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
Musical Interlude Performance Video
Ed Koeneman put together a very nice video of the Mesa West Singers performing at the September 30 Musical Interlude.  CLICK HERE or on the event logo to view the video.
October Service Project Might Be Spooky
The Community Service Committee recently announced their October Service Project.  They are looking for volunteers to help with the Halloween Parties at our two Mesa Senior Centers.  The volunteer duties will be to help set up for fun activities, judge the costume contest and help run games and the photo booth.
The first location is at the Red Mountain Senior Center and the second location is at the Downtown Senior Center.  We need at least four volunteers for each location and the parties are the same time/same day, so at least eight total volunteers are needed Friday, October 29, 2021 at 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
If you are in the spirit, you can wear your own costume to the party, but it is not required.
CLICK HERE or on the image to volunteer online.  If you have questions, send email to Shelly Romine.
Rotary Leadership Institute - Plan to Attend November 6
Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) is often referred to as Rotary's College of Knowledge.  There are a series of three sessions with common curriculum which are offered throughout the Rotary World - not to train officers, but to share the wide world of Rotary to all interested Rotarians.  Mesa's own Polly Cady is the RLI Chairperson for Rotary District 5495.
The three sessions will run concurrently, via Zoom, Saturday, November 6 from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM.  Because it will be online, it will be free.  When RLI meets in person, there is a nominal fee to attend.  The planners try to move where it is offered to various locations in the district, making it accessible to attend as well as offer a little in-state Rotary tourism.  CLICK HERE to email Polly if you have questions or would like to register for the September 6 session.  If you have never attended RLI in the past, you will need to register for the first session, as the curriculum is intended to be studied in sequence.  For more information, download a flyer.
Highlights of October 14 Meeting
President Dan Coons welcomed members and guests to the meeting, ringing the bell at noon, rather than at 12:10.  He indicated he hoped to keep the meeting confined to one hour, still allowing plenty of time for our speaker.  Dan reminded everyone that the 2021-22 Rotary International Theme is "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
Ron Thompson was asked to offer the invocation.  Jack Rosenberg then led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Rotary Minute - Penny May - Visiting Rotarian from Anchorage International Rotary Club
Penny shared how being a member of Rotary has enhanced her ability to enjoy world travel.  Rotarians are welcome to visit Rotary meetings anywhere.  She encouraged members to go on line and find a club and visit it anyplace our travels take us.  She spoke enthusiastically about the two Rotary International Conventions she has attended.   She was particularly impressed with the vivid colors of the beautiful silk sarees worn by the women from India.  She imitated a greeting heard loudly, enthusiastically and frequently from attendees from the Figi Islands.  She thought the women from Africa must be seven feet tall.  Their beautiful long dresses and matching or coordinated headdresses were a stunning sight.  The speakers at both conventions were world class.  At the two conferences she attended, the President or Prime Minister of the country addressed the conference - and stayed to participate.  They had the opportunity to dine in local Rotarian homes.  The home she remembered visiting was not a castle, but the owner did send a limo to pick her up and deliver back to the hotel.  The dinner in Glasgow Scotland ended with everyone singing Auld Lang Syne before they parted.
In Tai Pei, she found the international meals interesting.  One encounter with some Rotarians from Switzerland, someone showed them their swiss army knife and all the Rotarians from Switzerland pulled their own out of their pockets.  They had fun singing karaoke together - but not at all well.
Penny touched briefly on Rotary Friendship Exchange.  Rotarians from another part of the world visit your district where they enjoy attending potlucks and being shown the sites, and then they return the hospitality when the experience is reciprocated for a group of local Rotarians traveling to the home district of the visitors.  Lifelong friendships are often formed during these Rotary travel encounters. She remembers being welcomed with open arms, enjoying the adventure and cherishing the memories.
Introduction of Guests
  • Ginger Lamb and Judy and Ben North from the 7th Street Food Pantry were introduced.
Ace of Clubs Raffle
Chuck Flint asked speaker Ginger Lamb to draw the winning raffle ticket which was held by Ray Smith and Wendell Jones.  Wendell and Ray generously donated their $45 winnings back to be sent to The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski
  • Wendell Jones pledged $100 toward his Paul Harris celebrating his 76th birthday.
  • Chris Krueger asked to be billed $40 to celebrate her daughter's 40th birthday.
  • Steve Ross asked to be billed $32 to go to TRVFA celebrating his son's 32nd birthday.
  • Don LaBarge said he already donated $100 toward his Paul Harris account online to celebrate his October 12 birthday.  He contributed saying he was happy to see friends from the 7th Street Food Pantry.
