Mesa West Rotary - Zoom Meeting 
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Meeting ID: 922 628 1770
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Meeting ID: 922 628 1770
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Mesa West Zoom Happy Hour

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Meeting ID: 374 867 2091

Thursday May 28, 5:30-6:15 PM

This is in addition to - not in place of - our 

noon zoom meeting

Just pop-in and say hello, or grab your favorite beverage and join the chat!  You can stay for 5 minutes or 45 – whatever works.  No work, just fun – so bring your newest COVID joke, experience or insight to share.




RLI - Saturday May 30 - 9:00-Noon via Zoom
Take advantage of the first-ever opportunity to attend Rotary Leadership Institute from home at no cost.  Get amazing information about Rotary beyond our local club.  CLICK HERE for more information and to register.
Highlights of May 21 Zoom Meeting
President Jim welcomed Rotarians and guests as they arrived early to the Zoom meeting Thursday, May 21.   Those who were early heard Irwin Reimann announce that fellow club-members would likely not see he and Joan again until they return to Arizona in the fall.  Their daughter has a place that she operates in the summer with cabins, etc. in the Black Hills of South Dakota about five miles from Mount Rushmore.  They will be staying in an apartment in an out-building. He said they tell people they are going to spend their summer in a garage.  Cell and internet service are not reliable in the area, so he doubted they would be able to attend our Zoom meetings.
After the meeting was called to order, Ray Smith offered the invocation, a duty which apparently kept him from leaving as early as he might have liked on a getaway to the mountains.
Shelly Romine provided the patriotic moment when she spoke about the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) loans she has been busy processing.  She has a background as a CPA, and it has felt a bit like she was reliving tax season. The loans are processed through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and US Treasury Department.  PPP is part of the relief enacted through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act which was passed into law on March 27.  The bank where Shelly works, Horizon Community Bank, had processed 601 PPP loans from April 3 to May 4.  That resulted in loans totaling over $64,000,000, with an average loan amount of $107,000, and helped businesses cover payroll for over 8,500 employees.  
Melissa Stuckey was welcomed as a guest at our meeting. She and her husband, Jay were our speakers on May 14.  Also welcomed to the meeting was Assistant Governor, Lee Holmes.
Happy Bucks with Greg Okonowski
  • Jim Schmidt pledged $10.  He was happy that his daughter had been home for a visit and some rest, and it was all very well organized.
  • Shelly Romine pledged $10.  She was happy to report she and her husband were going to get to see Sedona for the first time over the Memorial Day weekend, and they would be celebrating their 31st anniversary on Monday, May 25.
  • Allan Cady pledged $10.  He and Polly are enjoying some relaxation on their boat in San Diego just chillin'.  He was also happy to report Polly's hip is healing well.
  • Greg Bouslog pledged $10 because he would be celebrating his 35th birthday this weekend, but he was sad that he wouldn't be celebrating at a Karaoke club.  Members sang Happy Birthday to Greg.
  • Pam Cohen was happy to hear Greg's Karaoke remark, and Greg admitted he enjoyed Karaoke more when libations were involved.
  • Wayne General was happy to report he had made a trip to Costco and was able to purchase a 30-pack of TP.
  • Ed Koeneman announced his birthday had been the day before (May 20) and was happy and proud to say their daughter Susie was graduating from Mountain View the day of the meeting.  He also announced that Westwood Interact had elected new officers - their incoming president, Huda, was secretary this year.
  • Erwin Reimann pledged $50 to The Rotary Foundation.  He was very healthful that the heart and cancer health challenges he and Joan had been through were well behind them when the pandemic hit the US.
