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Jennifer Jones, Rotary International’s first female president, is the perfect leader to spread the word about the good Rotary does in the world, and inspire its members to keep going.
Jones, 55, was born in Windsor, Ontario, and — save for a few post-college years working in the Turks and Caicos Islands and Manhattan — has lived there her whole life. The oldest of three children, she'd run lemonade stands to earn money to give to charity, and recalls organizing a carnival in her family's yard to benefit kids with muscular dystrophy. "Growing up, my parents had given us wings to do service in our community," she says. Today, her mom, dad, and one of her brothers and his wife are Rotarians. Her other brother created a painting that inspired Jones' presidential-theme ties and scarves.
Jones started her own television production company when she was in her late 20s, wowing bank officials with her business plan, negotiating a lease, and investing in hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of equipment. "I've always wanted to carve my own path," she says. "Sometimes that's meant taking risks and making yourself open to new experiences."

One of those was Rotary. As a rookie radio reporter in the late 1980s, she'd covered the organization and remembers attending club meetings where the members were nearly all men. "I remember feeling very intimidated by the experience," she says. "I was in my early 20s. It was the power brokers of the community." Fast forward to 1996, months after she'd started her business, Media Street Productions. The manager of the local cable station invited Jones to a meeting. She realized she had found her home. "It was clearly one of the greatest gifts I've ever received," she says. "I didn't think walking through the door that day that it would change the trajectory of my life."

CLICK HERE to read the full article which was published in the July, 2022 Rotary Magazine

Rotary International President Jennifer Jones imagines a Rotary where members act to make their dreams become reality and make the most of their club experiences. During her year, Jones will focus on four presidential initiatives that Imagine Rotary:
  • advancing our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
  • creating a welcoming club experience
  • empowering girls
  • expanding our reach.
Mesa West Rotary Club's final Community Service project for 2021-22 was labeling food bags at Midwest Food Bank Tuesday, June 28.  In attendance were:  Taylor Adams, Dave Brauchler, Pam Cohen, Dan and Colleen Coons, Nichole, Blake and Makena Detota, Logan Harper, Robin Harris, Dan Lamborn, Kayla Mudge, Shelly Romine and Jim Schmidt.
Saturday, June 25, Sean Green became an RLI graduate, having completed his third and final session of Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI).  
Polly Cady serves as the District Chair for RLI, where Rotarians as new as Sean or as experienced as our new Club President, Pam Cohen, can learn more about Rotary beyond their local club.
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.
President Dan opened the meeting by thanking members for the gift of being able to serve as Club President.  He then reminded Rotarians and guests of the Rotary International 2021-22 theme - Serve to Change Lives - after which he 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 led the Pledge of Allegiance.  The invocation was offered by Ray Smith. 
Introduction of Guests 
  • Colleen Coons introduced her sister, Judy Roller, saying she always looked up to Judy as her hero, and that Judy is the inspiration for all the good qualities we see in Colleen.
Rotary Minute - International Convention
  • Colleen spoke only long enough to explain that - in the interest of time - she would be pushing the button to advance the slide show while Dan talked about their Rotary International Convention experience.
  • President Dan said there were around 11,000 present for the convention recently held in Houston.  This is a much lower number than pre-COVID conventions.  The plenary sessions were held in a very large conference facility featuring very informative and inspirational speakers, and featuring projects.  The convention is a way to experience and begin to grasp how powerful Rotary is in the world.  He said conversations were easy with attendees from virtually anywhere in the world.  He said it is easy to relate to others - no matter where they are from - because we share so many common values.  Next year the convention will be held in Australia.  He and Colleen highly recommend signing up.  He said he and Colleen already have.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck explained the holder of the ticket drawn would win the small pot of $40 plus the opportunity to try to draw the Ace of Clubs from the deck, which would entitle them to the large pot, which was up to $715.  He asked Darl Andersen to draw the ticket, but Darl had Jeanie Morgan draw the winning ticket and he read off the numbers.  Dick Myren was the holder of the ticket drawn.  His luck ran out when he drew the Seven of Hearts rather than the Ace of Clubs.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski
  • Greg began by acknowledging Melodie Jackson and Bob Jensen who were attending via Zoom.
  • Chuck Flint contributed - glad that all is going well following his recent carpal tunnel surgery.
  • Ron Thompson was happy to be at the meeting.
  • Don LaBarge was happy to report there was no accident and no ticket, but that his new truck had a close encounter with some cones that Don did not see resulting in some expense for Jim Crutcher's business.
  • Mike Whelan was happy to report that Greg Okonowski took good care of insurance details when Mike was rear-ended two weeks earlier.
  • Dick Myren contributed $5 for winning the raffle, plus another two - happy that he and Rod Daniels are associated with the best Rotary Club in the world!  He contributed another $1 for the $12,000 roof repair underway at his home.