  • Frank Rosenberg contributed.  He had recently travelled to Sweden to attend a wedding.  In 1994, Frank was a Rotary Youth Exchange student in Sweden.  A member of his host family was being married and it was like a huge family reunion.
  • Dick Myren contributed on behalf of himself and Honorary Member Rod Daniels for being associated with the best Rotary Club in the world.
  • Jay Stuckey contributed.  He and Melissa had recently returned from a trip to Maui where they celebrated their three-year anniversary.
  • Erwin Reimann contributed.  He was happy to be back in Arizona.  They've already had snow where they live when they are in South Dakota.
  • Allan Cady was just happy
  • Polly Cady said "ditto."
  • Pam Cohen fined herself - seems she found some Rotary Flags in a very safe place in her home.  She will bring them to a meeting.
  • Jeanie Morgan pledged $20.  She was happy to have received a $5,000 donation from the Four Peaks Rotary Foundation as well as one $400 individual donation to The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona following her early morning TRVFA presentation at their club meeting.
  • Jim Schmidt was given a lot of grief for only contributing $10 to celebrate his birthday.
Auction Item from South Dakota - Erwin and Joan Reimann
President Dan served as auctioneer of a bag containing items from South Dakota donated by Erwin and Joan Reimann.  On their advice, bidding started low - at $10.  Frank Rosenberg's bid of $20 prevailed.
  • Jay Stucky announced the October service project will take place October 29, 2021 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM in two separate locations.  Volunteers will be helping with Halloween Parties at our two Mesa Senior Centers.  Volunteers are free to wear Halloween costumes - but it is not required to do so.  CLICK HERE to sign up.
  • President Dan reminded members the October 21 meeting would be a Club Assembly.
  • Our AG Lee Holmes had planned to attend our meeting with some others from his club to see how we do our hybrid meetings.  It would have been a bad week to do so, since no one attended remotely.  Dan let everyone know that AG Lee had been diagnosed with COVID and spent a night in the ER a couple of days earlier, but is home and "doing fine.
Program - Ginger Lamb - 7th Street Food Pantry
Greg Okonowski introduced Ginger Lamb from the 7th Street Food Pantry describing her as having "a heart like no other."  Ginger's husband had been giving sandwiches to hungry local residents out of his shop which neighbors the real estate where the pantry is located.  When he became aware of the extent of hunger in the area, he was able to get QT to donate sandwiches left at the end of the day to him.  When the landlord of a neighboring drive-through liquor store learned of the generosity, he approached Ginger's husband and suggested he turn the liquor store into a local food pantry, which could operate rent-free.  The building was donated to the Pantry through the generosity of Frank and Karen Williams.
Ginger began by saying that when they were first approached with the food pantry idea, their initial response was "No!"  With persistence from the property owner, and a great deal of prayer, they said, "Yes," on condition that certain things had to fall into place, which they did.  Someone voluntarily picked up the cost of incorporating them and applying for their 501(c)(3).  They had to put together a board of directors.  Greg Okonowski was asked to serve on their board and continues to serve as one of their directors.
There is no paid staff at the pantry - all are volunteers.  At first, Ginger continued working as a teacher, but has now retired from teaching and is a full time volunteer.
The pantry opened in February, 2016.  Both perishable and non-perishable food is available there.  They calculate that by the end of this year, they will have provided 3,000,000 meals.  They do not prepare and serve meals.  They do provide "meals" in the form of donated salads and sandwiches.  On Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5-7:30 p.m. people drive-through to pick up food packages.  They serve 80-100 people each week in those two short time-frames.  Most of their boxes are delivered to housing facilities - including those housing veterans - and distributed to their residents.
Ginger quoted an amazing statistic.  She said that 35-40% of the food supply in the United States goes to waste.  She also stated that one in seven adults and one in four children in the United States go to bed hungry.  At the food pantry, they are able to "rescue" some of that wasted food.  They receive it, process, sort and package it, and distribute it.  They want those they serve to feel they are "thought of - not an afterthought."
A few years ago Greg suggested they allow donors to put a banner on the front of their building for a specific length of time to encourage donations to cover their utilities and other overhead costs.  Greg has been very instrumental in soliciting those donations. 
The pantry has also benefitted from proceeds of an annual golf tournament sponsored by The Arizona Group where Greg works.
Before the pandemic, the patio area where Mesa West installed a misting system as a district grant project, was a gathering place on the evenings they distributed to individuals.  Since the pandemic, they are using the drive-up window again.  Now the shade and the misting system provide a more comfortable environment for volunteers to sort and process the food donations that are received.   