  • Polly Cady pledged $10 to the Mesa West Foundation.  She was happy to announce Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) would be held on May 30 at 9:00 AM via Zoom.  There are three sessions.  Most Rotary education is job-specific training.  RLI is more general information about the greater world of Rotary - about what is, and what can be.  Typically the sessions are held in various locations in the district, cost $60 per session and last most of the day.  The Zoom sessions will be from 9:00 AM to Noon and will be free.  CLICK HERE for a link to more information and an opportunity to register.  Polly remarked that District Governor Nominee Designate, Larry Horton, interviewed Polly, as RLI Chair, in a podcast telling about RLI.  CLICK HERE to link to the Rotary 5495 Express podcast series menu.  The RLI interview is titled "Leadership".  Polly went on to tell members that Chris Krueger and Allan Cady would be among the group of great RLI facilitators at RLI.  She also commented that Mesa West was well-represented with facilitators at Club Leadership Academy (CLA) on May 9 and 16, where Jeanie, Pam and Lucinda all facilitated.
Rotary Minute
President Jim said that when he took on the role of club President and made the Rotary Vision Statement his own, he had no idea the new meaning "unite" would take on - using technology to retain groups.  He pointed out that we are united with the world in different ways, including how our decades-long focus on the eradication of polio was temporarily set aside to use our network and resources to aid in combating the coronavirus.  In our own Rotary District, the per capita death rate from the virus in the Navajo Nation is extremely high.  Dig Deep, who has partnered with Rotary to provide running water in remote homes on the reservation, has placed water trucks in locations throughout the community to minimize the necessity of too many people gathering in tight quarters to access this precious resource.
Rotary International will hold their first virtual International Convention June 20-26.  Rotarians throughout the world will be able to hear dynamic convention speakers without having to pay for lodging, registration and travel.  CLICK HERE to see current information about this opportunity as the plans evolve.
Our district is represented by leaders who are participating in a study in our Zone to come up with ways to advise clubs when and how to come back to meeting in person.  It is very likely Zoom meetings will continue through June.  Rotary will proceed very cautiously.  A great new team of Rotary leaders will take the helm on July 1 as Rotary adapts and changes leaders during these difficult times.
  • Pam Cohen thanked members who had pledged to help with the project to honor Westwood High School Interact members who were graduating.  It was determined the money pledged would be pooled so similar baskets could be created.  Those who wanted to participate in the parade of automobiles delivering the baskets were told were to meet at Westwood High School Saturday, May 23.  Anyone who had not yet pledged or indicated they wanted to participate were urged to contact Pam so more detailed information could be shared before the actual event.
  • President Jim wished Erwin and Joan Reimann a happy summer and let them both know he appreciates their knowledge and spirit.
Program - The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA)
Jeanie Morgan has served on the Board of Directors of TRVFA since the spring of 2018.  She had heard about TRVFA as long as she has been a Rotarian, having joined in 1994.  When the State of Arizona enacted an opportunity for charitable organizations to receive donations to serve defined purposes for the public good around 1990.  The donors would receive dollar-for-dollar credit against their state income tax obligation.  Some visionary Rotarians in Phoenix Rotary 100 had a dream about how Vocational Service - one of the four (now five) avenues of service could benefit from this opportunity.  They put their dream into a plan of action and then took steps to make it come true.  They incorporated, received non-profit status from the IRS, got their program certified with the state, and received the endorsement of the Rotary International Board of Directors to be an on-going multi-district project with all three Arizona Districts at the time participating.
The founders had an optimistic vision.  They believed most, if not all, Rotarians would support TRVFA since it would in most cases cost them nothing.  They believed Rotarian accountants would encourage their clients to support such a worthy endeavor, and they believed Rotarians would encourage their friends, family, and associates to support TRVFA as well.  In reality, just under 10% of Arizona Rotarians support TRVFA.  Ethics prevent accountants from advocating for a charity they are close to.  If asked, most friends, family, and associates would rarely remember their Rotarian friends talking to them about TRVFA.
Typically, a financial aid officer at a vocational training school will suggest a student apply for a grant from TRVFA.  The student would then visit and learn about the program and complete the on-line application.  Next, they would send a standard format of financial information to TRVFA grant processing.  If that review demonstrates that the program of study is a program supported by TRVFA, the student meets the low-income guidelines and residency requirements, the student is then referred to a Rotary Club to consider sponsorship of the applicant.
The sponsoring club has no financial responsibility.  TRVFA is a small volunteer-run organization and could not possibly do a quality interview with every applicant.  They depend on the sponsoring club to ensure the student is motivated, is a good fit for their chosen vocation and has a good life-plan.  If the club representatives do not feel the student will be successful, they can and should decline to sponsor.  If approved, the club completes the sponsorship form and returns it to grant processing.
