Club Information
Welcome to our Rotary Club of Mesa West!
Mesa West
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Via Zoom or in-person
Doubletree, 1011 W Holmes
Mesa, AZ 85210
United States of America
Our hybrid meetings are held weekly on the 1st thru 4th Thursdays of each month. The meetings are broadcast via Zoom to include all, whether attending virtually or in person.
District Site
Venue Map
November 18 - Offsite Mystery Meeting - NO ZOOM
If you missed turning in your box lunch order, you are welcome to bring your own lunch and attend our Mystery Meeting.   
For those attending the meeting, don't forget to bring a lawn chair when you depart, headed for 
2056 W Judd Road
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Check your GPS and allow plenty of time to arrive and get settled by noon!
For those who normally attend our meetings via Zoom, we sincerely apologize, but it simply will not be possible to broadcast this meeting.
THIS SATURDAY - Learn about The Rotary Foundation
Charlie Tegarden, Foundation Chair for District 5495 has announced an amazing educational opportunity to take place the morning of Saturday, November 20.  It is free.  You don't have to leave home. 
See the schedule shown under the image, and plan to log into the sessions covering subjects you would like to know more about.  Whether you are a relatively new Rotarian or someone who has been in Rotary for decades, you would probably have to fall asleep to not learn something new or take away a clearer understanding.  Encourage your close family members to tune in with you, but be careful - they may wonder why you haven't been giving more to support our amazing tool for doing good in the world!
(Two Simultaneous Training Tracks - Login to the Sessions of your choice).
9:00am - 9:50am
Rotary Foundation 101 - Part I
Meeting ID: 891 2797 4756
Peace Scholars Program
Meeting ID: 894 6159 3204
9:50AM - 10:00AM  Break
10:00AM - 10:50AM
Rotary Foundation 101 - Part II
Meeting ID: 891 2797 4756
Global Grants 101 - Part I
Meeting ID: 894 6159 3204
10:50AM - 11:00AM   Break
11:00AM - 11:50AM
PolioPlus 101
Meeting ID: 891 2797 4756
Global Grants 101 - Part II
Meeting ID: 894 6159 3204
Salvation Army Dinner
Bob Zarling reports Mesa West Rotary has a table for eight to be filled with "first-come, first-serve" members of our club who would like to attend the Mesa Salvation Army's Bell-Ringing Season Kickoff Dinner on Tuesday, November 30 at 6:00 PM.  The dinner will be held at the Mesa Corps facility at 241 E 6th St in Mesa.  You won't have to pay for your seat at the table, but you might want to be prepared to be generous as they kick off their season of giving.
If you are interested in attending the dinner. CLICK HERE to email Bob.
No Regular Meeting November 25 - HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Together in Tucson - 2022 Zone Institute
Three Mesa West Rotarians were in Tucson last week for the first in-person Zone Institute since COVID isolation began in the spring of 2020.  Lucinda General, as a Zone Coordinator, was constantly on duty.  John Pennypacker arrived Wednesday, November 10 to participate in Council on Legislation Training.  Jeanie Morgan arrived Thursday evening to enjoy the fellowship and inspiration of the Institute.
A common thread throughout all topics was the need to
  • Increase our impact
  • Expand our reach
  • Enhance participant engagement
  • Increase our ability to Adapt
Rotary International President, Shekar Mehta, participated in a panel discussing his initiative of empowering girls.  Those participating heard about now important it is to know how to tell our own story.  We each have a unique story about our Rotary experience and should share it.
Rotary strongly believes that to grow Rotary, we need to emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Speakers and panelists provided very good information on this topic.  
In order to do more, we need to grow Rotary.  "Each one reach one" was commonly heard throughout the event.
Our District Governor Line were in Tucson the entire week for their training.  Friday evening culminated in a graduation celebration of the class of 2022-23 District Governors.  Larry Horton, who will govern 5495 next year is beaming in the photo taken at the Mardi-Gras themed graduation dinner Saturday night.  
Highlights of November 11 Meeting
Welcome - President Dan Coons
After welcoming everyone and introducing himself, President Dan reminded everyone of the 2021-22 Rotary International theme - Serve to Change Lives.  He then recited the Rotary Vision Statement:
Together we see a world where people unite and 
take action to create lasting change - 
across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.
Invocation and Pledge
PDG Don LaBarge had arranged for a prayer offered aboard the USS Forrestal following the 1967 disaster on the ship to be played for the invocation.  CLICK HERE for the documentary video.  The prayer is at 36:35 into the video.  Logan Harper led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Introduction of Guests
  • Jeane Crouse introduced her cousin, Marc Hunt.  Marc resides in both Mesa and in Georgia, and has turned in his application to be a member of Mesa West.
  • Jim McGown introduced his guest, Dennis Hawley.
