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
Irish Blessing for Friends
Highlights of March 11 Meeting
As has become customary, President Dan opened the Zoom platform at 11:15 so members and guests could enjoy some casual conversation prior to the meeting actually starting.  
Visiting Rotarian Tom Yuzer had a zoom background which was a photo he had taken while hiking on a trail near the Bush Highway.  Mentioning hiking sparked a conversation from others who enjoy hiking as well as some of the Arizona hazards one might encounter like rattle snakes, scorpions and spiders.
Colleen Coons reported that she is really enjoying retirement.  She has her second COVID vaccination scheduled.  John Pennypacker indicated she should be careful.  He sometimes finds himself so busy in retirement he doesn't know how he ever found time to go to work.
Members who had arrived early were happy to see Darl Anderson when he arrived on the Zoom platform.  
President Dan opened the meeting at Noon by reciting the 2020-21 Rotary International President's theme - Rotary Opens Opportunities followed by the RI 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
Thought for the Day - John Pennypacker
In recognition of International Women's Day which was celebrated March 8, John had a background collage of women of Mesa West Rotary and other women he has met through Rotary as he shared his thought.  He recalled being at a Rotary International event when Past International President Ron Burton said, "You men are stupid - get women in your clubs!  They get stuff done."  John believes PRIP Burton was right.  
John continued by sharing the following information utilizing some information shared by PDG Gary Whiting on the Sun Lakes Rotary Club Facebook page on March 8:
Women became a part of the Rotary International organization on May 4, 1987 and over these past 34 years women account for about 27% of the membership or about 338,000 women members around the world and still growing.  The Mesa West Rotary Club women account for 26% of the membership.  
We celebrate all women in Rotary around the world and the many women members of the Mesa West Rotary Club.  We encourage women to come for visit and consider joining our Mesa West Rotary Club where together we can make a greater impact on improving our community and education through projects and programs.  Visit our website: and see where your knowledge and skills can be shared in Service Above Self.
We celebrate  all women in Rotary around the world and the many women members of the Mesa West Rotary Club.  Encourage women to attend and join.
Introduction of Guests
  • Polly Cady reminded everyone of Allan's recent story about his "other brother," an individual they go fishing with every year. Polly's guest, Kayla Mudge is the other brother's daughter.  Kayla lives in the Scottsdale area.  She is going to help paint at the 7th Street Food Pantry project.  Kayla is an attorney currently working in the car industry, but looking to change.
  • Tom Yuzer - visiting Rotarian
  • Dan Lamborn - membership application in process
  • Juli Kelly - membership application in process
  • Robin Harris - former member with membership application in process
  • Tara Sundham - Speaker from Hushabye Nursery
Rotary Minute - Darl Anderson
Darl began his presentation by saying he has attended many Rotary clubs over the years.  None of the clubs has ever been as active as our Mesa West Rotary Club.  He communicated his compliments to both the club leaders and members.
One of the many projects that we sponsor is a micro-credit lending project.  The project mission is making very small loans to very poor women who have no credit.  The goal is to raise the standard of living for poor families.  He said that in 1979 Mohammed Yunus in Bangladesh after a devastating typhoon hit the country loaned to women in rural areas with no credit experience at all and experienced a 99.6% repayment rate.  He received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.  He believed all human beings are born entrepreneurs.
The project Mesa West is involved with began in Hermosillo, Mexico in 2015.  The Hermasillo Pitic Rotary Club is the host club.  Initially, the San Tan Rotary Club was the International Club.  When that club shut down, in 2018 Mesa West Rotary elected to step up and become the International Club so the project could continue.  In microcredit lending, a perpetual loan fund is used, repaid and re-loaned.  The original grant amount was $84,000 and has been accounted for in pesos ever since.  Individual District Clubs contributed $28,000 (none from Mesa West) with District matching funds of $21,000 and matching Rotary International funds of $35,000.  Darl said the clubs work through an intermediary financial organization - Fin Reg. 