The opportunity for the sponsoring club is to develop a relationship with the student.  Applicants sponsored by Mesa West are added as subscribers to our weekly Messenger.  Some of them provided "Happy Thoughts" for the Messenger before the club started meeting virtually during the current pandemic.  Some students are willing to help with service projects, and some may eventually become Rotarians or encourage their children to join Interact.  
Limited funding sources has a cost.  In 2018, the maximum available grant was reduced from $3,000 to $2,000 in order to help more students.  That limitation still exists today.  Because the 2019-20 budget was entirely spent, applicants are currently only being processed if the program of study starts after July 1.  Demand for vocational education is growing.  A college education is no longer a guaranty of a solid financial future.  Many graduates are saddled with extremely high student debt, unable to find good-paying jobs, and are still living with parents.  Vocational education can be the door to a bright future for the working poor who qualify for TRVFA grants.
In order to restore a higher maximum grant and not have to turn any student away because of budget constraints, more donations are needed.  There may be some vocations that will never be the same after the pandemic, and new vocational certifications may be the key to a good recovery of our Arizona economy.
Mesa West can be very proud of their giving record.  In 2017-18, we were the top giving by club members in the entire state.  The only club that contributed more was a large Tucson club that donated from their foundation in addition to what their members donated.  In 2018-19 Mesa West was in fifth place in the state.  Our members gave a total of $6,583.  The clubs that surpassed us had donation totals ranging from $6,850 to $21,250.   To date in 2019-20, Mesa West donations total $6,435 with 21% of our members giving.  Three clubs in the state have surpassed our giving at this point in time.
Some things that Mesa West could do a better job of with a dedicated Vocational committee is maintain contact with our sponsored students and mentor them through life's inevitable challenges.  That committee could interview the applicants as individuals or as a committee.  Considering in future budget plans potentially matching member donations up to a given amount might spur more giving.  The committee could bring graduating students back as guests to keep the program in front of members.  The committee could advocate for members to spread knowledge about TRVFA and spur giving from individuals outside of Rotary.  
Other ways for individuals to support beyond the tax credit donations are
  • Mandatory IRA withdrawals that could be directed to TRVFA 
  • Donations from private foundations could be encouraged.
For anyone motivated to take action and create lasting change, CLICK HERE to donate.  It should be noted that two Rotarians did that very thing later the day of this presentation.  Thank you to President Jim Schmidt and our Sgt at Arms Greg Okanowski!
President Jim shared a personal vocational story.  His son, David, spent lots of time playing video games.  David was fit and active, but some of his video game playing friends were overweight and seemed lethargic.  In high school David participated in a keyboarding competition.  He typed 120 words per minute.  He beat the teacher.  David told his parents he learned to be so fast on the keyboard playing video games.
Profiles of Some of Our Westwood HS Interact 2020 Graduates
We are told Angel Hernandez cried after the parade of Rotarians left his house. He said he was very surprised and very grateful for all Rotarians do. Also, he really wanted to give each person in the parade a hug but knew he couldn’t because of the social distance rules. Rotary holds a place in his heart. He hopes he can visit Mesa West while he is studying at ASU.
Clara Bass
Clara found a love for service through Interact club at school by volunteering at a football game concession stand three years ago. Since then, she has been a dedicated member of Interact and two other service clubs at school. Clara is an International Baccalaureate student who spends her free time riding horses, drinking lots of coffee, and collecting way too many stickers. She played varsity badminton at Westwood and was a team captain in the 2019-2020 school year. She graduated with the Service-Learning Seal on her diploma as part of the top 20 students in her class.