  • Warren Williamson introduced his guest, Keith Hong.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck asked Ed Koeneman to draw the winning raffle ticket.  The ticket drawn belonged to Ron Thompson, making him the automatic winner of the small pot, but when he attempted to draw the Ace of Clubs, he missed by a lot - the card he drew was the Jack of Diamonds, which was immediately destroyed.  The odds of winning keep getting better and the large pot keeps getting larger...
Auction Items
  • Jim Schmidt had some sweets from New Orleans to auction.  Dan Coons' bid of $35 made him the lucky winner.
  • Guest, Marc Hunt had some "Best that Georgia Offers" in the way of jams, jellies and preserves to auction.  Greg Okonowski made the top bid of  $30.00, which allowed him to take those goodies home to his family.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski
  • Ed Koeneman and Jack Rosenberg were both happy with the sales made at the art fair they had participated in the prior weekend.
  • Jeane Crouse was happy to have met Ted Williams' stepdaughter, Britney, who was off of oxygen long enough to come in before the meeting to be introduced.
  • Dick Myren made his usual $2 "Ace of Clubs" donation for himself and Rod Daniels.
  • Ron Thompson was happy to have won the raffle.
  • Polly Cady was happy to have been chair of another successful Rotary Leadership Institute event on Saturday, November 6.  Lola McClane finished her third session, so is now a graduate.  Logan Harper attended Session I, and Colleen Coons attended Session II.  Pam Cohen and  Jeanie Morgan both served as facilitators.
  • Allan Cady was happy to be able to deliver the nine promised books written by Judge Tommy Webb - "Running Away and Finding Home."  He was also happy to have had the privilege to introduce Judge Webb at the Chandler Horizon Rotary Club where he recently presented their program.
  • Dan Coons reminded members of the district's planned Rotary Foundation Celebration luncheon to be held Sunday, November 21.  He suggested that if members plan to attend they carpool to the west valley for the event.
  • Colleen Coons announced a service opportunity that can be done from the comfort of home - tutoring 3rd grade students in reading through Vello.  During COVID isolation Sharon Boucher and a few other members had participated, but at that time it was being done via Zoom and the technology was hit and miss about being dependable.  It should be a much for satisfying experience now.
  • Dave Brauchler introduced Sean Green, a young man whose profession is video marketing.  Sean knows he wants to be a Rotarian, and is very close to narrowing down his choice of clubs to the Ace of Clubs - Mesa West Rotary.
Program - Don LaBarge - USS Forrestal
Since it was Veterans' Day, Don began by asking other veterans in the room to stand to be recognized for their service.
Don graduated from high school in 1966.  He had attended Catholic grade school and high school.  In those days, young men were subject to the draft.  They only had a two-year commitment to military service if drafted, and a four-year commitment if enlisted.  The choices of how one would serve were more attractive if enlisted.  All the boys on his street enlisted.  Don's father was in World War II.  His grandfather was in World War I & II.  Don decided to join the Navy.  He did so while just a junior, but did not have to enter the service until he had graduated.  
Don's boot camp was in Chicago.  When he enlisted, Don had said he wanted to be a nuclear power tech.  When he took the test in boot camp to qualify for that path, he failed - ending his nuclear career.  After boot camp, he was assigned to the USS Forrestal - a warship.  He had really lost status when he failed the nuclear test.  His first assignment on the ship was below deck peeling potatoes for the small city of 5,000 on board the ship.  He eventually was elevated to the log room where they were charged with verifying the accuracy of everything that needed to be accounted for.  Years later, his commanding officer came with his grandson to Phoenix for a visit with Don.
They spent some time on board the ship in the Atlantic in the Guantanamo Bay area where the crew was trained in many areas including weapons and firefighting.  After the training, the ship headed for Viet Nam.  Their planned stop in Cape Town was declined by authorities there forcing a change of plans with a stop at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Don said this was the best stop he ever made and has always wanted to go back.  The ship then became part of the Pacific Fleet and headed for Viet Nam.  They arrived in Viet Nam with 92 aircraft on board.  On July 29 at 10:52 AM, the plane behind John McCain's plane hit his causing a missile to fire beginning a series of unstoppable actions and reactions.
CLICK HERE to see the You Tube Video shared by Don for this meeting.  It was a good watch at the meeting, but taking time to watch it quietly in the privacy of your own home will allow a thoughtful appreciation of what our heroes faced on that dreadful day.
John McCain ejected and was saved by the fire crew.  One of the firemen who saved him died shortly afterword.  John McCain survived a lot - the crash on the USS Forrestal, being a prisoner of war, and skin cancer.  The fire on the deck of the ship lasted four hours.  The ship was 22 stories high.  It took four days to get fuel out.  Steel was fuel for fire.
Only 1,000 of the 5,000 on board were available to fight the fire.  The rest were on lock down. 70 men died in their berths.
