Changing of the Guard Celebration
June 23, 2022
President Dan spoke about the investment Rotary International made in time and resources to come up with the Vision Statement that Dan has focused on during both years of his Presidency.  He feels it has a lot of meaning and expresses the reason we like to come together. 
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 lasting change that is created by Rotarians through the structure of Rotary International.  Our core is the hearts of active, engaged Rotarians.
Dan pointed out cards on the tables.  He printed them using information from the RI website including the vision statement, The Rotary Foundation's seven areas of focus:
Promote peace
Fight disease
Provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
Save mothers and children
Support education
Grow local economies
Protect the environment
Finally, The Rotary Mission:  We provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.
Introduction of Guests
  • David Rose introduced himself as the brother of Lucinda General.  
  • John Benedict introduced his wife, Jane.
  • Pam Cohen introduced her guest, Scott Allen.  
  • Robin Harris introduced the love of his life, Debbie Harris.
  • Frank Rosenberg introduced his guest Warren Haussler.
  • John Pennypacker introduced Sue Gifford who is with Child Crisis Arizona.
  • Jim Erickson introduced his wife, Maryann.
  • Warren Williamson introduced his wife, Sunny.
  • District Governor Bret McKeand was introduced by President Dan.
  • Colleen Coons was at the same table, and President Dan introduced Colleen as his "beautiful wife."
Thanking Club Leaders - President Dan Coons
  • Lola McClane was attending the meeting via Zoom.  President Dan thanked for her service as Club Secretary for the past two years.
  • Dick Myren was thanked for serving the first year of a two-year term as Club Treasurer.
  • Don Boucher was unable to be at the dinner, but was thanked for his two-years of service as a Director.
  • Pam Cohen was thanked for her many years of service as Community Service chair as well as her service as President-Elect this past year.
  • Polly Cady served the first of a two-year term as a director on the board and also served as Membership Chair.
  • Greg Okonowski was thanked for serving as a Director for his first year of a two-year term.
  • Tim Troy served his first year of a two-year term as Director, but was unable to be at the dinner.
  • Allan Cady was thanked for serving as Fundraising Chair.
  • Chuck Flint was thanked for his service as Foundation Chair.
  • Bryan Goetzenberger was thanked for his service as Vocational Service Chair.  
  • Ray Smith was thanked for his service as International Service Chair.  
  • Ed Koeneman was thanked for his service as Youth Services Chair.  
  •  Shelly Romine was thanked for her two years of service as a Director as well as serving as Community Service Chair.  
Community Service Report – Shelly Romine
We painted at the YMCA.  We packed food at a few food banks.  In October, we had fun with Mesa Seniors at their Halloween Party.  In November and December we rang the bell for Salvation Army Bass Pro.  In March, Rotarians painted at the House of Refuge.  In April, coordinated by Logan Harper Mesa West Rotarians worked with other local Rotarians to help settle an Afghan refugee family into their new apartment.  For our Rotary Week of Service project in April, we collected new pillows and bedding.  On April 23 we assembled the bedding and pillows into bedding kits to donate to Sleep in Heavenly Peace.  In May, we participated in a Bunk Bed Build for Sleep in Heavenly Peace.  The final service project of the year was scheduled for June 28 at Midwest Food Bank.  Shelly was very appreciative of all the volunteer support from Rotarians, family and friends.  She noted that 35 members, plus 22 friends and family had contributed a total of 277.5 volunteer hours.  That does not count the hours spent ringing the bell for Salvation Army.
Monetary Donations Made Through Mesa West Rotary Foundation in 2021-22
  • Community Service
    • House of Refuge - $3,596 for new flooring.  This donation included $2,000 received as a District Grant to support the project.
    • 7th Street Food Pantry - a total of $5,000, including $2,800 to cover the purchase of new tires for a truck essential to their operation, and $2,200 donated to help cover operating costs.  