They try to meet spiritual needs of those they serve as well as supplying food to meet their physical needs.  Ginger's church has an outreach program where they occasionally bring donated clothing and other items, and assign "personal shoppers" to people who arrive to see what they can find to meet their needs.  One day, one of their regulars showed up looking very nice and wondered if Renee was there.  He was told that she wasn't but that they would tell her he asked about her.  He had wanted to show Renee that he really did look nice in the outfit she picked out for him as his personal shopper.  Renee had obviously made him feel like he mattered.  
Ginger has observed that it seems those they serve keep getting younger and younger and from every walk of life.  She quoted a couple of Bible verses that keep her going:
Matthew 25:40
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Romans 14:1-2 (Message Version)
"Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don't see things the way you do.  And don't jump all over them every time they do or say something you don't agree with - even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department.  Remember, they have their own history to deal with.  Treat them gently."
They try to prepare holiday boxes containing turkeys and other items needed for a traditional feast.  She mentioned a number of 400 boxes prepared, saying no-one sleeps when that project is underway.
Somehow the need for equipment to help them move food boxes through their building reached a member of their board who somehow was able to arrange for the donation of a fork lift from Colorado.
Ginger was also very thankful for the loving support they have enjoyed from her mother and father-in-law.
Ginger said getting things done at little or no cost is not so much a matter of who you know - it's who you talk to.  Knuckle Brothers' donation of new asphalt last March happened as a result of a conversation with someone who made the contact and introduction.  Ginger remarked about the new floor and paint job that Mesa West accomplished last February using another District grant.  She said the first health department inspection after the installation resulted in all "A's".  She was sad when the Fresh and Easy markets closed, but it was a blessing for the Pantry because their freezers came to them as a result of those closures.  A truck was donated in 2021.

Some employers, organizations and church groups will bring small groups of volunteers to help.  Chris Krueger brought volunteers from Mutual of Omaha.  It was a good team-building experience for the employees and very beneficial for the Pantry.
When the pandemic shut downs happened in the spring of 2020, because restaurants were closed, they learned truckers were having a hard time getting fed while trying to deliver essential products.  The 7th Street Food Pantry crew delivered meals for 175 truckers in three hours to help out.
One way that Rotarians could help.  They give out toiletry bags that also contain socks.  Keeping and donating the unused toiletry items from hotel rooms would be very helpful.  A sock drive would also be beneficial.  Interact could have a canned food drive to benefit the Pantry.  Donated blankets would be welcome.  "Disaster blankets" are warm, but they dissolve in the rain.  They are basically compressed dryer lint.
Ginger said she is humbled by the volunteers she works with, saying they are a very diverse group.  She also did admit that she is much bolder than she used to be.  She has learned that when she expresses a true need, it will likely be filled.  To learn more, CLICK HERE to visit their website.
Something to Ponder
Research and perception improve your reception. - source unknown
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.
Oct 28, 2021
The Rotary Foundation
Nov 04, 2021
Alice Cooper's Solid Rock Teen Center
Nov 11, 2021
USS Forrestal
Nov 18, 2021
Mystery Program
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
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
Oct 28, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
October Service - Senior Center Halloween Party
Oct 29, 2021
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Nov 04, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Nov 11, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Weekly Club Meeting via Zoom
Nov 18, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
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
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Aaron Huber
October 8
James Crutcher
October 10
Daniel Lamborn
October 11
Don LaBarge
October 12
Jim Schmidt
October 15
Logan Harper
October 15
Warren Williamson
October 15
Greg Okonowski
October 25
Pam Cohen
October 29
Spouse Birthdays
Sandy Myren
October 20
Scott Williams
October 25
Vickie Smith
October 29
Dick Myren
Sandy Myren
October 5
Jay Stuckey
Melissa Stuckey
October 20
Melissa Stuckey
Jay Stuckey
October 20
Greg Bouslog
Sheena Bouslog
October 25
Greg Okonowski
Laura Okonowski
October 25
Join Date
Andrea Murphy
October 1, 2017
4 years
Shane Buntrock
October 1, 2012
9 years
Sharon Spane
October 1, 1988
33 years
Melodie Jackson
October 4, 2007
14 years
Brian Harvey
October 20, 2010
11 years
Ed Koeneman
October 28, 2010
11 years
Carla Krcmarik
October 29, 2020
1 year
Aaron Huber
October 30, 2001
20 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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first  Is it the TRUTH?
second  Is it FAIR to all concerned?
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fourth Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?