USS Forrestal was in repair for two years before it limped back to Norfolk with only one motor working on the starboard side at a speed of 15 knots.  Don was then ordered to report to the River Rats where he spent twelve months in Viet Nam.  He said that between the Forrestal, River Rats, and his time on the Phoenix Police Department, he has spent much of his life in danger.
The USS Forrestal was eventually sold for one cent.  The crew tried to buy it.  Don is a proud plank owner.  He has a small piece of the damaged plank, which he says has a value of $200.
Something to Ponder
Today's Chuckle
The Big Four - Ways to Support Rotary in Mesa West
As Rotarians, we are regularly exposed to opportunities to support various causes with our time, talent and treasure.  Sometimes it is hard to sift through all the information and decide where we are going to use our available financial resources. 
It would be wonderful if every Arizona Rotarian would make the following BIG FOUR their Rotary charities of choice and support every one of them every year, we could make a bigger difference than we are making today.
  1. The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Annual Fund - The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world."  Giving a small amount each month adds up.  CLICK HERE to download a form you can use to sign up for Rotary Direct, electing "Annual Fund - Share" for your recurring donation.  
  2. The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Polio Plus - Rotary's commitment to eradicate polio is so well known and respected that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matches donations $2 for $1.  To take advantage of this opportunity to multiply the effect of your giving, CLICK HERE and download a second Rotary Direct form, this time electing electing "Polio Eradication" for your recurring donations.  Those who donate $100 or more annually to Polio Plus qualify in District 5495 as Polio Plus Society Members.  If you would like to make that commitment, CLICK HERE to download the commitment form.
  3. The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA) provides vocational education grants to Arizona Residents who meet specific low-income guidelines.   The grants enable the recipients to lift themselves out of poverty, benefitting themselves, their families and the economy of our state.  TRVFA is a 501(c)(3) charity.  They also are a Qualifying Charitable Organization for Arizona Tax Credit Donations.  Their QCO Code is 20698.  Many Arizona Rotarians say giving to TRVFA is a "no brainer."  If you can help someone lift themselves out of poverty and it won't end up costing you anything why would you not do it?  Mesa West Rotary has the highest number of members who have signed up for automated monthly recurring donations by electing that option on the "Donate Now" button on the TRVFA website.  Click the image to learn more or CLICK HERE to DONATE NOW.  
  4. Mesa West Rotary Foundation, Inc. is the funding and fundraising arm of our own Mesa West Rotary Club.  It is a 501(c)(3) charity.  We have had successful sponsorship campaigns the last few years enabling us to spend our energy on service rather than on holding fundraising events.  Charitable grants that we get involved with are funded through our charitable foundation, Our signature Gift of Hearing Project in Guaymas Mexico is funded through this foundation.  Scholarships are awarded annually to Westwood High School Students (the high school where Mesa West Rotary sponsors an Interact Club).  Funds are used to support a variety of activities in four of the Rotary Avenues of Service:
    1. Community Service
    2. International Service 
    3. Vocational Service
    4. Youth Service
The process isn't quite automated at this point in time, but we hope it soon will be.  For now, you can email our executive secretary who can help you work out a recurring donation plan should you wish to make that arrangement to support our own club's charitable activity.
Nov 25, 2021
There will be no in-person meeting of Mesa West Rotary
Dec 02, 2021
New Member
Dec 09, 2021
Transitioning to Assisted Living
Dec 30, 2021
We will be dark - Mesa West Rotary does not meet on the 5th Thursday of any month
View entire list
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Membership Dir "23
Community Service Dir. '22
Vocational Dir '22
Foundation Dir. '23
Public Image Dir. '23
Fundraising Chair
Co Sergeant. At Arms
TRF Chair
Vocational Service Chair
Youth Services Co-Chair
Youth Services Co-Chair
Executive Secretary
Upcoming Events
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Nov 25, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Dec 02, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Dec 09, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Dec 16, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Dec 23, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Dec 30, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Jan 06, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Jan 13, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Jan 20, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Kayla Mudge
November 12
Keith Deering
November 24
Shane Buntrock
November 28
Spouse Birthdays
Chris LaBarge
November 21
Chris Krueger
Mike Krueger
November 8
Don Boucher
Sharon Boucher
November 15
Erwin Reimann
Joan Reimann
November 25
Joan Reimann
Erwin Reimann
November 25
Join Date
Alex Cohen
November 1, 2016
5 years
Dick Myren
November 1, 1970
51 years
Pai Bethea
November 1, 1977
44 years
Wayne General
November 1, 2016
5 years
John Bethea
November 4, 2014
7 years
Geoff White
November 13, 2001
20 years
John Benedict
November 21, 2000
21 years
Rodney Daniels
November 30, 2003
18 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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