    • Expenses to support Sleep In Heavenly Peace projects totaled $2,677.43.
    • YMCA was the recipient of a $2,000 donation.
    • Nova Hope Foundation received $2,000 to provide telemedicine support for seniors.
    • $2,000 was donated to Child Crisis Arizona.
  • International Service
    • The funds collected for the Aqua Africa global grant were transferred to a fund to be disbursed under the supervision of the District Foundation Committee
    • $1,015.64 was disbursed to support efforts to ensure the Guaymas Gift of Hearing Mission will continue.  
    • $1,050 was disbursed to fund our commitment on a Grant Commitment made prior to this Rotary Year at a Mexican American Friendship.  $3,500 was committed support specified grants featured at the 2022 Mexican American Friendship Conference.
    • $2,500 was disbursed to Blessman International to support their Enviraloo Project.
    • $1,000 has been sent to The Rotary Foundation as a Polio Plus contribution.
  • Vocational Service
    • $5,000 was contributed to The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona(TRVFA) as requested by the club board and approved by MWRF board.
    • $1,500 was donated specifically for TRVFA through our sponsor program, and has been forwarded to TRVFA recently.
  • Youth Service
    • $10,000 has been awarded in scholarships to Westwood High School graduating seniors.
    • $2,000 was disbursed to fund the cost of five students attending Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA).
    • $200 was disbursed to support Westwood High School Interact activities
    • $100 was disbursed to support an Eagle Scout Project
    • $6,000 was disbursed to support the Interact District 5495 Crutches 4 Africa mission.  Two of the ambassadors selected for the trip are Westwood High School Interact Club members.  
President Dan commented on the fact that as Club President, he had the opportunity to witness in close detail the generosity of Mesa West Members.  He found it truly heartwarming to see such generous sharing.
Recognition of Giving to The Rotary Foundation
District Governor Bret McKeand and Chuck Flint were invited to come forward to present some Paul Harris Fellow recognition pins:
Ray Smith received his recognition pin for PHF+2 ($3,000 in total giving)
Melodie Jackson received two recognition pins for PHF+2 and PHF+3 ($4,000 total)
Wendell Jones received his PHF+4 ($5,000 total).  Wendell said that the club and The Rotary Foundation are amazing.  
DG Bret explained that as you go up the chain in total dollars given to The Rotary Foundation, donors can reach Major Donor Status.  Their giving enables lives to be saved, improved, and transformed.  Prospects for peace are improved.  Major donors inspire others to give generously. 
  • Chuck Flint was presented with a Major Donor crystal and invited to say a few words about why he supports TRF.  Chuck said "There is no better place to make donations."  The funds are stewarded very well.  They are held for three years, and are invested so that the operating costs of the foundation can be supported by the interest earned.  The third year, about 1/3 of the money donated goes back to the originating District(s) to be used for District Grants.  The rest is used to support the grants and programs of TRF.  Chuck encouraged members to go to the RI Website and review the areas of focus of The Rotary Foundation.
Special Announcement - District Governor Bret McKeand 
At the District Conference held last month in Prescott, the first-ever fundraising dinner to benefit The Rotary Foundation was held.  The proceeds of the dinner after all expenses were paid were to be donated by the District to TRVFA.  In addition, at the recent RI convention in Houston a small District 5495 celebration was held and they actually made $400 on that, which was also meant to benefit TRVFA.  After commending Mesa West for being the top-giving club to TRVFA in the state, DG Bret invited Jeanie Morgan, TRVFA President, and Allan Cady, TRVFA Director and Fundraising Chair, to come forward where he presented them with an image of a check for TRVFA in the amount of $4,708.92.