Pam Cohen, and Chris Krueger serve with Darl on the club's microcredit committee.  They make oversight visits, and perform audits.  On one oversight trip, Darl made a formal audit which included interviewing the agents of FinReg (the financial intermediary) as well as 30 families representing our many borrowers.  He heard first-hand about the differences which resulted in their quality of life because of the loans they received.  
Our grant amount sustains no losses because delinquencies over 120 days are reimbursed by the financial intermediary and relent.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski
  • Darl Anderson pledged $10 for the computer glitches he experienced when he first logged into the Zoom platform.
  • Colleen Coons - $10 - she is happy to report she doesn't need Allan Cady's course on how to enjoy retirement.
  • Pam Cohen - Pledged $100 thanking Darl for reporting on the Microcredit which touches at least five areas of focus and is highly sustainable.
  • Bob Zarling pledged $10.  He had an opportunity to visit Microcredit a couple of years ago with Pam Cohen and Barb Feder.  The program opens doors of opportunity.
  • Joan Reimann pledged $5 celebrating their great grandson's second birthday on March 11.
  • Polly Cady pledged $10 for the privilege of introducing Kayla Mudge to Mesa West Rotary, and another $10 for prospective members in attendance and to thank John Pennypacker for talking about Women in Rotary.
  • Jim Schmidt pledged $10 celebrating that in 1987 women became part of Rotary and another $100 because he really appreciates Darl's work on microcredit and so many potential members.
  • Dick Myren announced he had mailed a contribution of $136 to the Mesa West Rotary Foundation with $85 celebrating his recent 85th birthday and $56 celebrating the 56 years of being a Rotarian.
  • John Pennypacker pledged $100 to the sponsorship campaign using part of the refund he received for the cancelled Rotary International convention.
  • Greg Okonowski pledged $50 to be paid if/when Kayla completes a membership application.
  • Chris Krueger announced that membership is down in our Rotary District.  We have experienced 75 losses due to death of the Rotarians and about half of those losses have been COVID-related.  The good news is that membership retention in our District is at an all-time high.
  • Shelly Romine reminded members of the service project the weekend of March 19-22 at the 7th Street Food Pantry where our own Greg Okonowski serves on the board.  It is an old liquor store which now gives out food.  It is near the senior center and vet center.  Old flooring will be removed, new flooring installed and the interior will be painted.  On Friday, our club will provide labor to remove the old flooring.  Those need to be hardy people as it will be hard, dirty work.  Interior painting will take place Saturday, Sunday, and will wrap up Monday if not finished at end of day on Sunday.  VOLUNTEERS are needed - see separate article in Messenger to sign up.
  • Project ideas for Rotary Week of Service in April were requested.
Program - Tara Sundham - Hushabye Nursery
Lola McClane introduced our speaker:   Tara Sundem, Executive Director at Hushabye Nursery.  As a neonatal nurse practitioner, Tara brings over 28 years of experience caring for babies in the neonatal intensive care unit.  She was drawn to babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome with the opioid epidemic.  Her passion to transform the healthcare experience for the babies and their families has led to her founding Hushabye Nursery, an Arizona non-profit dedicated to caring for opiate-exposed newborns in their first weeks of life.  
Tara's career in healthcare has spanned across the valley neonatal intensive care units.  She most recently served as Executive Director at Hushabye Nursery.  Under Tara's leadership, Hushabye Nursery has grown from an idea to "save the babies" in 2016 to a new care model serving the entire family system impacted by the opioid crisis starting prenatally and continuing after discharge from the hospital.  Tara holds a Master of Science from Arizona State University and is a board-certified Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.  She lives in Gilbert with her husband, two sons and a dog.
CLICK HERE to download the slides used during the presentation
In 2016  there were up to ten infants at a time in withdrawal in the neonatal intentive care, and it was clear the infants did better with some circumstances and caregivers than others.  Tara heard about a program where these babies were taken to a private space of their own.  Hushabye Nursery now has thier own 12-bed facility.