  • Jack Rosenberg was happy there would be a Zoom option for attending the Changing of the Guard celebration dinner June 23
  • John Pennypacker contributed $10.  He had received a phone call from a Rotary friend in California who was calling on behalf of a close friend who needed immediate help with a family health and welfare issue in Scottsdale.  John made two phone calls to get the needed help.  One call was to Jay and Melissa Stuckey, and the other was to PDG Sherry Mischel.
  • Steve Ross contributed.  He and Luin were leaving for Lake Tahoe and would miss the June 23 dinner.  He said "No" when asked if they planned to water ski, and "Yes" when asked if they were likely to gamble.
  • John Benedict contributed saying it was getting harder to get up, but he was happy to be at the meeting.
  • Shelly Romine contributed.  Their son's wallet had been found after being left behind at a grocery store.  He had left it laying on the counter.  The checkout clerk handed it to the next customer thinking it was theirs.  Fortunately, there had only been $25 in the wallet.  It had been removed from the wallet before it was found and turned in by yet another person who saw the wallet laying on the parking lot asphalt.
  • Dave Brauchler reported that he and Lynn had enjoyed celebrating granddaughter Abigail's birthday with her and enjoyed seeing how much she enjoyed her buppees (berries).
  • Jay Stuckey announced he was in charge of scheduling programs for 2022-23, and was happy to report July is already full.  He asked for members to contact him if they had ideas for a good presenter/program for a future Mesa West Rotary Club meeting.  He thanked John Pennypacker for reaching out to them.
  • Melissa Stuckey was happy to be at the meeting.
  • Dan Lamborn was happy to be at the meeting.
  • Jim Erickson was sad to report five more cases of wild poliovirus have been report.  So far this year, there have been ten cases:  eight in Pakistan, one in Afghanistan and one in Mozambique.
  • Darl Andersen contributed for his embarrassment at having been caught making his first mistake in misreading the ticket number drawn.
  • Dan Coons was happy to know Pam Cohen would be paying his fines.
  • Melodie Jackson was happy both daughters would be with them for Father's Day.
  • Ed Koeneman was happy Sean Green was interning as our zoom/av tech and appears to be highly trainable.  He was also happy it is not only 555 days until the next Star Wars movie is released.  He was a bit sad that Debbie had left on a trip leaving him in charge of protecting their small flock of chickens from the avian flu.
  • Ray Smith was sad to have to leave Alpine so he could be happy to be at our club meeting.
  • Robin Harris was happy to hear the Guaymas Hearing Mission might be able to restart.
  • Warren Williamson was happy to report that he and Son Hee would be celebrating her June 24 birthday a day early.  He would be taking her out to dinner on the 23rd.
  • Judy Roller contributed.  She was happy to have participated in Yoga with Shelly and Colleen.  Judy said it was a privilege to meet Colleen and  Dan's Rotary friends and see Rotary in Action.  She can now understand why Rotary seems to be part of every waking moment at the Coons household.
  • Pam Cohen contributed to snitch on Darl Andersen.  She found it particularly poignant when, soon after hearing Shelly's tale about their son's lost wallet, she noticed Darl's wallet on the floor under his chair.  Darl was very humiliated to have the club be be witness to both his first and second mistakes.  He asked to be billed $100 for Chuck's team for the sponsorship program.
  • Greg Okonowski agreed to match Darl's contrite contribution.
  • President Dan reminded members there would be no  noon meeting June 23 with the Changing of the Guard celebration dinner taking place that evening.  June 30 is a 5th Thursday, so there will not be a noon meeting on that date.
  • It was suggested that members CLICK HERE to register to attend the installation of Larry Horton as District Governor at the San Tan Brewery in Chandler at 6:30 PM July 1.  There is no charge to register.
  • Shelly Romine reminded members to use the link in the service project article in the Messenger to register to participate in the final service project of this Rotary year at the Midwest Food Bank Tuesday, June 28 from 5:30-7:00.  
  • Polly Cady suggested members plan to participate in Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) Saturday, June 25.  All three sessions will be offered.  CLICK HERE to enroll.
Auction - Polly Cady
Polly had a bag of goodie from their trips to the Carolinas the past two years.  She invited our slow auctioneer, Allan Cady to actually conduct the auction.  The starting bid was $35, and Colleen Coons made the final offer of $65, which resulted in her receiving the "gift that keeps on giving."
Sponsor Campaign Update
With the most recent update Allan Cady reported we were nearing $54,000 in total donations.  The teams were very close in each of their total results.  In the four campaigns held since John Eagleston came up with the sponsorship program idea during his presidency, we have gathered over $200,000 in donations to support our charitable endeavors.  
Police Tales from the Past - Don LaBarge
Since the speaker had not yet arrived, President Dan asked Don LaBarge to share some info from his experiences while serving as a police officer.  The final nine years of his twenty-one years on the force, Don worked undercover trying to apprehend felons.  Although it is one of the things officers going through the academy most enjoy doing, kicking in doors is frowned upon - particularly in motels/hotels.  A trick Don and his partner(s) used was to push their vehicle into the suspected felon's vehicle in the facility's parking lot, then ask the desk clerk to call the room and ask the owner of the car to come down to exchange insurance information.  Once outside in the parking lot, the suspects were easily apprehended.
