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
Highlights of August 19 Meeting
President Dan Coons called the meeting together and welcomed everyone attending both in person and via Zoom.  He then recited 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.
The invocation was offered by Ray Smith, and was followed by Jack Rosenberg leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
Rotary Minute - Dave Brauchler
When inviting someone to attend and/or be a part of our club, it's always good to share what might be in it for them, but it's also impactful to talk about how being a Rotarian has impacted your own life.  
Dave shared a couple of personal stories about how he personally benefited from being a Rotarian.  In 1997, Dave found himself newly divorced and unemployed.  At a Rotary meeting, someone learned of his circumstance and invited Dave to join a new mortgage company that individual was in the process of starting.  He offered to train Dave in the skills and knowledge he would need to get started.  Dave accepted the offer.
Two years later, at another Rotary meeting, someone at another Rotary meeting asked Dave if he could help find financing for a manufacturing project they were working on.  Sox months later, Dave had 108 mortgages on manufactured housing close on the same day.  One that one day, he earned $200,000. 
Dave still specializes in manufactured home financing.
Two meetings impacted his life.  It wasn't why he joined Rotary.  It was because of the connections he made through Rotary.  Connections matter and Rotary is a good place to make connections with others who share your values.
When telling others about Rotary, tell about your "why," and help them find theirs.
Recognition of Greeter - Carla Krzmarik
Introduction of Guests
  • Logan Harper introduced Bob Selinger, a visiting Rotarian of 50 years who is currently a member of the Mesa Rotary Club.  During ten of Bob's 50 years in Rotary, he spent 10 years in Africa building factories.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
After briefly explaining how the raffle worked, Chuck and remembering Bob Selinger from Rotary Youth Exchange involvement, Chuck asked Bob to draw the winning raffle ticket.  The ticket drawn was the number held by President Dan Coons, who won $45 and the opportunity to try to draw the Ace of Clubs for a win of $173 or the joker to win an additional $20.  After shuffling the remaining cards in the deck, he drew the three of diamonds which was immediately destroyed.  
Auction Item - Chris Krueger
Chris brought a bag of goodies to be auctioned from her recent trip to St. Kitt, an island in the British West Indies.  One of the items was described as an adult beverage that is only available there.  Pam Cohen started the bidding at $45.  Ron Thompson's bid of $100 was the final and winning bid.  The bag contained a bottle of Shipwreck coconut rum, a shot glass and a cap.
Happy Bucks - Bert Millett
  • Bert's first order of business was to fine himself $100 for The Rotary Foundation.
  • Dick Myren contributed $1 for himself and $1 for Rod Daniels because they are both happy to be connected through the "best Rotary Club in the world."
  • Jack Rosenberg contributed.  He was happy to have gotten his Pfizer booster for their COVID-19 vaccination on August 18.
  • Chris Krueger held up a beautiful glass plate in shades of purple which had been crafted by Jack Rosenberg.  She pledged $100 to the foundation as a way of thanking Jack for the gift.
  • Dave Brauchler contributed celebrating his wife's new job.
  • Warren Williamson contributed, buying the right to tell a story about Pam Cohen.  Pam was waiting at a gate in an airport.  A male passenger waiting at the same gate decided to try to get acquainted with the cute blond.  He sat down next to Pam and asked if she would like to play a game while they waited.  He first told her that if she asked him a question to which he did not know the answer, he would give her $5.  Then he would ask Pam a question and if she didn't know the answer, she would have to pay him $5.  Pam wasn't interested.  The male passenger upped the ante.  If he couldn't answer Pam's question, he would pay her $100, but if she couldn't answer his question, she would still only have to pay $5.  Pam asked what went up the hill on three legs and came down on four.  The male passenger thought for quite a while, and even Googled riddles, but finally had to pay Pam $100 admitting he did not know the answer.  He then asked Pam the same question she had asked him and she immediately gave him $5.
  • Jeanie Morgan pledged $10 to tell about a recent TRVFA grant recipient.  The individual had worked for 28 years in a government job, which she lost because of excessive absenteeism.  Over a period of three years, while she suffered from intestinal issues, she missed an average of fifteen weeks each year.  Eventually, her stomach and some of her intestine were removed.  Her health is restored.  She moved to Arizona to be close to her parents and lost them to COVID within three week of each other.  Her grant will enable her to be certified to be a CNA enabling her to help others as she was helped.