Every day in Arizona, an average of two babies are born passively dependent in Arizona.  Some suffer intensively.  
She shared some statistics about the opioid epidemic in Arizona.  The United States consumes 80% of the global opiod supply.  four out of five new heroin users start by misusing prescription painkillers.  More than two Arizonans die each day from an opioid overdose.  Four out of ten Arizona adults know someone addicted to prescription painkillers.  431 million opiod pills were prescribed in 2016 - enough for every Arizonan to have a two-and-a-half week supply.  Drug overdoses take more lives than car crashes in Arizona.  In the last five years 86% of persons who dies from an opoid-related cause were using multiple substances.  Addiction to prescribed painkillers is not talked about as much as it should be.
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a condition experienced by an infant after birth due to sudden discontinuation of exposure to certain drugs such as opioids which were used by their mother during pregnancy.  Whether the drugs are legal or illegal, the baby goes through withdrawal.  NAS withdrawal  symptoms are similar to those of adults going through withdrawal and can last up to a year.
If care starts prenatally, hope is improved.  When meeting a mother-to-be for the first time, Tara sincerely and enthusiastically congratulates her for being a good mom because she is taking action to do something protect the life and health of her child.  The act of contratulating the mom breaks down walls and begins building trust.  There are several things that are actionable.  The mother can be connected with nonjudgmental care providers.  They can take birthing classes.  Safety monitors - individuals who are willing and close to the mother - who will offer stability and monitor what is going on so withdrawal symptoms and interventions can be effectively managed.  Breastfeeding is encouraged.  
Since 2019, they have been working with moms prenatally.  DPS wants children to be safe.  Parents want health and safety for their children and want to be with them.  A collaborative effort to take advantage of the Hushabye program keeps the children out of the foster care system.
Management of NAS that is non-pharmacological are aving the parents involved as possible.  The highly stressed babies do better if the stimulation in their environment is decreased in q quiet space with lights turned down low.  Skin to skin touching is therapeutic, so rooming-in or nesting so touch is readily available is beneficial.  Small, frequent feedings in warmed bottles is the next-best thing to breastfeeding, which is strongly encouraged if not contraindicated.  Infant massage is utilized as is the use of warm compresses on their tummies.  Biology has healing effects.  Simple things to do, but can make a huge difference.
Pictures of a typical NICU environment compared to the peaceful environment in the Hushabye facility spoke for themselves.
Tara talked a bit about Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), explaining that it is a brain disorder, not a moral failure.  How we talk impacts the way we think.  Improved understanding that opioid use disorder is a complex interplay of biology and environment will decrease stigmatize and increase access to healthcare.   
She explained why maternal "cold turkey" treatment for maternal patients is not the way to go.  It increases the risk of miscarriage as well as the incidence of relapse, which is 95% with "cold turkey."
Medication-Assisted Treatment is the recommended way to go to reduce harm.  It combines behavioral therapy and medications to treat substance use disorders and has proven effectiveness with Opioid Use Disorder.   The incidence of relapse is 45-75% more likely to succeed with medication, and 85-100% more successful when behavioral health services are added.  
Many mothers will be on MAT for the rest of their life.  Pregnancy outcome is improved with the mother becoming healthy.
They are taken to the Hushabye facility when mommy is released from the hospital.  They receive one-to-one care 24/7.  If the infants needs are met immediately, it can prevent their need for medicine.
The Hushabye  nursery environment is clearly different than the NICU environment.   It's use makes a huge difference in cost.  85% go home with their families because they are connected to all services that are out there - housing, food, transportation, then how to get healthy.
They believe that if they can keep a mom and baby together through one year of age, there will be reduced repeat issues when that child matures.
The facility always needs diapers.  They also need baby cuddlers between the hours of 6 AM and 6 PM.  They are located in Phoenix near 30th street and McDowell.  They serve all of Maricopa county.  With Zoom, they are enabled to have further outreach.  Visit hushabye to learn more.