Special Recognition - Don La Barge
President Dan invited Don La Barge to come forward.   Dan said that the reason he is a member of Mesa West is Don.  The reason Dan has gotten involved in the District is Don.  Six years ago, Don invited Dan to attend the installation of John Eagleston as Club President at a Changing of the Guard event held in Don's back yard.  As they were leaving that event, Colleen said, "You should join that club."  The important part of the story is all the things Don has done.  He is a Past District Governor and has continued to serve Mesa West, and be involved in the community.  Through Don's coordination of the bell-ringing program, Mesa West has been the #1 originator of funds for the past several years.   Dan handed the mic to Don who said we gathered $25,000 last year, $22,000 the year before, and $17,000 the year before that.  He said "one of these years, we're not going to be able to beat the prior year."  Every year, Don says he's not going to coordinate the bell-ringing, but about September, he starts changing his mind.  Lucinda General has told him if he ever decides to give it up, she'll take his place.  He said "Not this year, but maybe next..."
Dan presented an bronze eagle award to   The inscription on the award is:
Dan thanked everyone. 
He said two significant occasions changed his life for the better:
  • When he met Colleen
  • When he joined Rotary.
Comments from Lucinda General
Lucinda said that at a point when the club had very little to spend for charity, they educated members about the advantage of tax-credit giving to TRVFA to help people get a let up by helping fund vocational education grants.  When you give to TRVFA it isn't as though you are out any money because it directly reduces your state income tax obligation up to $400 for individuals or $800 for couples.  She commented that she thought it would be great if the federal government would give taxpayers a similar opportunity to decide where to spend their tax obligation.  She said most of the members that started giving after they were educated about this opportunity have stayed in the habit of giving.  They didn't have a fundraiser back then.  Then, Allan Cady came along and implemented an idea of Past President John Eagleston by starting a "let's just ask for money" campaign.  The idea wasn't intended for every Rotary member to write a check - although that was not discouraged - but to reach out in our circles of influence to find individuals and companies with similar values who would want to support what we do.  Now, after four of these campaigns, we have raised over $200,000.  Mesa West starts with an idea and then asks, "how can we do it better."  Instead of ringing the Salvation Army Bell one day, Mesa West is committed at Bass Pro to ring every day from the Friday after Thanksgiving to Christmas.
Transfer of Leadership
President Dan called President-Elect Pam Cohen to come forward.  
Dan knows Pam to be a wonderful friend, wonderful person, an inspiration to many.  He is looking forward to her leadership in the coming year. 
Dan knew that he was wearing a Rotary pin that he needed to remove and pass on to Pam, but left it up to Pam to follow the proper pinning sequence.  Pam invited First Lady Colleen Coons to come forward to assist.
Past President Pin Presented 
Pinning of Past President
Pinning of Pam Cohen, President 2022-23
Pam said Colleen Coons volunteered to be her First Lady, having two years of experience, and good at the job, Pam took her up on her offer.
Pam said Dan is the only person to serve two years in succession as President of Mesa West Rotary Club.  She was able to come up with a one-of-a kind award featuring a fused glass plate created by Jack Rosenberg displayed on a stand created by Ed Koeneman.  An inscription on the stand reads: 
The Rotary Club of Mesa West would like to express
our most sincere appreciation of your dedication 
to the club for serving as
President 2020-22
In addition to the award, Ed Koeneman presented Dan with a gift bag containing a commemorative wine bottle puzzle Ed created in Keeper's Workshop especially for Dan.
2022-23 President Pam Cohen - Welcome and Intro to Coming Year
Pam began referred to the back of the programs where a tribute to Jeanne Crouse appeared.  She asked everyone to share a moment of silence to honor Jeanne's memory.
A card on the tables said "Thank you Dan for these last two years of leadership, friendship, and generosity of spirit."  The back contained the lyrics of the song Good Riddance by Green Day, ending each verse with, "It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.  I hope you had the time of your life."  Leading the club through COVID isolation and the circumstances leading to Dan's service as President a second term were very unpredictable, but he handled it all so right.  Everyone sincerely hoped he had enjoyed the time of his life.  