  • John Pennypacker pledged $20 sad dollars.  He was saddened by the loss of Joe Galloway on August 18.  Galloway had been awarded the Bronze Star for valor for his efforts as a correspondent during the war in Viet Nam.
  • Ed Koeneman contributed.  At the Westwood High School Interact meeting August 18, there were 30 present.  A year ago, they only had 7.  He was also happy that their little Susie is settled in her college apartment, though Ed was sad that she is a Wildcat instead of a Sun Devil.
  • Dan Coons had some sad dollars.  Their dishwasher had leaked under their kitchen island resulting in some extensive repairs, so their kitchen was in disarray.  Colleen had ben t-boned by someone on a scooter.  He was happy with Mesa West Rotary and pledged $100 to The Rotary Foundation.
  • Jeane Crouse contributed.  She was sad because a 50 year old elm had been lost to recent storm damage.  She was happy because the tree, which was over 25' tall fell toward the street than into the room of Ray Smith's house.
  • Past President Jim Schmidt, announced that at the District Celebration on July 10, Club President Championship Rings were awarded to Club Presidents who had met certain criteria during their 2020-21 year of service.   President Dan Coons was not in attendance at the event to receive his, so Jim had picked it up on his behalf.  He was glad to be able to present it to Dan so the members could see him receive it.
  • September 23 is the date DG Bret McKeand will make his official visit to Mesa West Rotary.  He wants to meet with members who are new (within the last year) for 30 minutes prior to the meeting, and with the current board of directors immediately following the meeting.
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) originally planned to be held in October at camp Ponderosa has been rescheduled until April due to the recent surge of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
  • There will be a 5th Thursday social event on September 30.  It will be held in the evening at Allan and Polly Cady's new home. It will be a musical evening with eight vocalists performing accompanied by the sister of Ray Smith.  Mesa West is always dark on the 5th Thursday any month when that occurs.  
  • On September 3, Alice Cooper will perform at a grand opening of a new teen center in Mesa - see details in another article in this newsletter.  The event will be free to all who attend.
Program - Eric Sheldahl, Director Midwest Food Bank
Eric Sheldahl grew up on a farm just north of Des Moines, Iowa.  He had a successful career as a real estate developer.  He and his wife Mary came to Phoenix planning to stay for six months to flip houses never knowing they would fall in love with Arizona.
They learned about an organization called Midwest Food Bank that was ranked in the top 10 of 7,000 nonprofits.  They had to learn more.  In 2017, they opened the Arizona Midwest Food Bank in Gilbert.  They began by delivering food at absolutely no cost to thirty agencies, from food pantries to homeless ministries, rehab centers, schools and churches.  In four years, they have grown ten-fold, serving 320 agencies with $64 million worth of food.
To learn more about Midwest Food Bank, go to
Eric knows another individual from Iowa who also has a connection to Mesa West Rotary.  He had hoped Dr. Blessman would be attending the meeting via Zoom.
When his phone says "potential spam" about an incoming call, he answers anywhay.  It may be someone with a rejected load of food that wants to donate it to Midwest Food Bank.  He indicated he has learned to get rid of the spam callers very quickly.
Eric loves the group which was started by three brothers who formerly farmed together.  They started a little food bank in a two-car garage.  When hurricane Katrina struck the gulf coast,  They drove semi trucks filled with food to help when one of the brothers learned the Salvation Army was calling for food, and were told they were praying for ten more loads to be taken to Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  Farmer friends called friends.  Over a year and a half, they delivered 167 loads.
Their efforts caught a lot of attention.  
Midwest Food Bank was noticed by Eric and Mary as being ranked highly with Charity Navigator with very low overhead of 2.25%.  He and Mary sent a small donation in January, 2016, and received a thank-you card.  
When directors of Midwest Food Bank travel on business, they pay their own travel expenses.  
Last year, shortly after everything changed because of the pandemic, they feared everything would dry up.  They received a call from a credit union wanting to contribute $50,000 and requesting wiring instructions.  Later in the program - when asked - Eric said it was a miracle.  The wire was sent the next day.  Food that had been intended for restaurants was donated to them.  
The Papago National Guard unit provided staff to help.