Hannah Mason is a girl on the go.  While at  Westwood she was a student in the International Baccalaureate program, a two-year Varsity tennis player, three-year member of NHS and a four-year member of the Warrior Marching Band, where she served the last two years as a drum major. However, it was her experience through Westwood's Interact club that impacted her the most.  She joined Interact her Sophomore year and was selected as one of the Club's 2018 RYLA delegates.  Her experience at RYLA was transformative and she came back not only as a committed member of the 'Rotary family' with a new found passion for service, but also with a vision of what she wanted to do after high school. She was elected as an officer for Interact the last two years, including this past year as President, and did her best to lead amid dynamic personal challenges in the Fall and the unprecedented events of this past Spring.  She also has served as an Assistant Governor in the Interact District Council  for two years and was accepted as a 2019 District 5495 Interact Ambassador to Kenya.  She found the trip to Kenya to be life-changing and further focused her career ambitions.  She is still debating between two universities, but in both cases aims to study nonprofit management and public policy with an emphasis on international service.  Her goal is to graduate with her Master's within 6 years then serve the next two in the Peace Corp, hopefully returning to Kenya.  
Mia Andrea
Mia is a recent graduate from Westwood High School and their International Baccalaureate program. During her time at Westwood, she was actively involved in badminton, Model United Nations, National Honors Society, and Interact club. In her free time, Mia enjoys reading, writing about her favorite music, and playing the guitar. She will continue her education in the fall at Arizona State University to study journalism and mass communications.
Naomi Sellers will attend Yale University this fall to pursue a global studies degree. In addition to excelling academically and being named the Arizona International Baccalaureate DP Student of the Year, Naomi invested a lot of her time and energy to clubs and extracurricular activities during her high school years. Aside from participating in Westwood High School’s Interact club and the service opportunities it promoted, Naomi was a co-founder and Executive Team Member of the Young Athena club and President of Little Warriors, a monthly afterschool program at Emerson Elementary School. Naomi also served as the secretary for the National Honor Society. Naomi participated in Westwood’s Link Crew to help new students acclimate to Westwood and was selected to represent Westwood as the school’s student liaison to the District School Board. Naomi loves to dance and was a member of the Dance Production Team her senior year. Naomi also loves working with children and co-led a children’s program at her church for two years. Naomi is also an active participant her church’s youth group. When not studying, dancing, serving, or playing with kids, Naomi enjoys being outdoors, hiking, playing board games, working on any kind of creative project, and snuggling with her dog.
To see an album of photos taken the day the gifts were delivered to these and six other Westwood High School Interact 2020 Graduates CLICK HERE.
Today's Chuckle
May is Youth Services Month
Youth Exchange
(Rotary Youth Leadership Awards)
Rotary Programs open the world for our youth, while our youth light up the lives of Rotarians!
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.
Support TRVFA
Donations to The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona made through April 15, can be used to qualify for the
Arizona's Credit for Contribution to a Qualifying Charitable Organization for the 2019 or 2020 tax year, but not both!  Their QCO Code is 20698.
When everything starts to settle after our current pandemic-related business slow-down is history, some things may never to back to the way they were.  There may well be a shortage of workers that require vocational certifications available to those in low-income groups through TRVFA grants.  Your gift today may help someone have a better tomorrow!  CLICK HERE to donate on-line or CLICK HERE to download a mail-in form.
Upcoming Events
Weekly Club Meeting
May 28, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting
Jun 04, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting
Jun 11, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Jun 17, 2020 5:30 PM
Weekly Club Meeting
Jun 18, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting
Jun 25, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting
Jul 02, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting
Jul 09, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting
Jul 16, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting
Jul 23, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Bryan Goetzenberger
May 11
Carolyn Jones
May 14
Chuck Flint
May 16
Ed Koeneman
May 20
Greg Bouslog
May 21
Spouse Birthdays
David Murphy
May 8
Bryan Goetzenberger
May 11
Michelle LeCheminant
May 17
Bob Jensen
Nancy Jensen
May 16
Shelly Romine
Scotty Romine
May 25
Jim LeCheminant
Michelle LeCheminant
May 29
Join Date
Amanda Rosenberg
May 1, 2019
1 year
Erwin Reimann
May 1, 1988
32 years
Jack A. Rosenberg
May 1, 1980
40 years
Joan Reimann
May 1, 2017
3 years
Shelly Romine
May 1, 2005
15 years
Polly Cady
May 6, 2010
10 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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