Pam invited Robin Harris and Logan Harper to come forward.  Now that Pam is President, Robin is officially President-Elect.  Although it has not yet gone through the official nomination and election process, Logan has volunteered to follow Robin.
Pam, when first elected to be Club President again, started thinking of all the things she would like to do.  She quickly realized that Mesa West is not all about Pam Cohen.  She serves on the District Visioning Team and in that capacity has seen how impactful it is when all members of a club are encouraged and included in the process of forming a club's direction.  She is not going to set the agenda.  Our club members will participate in setting the agenda for the next three years through a visioning exercise.  It is hoped that vision will carry forward to future years, as well.  Very soon members will receive simple, electronic surveys from Pam to begin the process.
Pam turned the microphone over to Robin who began thanking Dan for his leadership.  He specifically thanked him for the fun enjoyed by members witnessing the wonderful relationship between Dan and Colleen. Hearing this, Dan jumped up and ran around the table to give Colleen a quick hug and kiss!  Robin remarked that if he were ever in a dark ally, he hoped Logan would be there with him.  Pam insisted Logan flex his arm muscles to show everyone why...  In their leadership discussions, the three have talked about the once-in-a lifetime experience we've all been through with COVID, making this the perfect time to reassess where we really want to go as a club. 
Pam pointed out Logan is a new Director on the Board, and she has asked him to fill a new role as "Visioning Chair."  Logan added, "After we identify where we want to be in three to five years, we can create an action plan."  It won't change overnight, but with an action plan, and a business-like structure we will start to see it take shape.  He is excited to be involved.
Introduction of 2022-23 Club Leaders
  • Carla Krzmarik will begin a two-year term as Club Secretary.
  • Dick Myren will be serving his second year as our "steadfast" Club Treasurer.
  • Directors:
    • Polly Cady, whose term will expire June 30, 2023, will also continue to serve as Membership Chair.  Polly took a moment, as Chair of Rotary Leadership Institute for the District, to point out how many of Mesa West's newest members are RLI graduates, and students and are becoming increasingly active in club leadership capacities.
    • Greg Okonowski was introduced.  His term as a director will also expire at the end of this Rotary year.
    • Tim Troy was unable to attend, but will be serving his second year of a two-year term,.
    • Jay Stuckey will be serving his first year of a two-year term and will also serve as Program Chair.
    • Logan Harper will  be serving his first year of a two-year Director commitment.
  • Shelly Romine will no longer be serving as a director, but she has accepted the responsibility of being Club Service Chair.
  • Colleen Coons, in addition to serving as First Lady, will be the club's Diversity Chair, working with Membership Chair, Polly Cady to attract new leaders from our total community..
  • Sean Green and Kayla Mudge will be co-chairing Public Image. 
  • Dave Brauchler has accepted the responsibility of serving as Community Service Chair.
  • Ray Smith will continue as our International Service Chair.
  • Bryan Goetzenberger will again serve as Vocational Service Chair.
  • Chuck Flint will serve as Chair for The Rotary Foundation.
    • Jim Erickson, by virtue of his position in the District, will serve as our Polio Plus Chair.
    • John Pennypacker will assist Chuck with fundraising for The Rotary Foundation
    • Allan Cady, through the annual Mexican American Friendship Conferences will connect us with Global Grant opportunities.
    • Don LaBarge will manage our participation in District Grants.
  • Mesa West Rotary Foundation is a separate legal entity with a separate Board of Trustees.  Pam thanked Jim Schmidt for his leadership as their President and Chuck Flint for his service as their Chairman of the Board.
  • Pam said that there are two very special people who have already helped her a lot as they have helped many others.  She is going to continue to ask Don La Barge and Jeanie Morgan to serve as her Presidential Advisors.
Pam thanked everyone for coming.  She thanked DG Bret for his presence at the event and his leadership during the past year for which he was given a standing ovation. 
Pam rang the bell to close the meeting.