In 2020, they delivered $18.7 million worth of food.  Last year, that grew to $66.5 million with 60,000 volunteer hours.
Eric is President of the local Board of Directors and serves as a director on the national Board.
They have hauled food to serve victims of the California wildfires.
Among the many agencies they serve is 7th Street Food Pantry.
They have also provided more than food.  They have accepted and distributed other goods such as clothing and tablets.
Eric shared that the number of agencies they serve is down from 350 to 300 today.  He said many have closed.
When the City of Mesa shut down their Parks and Recreation activities as a precautionary measure related to the pandemic, they kept the employees on the payroll and redeployed them to help with the food distribution center that was set up at the Mesa Convention Center.  None of the employees were happy about their new assignment in the beginning, but they had tears when their assignment ended.  Some are still volunteers.
August Service Project - Meal Service at Paz de Cristo
Please join us if you can for dinner service at Paz de Cristo on Aug 31st from 4 pm to 7 pm.  Paz de Cristo is a homeless outreach in Mesa that provides 50,000 meals a month to homeless and impoverished.  Our project this month will be to help them with a nightly meal service.  We have room for 14 volunteers and we will all be working there together.  Hope to see you there!
Volunteer slots are all filled for this event
Alice Cooper's Solid Rock Teen Center Opening in Mesa
Randy Spencer, Partnerships/Development officer for Alice Cooper's Solid Rock Teen Centers sent an invitation for Mesa West Rotary Club members to attend the Mesa teen center Grand Opening event on September 3rd from 5:30-8:30 pm, saying "It is FREE for anyone to attend."
CLICK HERE or on the image to learn more about the event.
Randy will be the speaker at our club's regular meeting Thursday, November 4.
Golf Tournament to Benefit Midwest Food Bank
Eric Sheldahl, who presented our program about the Midwest Food Bank, Arizona on Thursday, August 19, mentioned this upcoming fundraising golf tournament to benefit the food bank.
Dave Brauchler is putting together a foursome to play in the tournament.  If you are interested in joining his foursome, click here or on his name to send him an email message.
To learn more about the tournament, click here or on the image at right.
Pursuing Peace Conference
CLICK HERE or on image for more information or to register.
Something to Ponder
Great Lesson on Stress
A young lady confidently walked around the room with a raised glass of water while leading a seminar explaining stress management.  Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, "Half empty or half full?"
She fooled them all.
"How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile.  Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
The replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter.  It depends on how long I hold it.  If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.  If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.  If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.  In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."
She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress.  If we carry our burdens all the time, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."
"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down and rest before holding it again.  When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced.  So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down.  Don't carry them through the evening and into the night.  Pick them up again tomorrow if you must."
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.
  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.
Sep 02, 2021
Sep 09, 2021
Sep 16, 2021
Sep 23, 2021
Official District Governor Visit to Mesa West Rotary Club
Sep 30, 2021
Mesa West Rotary Club does not have a regular club meeting on the 5th Thursday of any month
Oct 07, 2021
Rotary Youth Exchange
Oct 14, 2021
7th Street Food Pantry
Oct 21, 2021
Club Assembly
Oct 28, 2021
The Rotary Foundation
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
Paz de Cristo - Dinner Service
Aug 31, 2021
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Sep 02, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Sep 09, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Sep 16, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Sep 23, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Sep 30, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Oct 07, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Oct 14, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Oct 21, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Oct 28, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Ray Smith
August 9
Jack Rosenberg
August 12
Rodney Daniels
August 17
Dan Coons
August 20
Joan Reimann
August 29
Spouse Birthdays
Toni Farmer-Thompson
August 5
Scotty Romine
August 12
Rosalyn Schmidt
August 24
Joan Reimann
August 29
Don LaBarge
Chris LaBarge
August 3
John Benedict
Jane Benedict
August 7
Stephen West
Julie West
August 22
Amanda Rosenberg
Frank Rosenberg
August 26
Frank Rosenberg
Amanda Rosenberg
August 26
Ted Williams
August 29
Join Date
Jim LeCheminant
August 1, 2002
19 years
Stephen West
August 1, 1993
28 years
Steve Ross
August 1, 1989
32 years
Don Boucher
August 3, 2012
9 years
Terry Diedrick
August 18, 2011
10 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?