away because of budget constraints.  Additional funding would help TRVFA help more students lift themselves out of poverty and help Arizona recover from our forever-changed economy.  John spoke about Jennifer, who was sponsored by Mesa West for a grant in May of 2019.  Jennifer studied to be an LPN at East Valley Technical Institute.  Once she had that certification, her hourly wage went up by $7/00 per hour allowing her to move with her children into their own place where she could take care of all their daily living needs, and even enabled her to allow her daughter to follow her dream of taking riding lessons.
Mesa West has an admirable track record compared to other clubs in the state.  In 2017-18 the giving from members exceeded all other clubs in the state with a total of $11,825.  Total club giving that year was topped by only one other club  - a much larger club - because their club foundation also donated to TRVFA.  The next two years, giving from Mesa West members was in the $6,500 range - place us at 5th in total giving each of those years.  Year to date, we have a higher percentage of members supporting TRVRA with 21% of our members having given already this fiscal year.
Being one of the best doesn't mean we can be complacent.  There are ways that support from Mesa West can improve.
  • Have a dedicated committee to maintain contact with grant recipients sponsored by Mesa West
  • Have a dedicated committee to interview applicants
  • Consider club foundation donation(s) to TRVFA
    • Possibly match donations of members
    • Possible budgeted giving in future
  • Broaden understanding of members
  • Advocate for support from others
  • Other ways members can support
    • IRA withdrawals to TRVFA
    • Private foundations support TRVFA
John wrapped up by encouraging members to read the informative article in the December 2 Messenger, which was actually an insert of the TRVFA December 1 Donor Newsletter.  He also encouraged members to give.  With the tax credit, you can recover your donation.  if you can help lift someone out of poverty without it costing a cent in the long run, why would anyone not do it?  Bob Zarling testified about how simple it is to DONATE ONLINE.  He signed up for a recurring donation while John was still presenting.
Something to Ponder
"My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others.
Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?"
 – Bob Hope
Today's Chuckle
Are these dogs named Wendell and Ray?
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
Dec 17, 2020
Club Assembly
Dec 24, 2020
We will be dark - no meeting
Dec 31, 2020
We will be dark - no meeting
Jan 07, 2021
Financial Planning and Investing
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Monthly Board Meeting
Dec 15, 2020
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Dec 17, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Dec 24, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Dec 31, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Jan 07, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Jan 14, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Monthly Board Meeting
Jan 19, 2021
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Jan 21, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Jan 28, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Feb 04, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Brian Harvey
December 5
Terry Diedrick
December 21
Chris Krueger
December 22
Frank Rosenberg
December 23
Ron Thompson
December 31
Spouse Birthdays
Luin Ross
December 15
Frank Rosenberg
December 23
Geoff White
Andrea White
December 5
Allan Cady
Polly Cady
December 28
Erica Williams
Scott Williams
December 28
Polly Cady
Allan Cady
December 28
Ray Smith
Vickie Smith
December 28
Join Date
Jeanie Morgan
December 1, 1994
26 years
Ted L. Williams
December 1, 1973
47 years
Don LaBarge
December 4, 1994
26 years
Karen Chavez
December 4, 2014
6 years
Frank Rosenberg
December 17, 2009
11 years
Bob Jensen
December 18, 2007
13 years
Ron Thompson
December 18, 1997
23 years
Lu General
December 19, 1996
24 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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