March Service Event - 7th Street Food Pantry
We have a very special community service project for March.  This project is part of a district grant we have received and benefits the 7th Street Food Pantry.  We will be providing labor to remove old flooring tile in preparation for new flooring.  The new flooring will be professionally installed but we need a few very hardy people to break up and remove the existing tile.  This will be a very labor intensive job and requires those with good stamina and strong backs.  For this part of project we are looking for 5 people Friday March 19th beginning at 9 am.  I will set up a sign up sheet but please also contact Don LaBarge by email or phone if you can help that day 480.213.1617
As a bonus (and for those of us not meeting criteria for the 19th) we will also be repainting the pantry.  It is not a huge space so we will be limiting paint crews to 5 as well.  Painting will take place Saturday and Sunday 3/20 & 3/21 beginning at 9 am.  I will also create a sign up sheet for these days but ask that you also let Don LaBarge know when you can be there.
The 7th Street Food Pantry is a nondenominational ministry that works to meet the needs of the homeless, veterans, seniors and low income individuals and families in the community to help ease the struggle with hunger and hopelessness.  Our very own Greg Okonowski is on their board of directors. 
CLICK HERE to view available slots and book yourself directly online - then use the above information to let Don LaBarge know when you will be there.
A successful TRVFA grant recipient
Not all that long ago, Bryan Goetzenberger, our Mesa West Vocational Service Chair, interviewed Daveeonna and certified to The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona that Mesa West Rotary would be her sponsoring Rotary Club for a grant to study to be a Certified Nursing Assistant.  Daveeonna has now graduated from her program and passed her certification exam.  
We wish Daveeonna the very best as she embarks on a new chapter of her life.
Motivating Donations to TRV - Recognition Point Match
Foundation Chairman Chuck Flint has offered to use some of his accumulated recognition points to increase Mesa West support of The Rotary Foundation.  For the foreseeable future, he will match donations, in $100 increments two for one.  If you donate $100, he will transfer $200 in recognition points to your account.  Whether you are striving to receive your first Paul Harris Fellow or striving to reach the next level, this is a great way to move that achievement closer.
You can donate through your "My Rotary" account on the RI website
Rotary Direct is the best way to establish a habit of regularly supporting the Rotary Foundation with minimal effort.  CLICK HERE to learn more about Rotary Direct.  CLICK HERE to download a form to sign up for Rotary Direct. 
If you have questions about Chuck's offer - CLICK HERE to send him an email. 
Today's Chuckle
Something to Ponder
There are only two classes of people - the Irish and those who wish they were Irish. 
Therese Duffy
You CAN make a difference!
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Foundation Director
Public Image Director
Club Service Director
Service Projects Director
Executive Secretary
Mar 18, 2021 12:00 PM
Tribal History and Future
Mar 25, 2021 12:00 PM
There's no place like hope
Apr 01, 2021
Stop Recruiting, Start Attracting (New Rotary Members)
Apr 08, 2021
Reducing the number of people with mental illness who are incarcerated
Apr 15, 2021 12:00 PM
FBI Community Outreach Role, Objective and Programs
Apr 22, 2021 12:00 PM
Official Visit
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Mar 18, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
7th Street Pantry Project
7th Street Food Pantry
Mar 19, 2021 9:00 AM –
Mar 22, 2021 5:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Mar 25, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Apr 01, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Apr 08, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Apr 15, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Monthly Board Meeting
Apr 20, 2021
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Apr 22, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Apr 29, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
May 06, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Jim LeCheminant
March 3
Dick Myren
March 12
Erica Williams
March 31
Spouse Birthdays
Angie Troy
March 6
John Yost
March 25
Erika Yost
John Yost
March 3
Terry Diedrick
Patty Diedrick
March 16
Join Date
Wendell Jones
March 1, 1989
32 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
Please add to your safe sender list or address book.
To view our privacy policy, click here.
102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile

THE FOUR WAY TEST of the things we think, say or do

first  Is it the TRUTH?
second  Is it FAIR to all concerned?
third  Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
fourth Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?