The more specific and colorful story was that of a 20-year-old male from Oklahoma who shot sand killed a person in Oklahoma, grabbed his girlfriend and split.  The girlfriend kept calling friends, who she knew would call the police.  She was able to inform them that the destination was grandma's house in Phoenix.  She was able to communicate that the suspect was armed and dangerous and had vowed not to be taken alive.  Don said the grandparents were very nice people and were appreciative of being kept informed.  When the suspect was getting close to Phoenix, a swat team was activated and had the home of the grandparents surrounded.  The suspect instead went to a Motel 6.  Don and his partner pushed their truck against the suspect's vehicle and the desk clerk called the room.  Instead of the suspect coming down, he sent the girlfriend.  Finally, he did come out.  He was unarmed and wearing only white boxers.  While he was being easily apprehended, they explained "If you don't want to be taken alive, you need a place to hide a gun."
Gift of Hearing - Brief Update - Bob Jensen
Bob said the last mission was in the fall of 2019.  There was a big team of about fifty volunteers.  They saw 470 patients in two very long days.  They were able to provide hearing aids for all, but ran out of earmold material.  Some of the volunteers did not reach the restaurant for the final dinner on the last night until nearly midnight.  They were exhausted when the dinner finally wrapped up about 2:00 a.m. Bob felt bad about those who only received hearing aids without molds.  COVID caused cancellation of the 2020 mission, and a sewage problem at the school caused the 2021 mission to be cancelled.  Since our last mission, the school has been broken into 26 times.  Fortunately none of the mission materials and equipment stored there have been taken or damaged.  It is hoped another mission will be able to happen this coming November.
Dr. Mark Leonard Rescheduled for August 3
Dr. Leonard did arrive close to 1:00 p.m.  Although he lives in Arizona, apparently his calendar software made a daylight savings time adjustment to his schedule causing him to be late.  He briefly explained what he would be talking to the club about when he returns for the August 3 meeting.
The Sleep in Heavenly Peace Bed Build project Saturday, May 21 at VIP Mortgage in Scottsdale was well attended by Mesa West Rotarians, Rotary friends, and family members:  Dave Brauchler, Leidy Caro, Dan and Colleen Coons, Sean Green and Barbara Des Moulins, Dan Lamborn, Kayla Mudge, Greg and Dennis Okonowski, John Pennypacker, Erwin Reimann, Shelly Romine, Frank and Sam Rosenberg, and Ted Williams.  Judging from the photos, it looks like the volunteers found time to have fun while staying productively busy.
This has been a challenging year for all humanitarian hearing missions throughout the world.  Like many other programs, our club decided that it would be too risky for our volunteers, patients and others in Guaymas if we conducted what would have been our 28th Annual program.
After consulting with health professionals and officials here and in Guaymas, it was decided that we would wait and see what would develop in terms of access to patients, availability of a proven vaccine, and feasibility of conducting a reduced program sometime in 2021.  In talking to other audiologists who conduct programs in Nicaragua and Belize, this seemed to be the common opinion.
In the meantime, I continue to have dialogues with our friends in Guaymas and Alamos regarding the prevalence of COVID-19 cases in their areas and what they see as a plan of action for the future.  Rudolfo Fernandez, our audiology technician in Alamos, is in constant contact with the school in Guaymas where we conduct the clinic and doctors in Guaymas to see what he can do to start up a testing and training program which will be fundamental to achieving a sustainable on-going program in Guaymas.  This would allow patients to be seen on a quarterly basis, reduce the number of patients seen during our two-day clinic and, consequently, reduce the need for a very large team to travel once a year to Guaymas.  It might take some monetary support from our club but would lower the overall cost of the mission if we support him in his efforts.  The cost savings to our club could be as much as $10,000 to $15,000 a year.
We know that the need for our services is great in Guaymas but we must approach the solution to the need in a safe and prudent manner.  I will keep the club updated and hope to meet with the Mission Committee in the early part of 2021 to form a plan of action to help our friends in Guaymas.
Thanks to the club members for your continued support of the mission
Bob Jensen
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.  Those who donate $100 or more annually to Polio Plus qualify in District 5495 as Polio Plus Society Members.  If you would like to make that commitment, CLICK HERE to download the commitment form.
  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.
Club Information
Welcome to our Rotary Club of Mesa West!
Mesa West


We meet In Person & Online
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.
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Membership Dir "23
Director '23
Director '24
Director '24
Public Image Co-Chair
Public Image Co-Chair
TRF Chair
Executive Secretary
Robbie Thompson
Jul 07, 2022
Medicaid Planning for Long Term Care
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