President Chris Krueger opened the meeting with Wendell Jones offering the invocation and Jim McGown leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
District Governor Jim Erickson and his wife, Maryanne were introduced.  Other visiting Rotarians were Jim Bissonett of Rotary Club of the Southwest who serves as District Foundation Chair, and
Noel DeSousa of Prescott Frontier Rotary Club who serves as Executive Assistant Governor.  Erwin Reiman of Rapid City, South Dakota will be visiting for the season.  Robert LaBarge and Andrea Murphy had a rare opportunity to break from their teaching duties to attend our meeting.  Andrea introduced Westwood High School Interact Club members, Colton Cagle (currently serving as Interact District Governor),  and Shakima Fagan, their Club President.  Assistant Governor Lee Holmes was visiting from Superstition Mountain Rotary Club.  Jack Rosenberg introduced his granddaughter, Sammi Rosenberg.  Alex Hopkins, Immediate Past District Governor of District 5030 was also visiting.
Carolyn Jones was the winner of the weekly attendance drawing.  Chuck Flint announced that the weekly raffle winnings would be $25 and if the holder of the ticket drawn were to be lucky enough to draw the Ace of Clubs, they would win $102.  Frank Rosenberg was the holder of the winning ticket.  He had his daughter, Sammi shuffle the cards and try to draw the ace.  Unfortunately, she drew the Queen of Diamonds.
Buck Board
Chuck Flint explained our buck board for the benefit of the many guests who were present.  There are 100 squares on the board, with ten columns across and ten rows down.  Individuals can purchase as many squares as they wish at a cost of $10 each.  Members can charge their purchases to their club account, but guests must pay cash for any squares purchased.  When the board is full, $1,000 will have been collected.  Cards will be drawn to give values to the rows and columns.  Those cards will then be re-shuffled and drawn  with lines drawn through the column or row with that assigned value until only one square remains.  The holder of that square will have $1,000 donated in their name to the annual fund of The Rotary Foundation and receive Paul Harris Fellow credit and the tax deductible receipt for that donation.  After explaining the board, Chuck circulated with the board for anyone who wished to purchase squares on the Buck Board.
Happy Bucks
  • Robert LaBarge told some brief stories about some of his experiences in his new teaching job in Pinon, Arizona.  It is a very small community.  He has attended a pow wow for the community and regularly sees his students and/or their parents at the local Bashas or laundromat.  He says there is a lot of apathy about education in the community.  He would like to see some revitalization of a culture of education. 
  • Lucinda announced that some time in the future she will be bringing an auction item from Las Vegas.  It will need to be cleaned with WD40. 
  • Dick Myren donated $1 in the tradition of honorary member Rod Daniels.  He also donated $27 celebrating his and Sandy's 27th wedding anniversary on Friday, October 5. 
  • Bob Zarling contributed as he was happy to be finished with his homeowners association finance committee and trip planning committee duties. 
  • Andrea Murphy contributed stating it was an honor to teach students like Colton and Shakima.  Penny May contributed for a near future vacation cruise which will include a stop in Cuba. 
  • Wendell Jones donated.  He was happy to have gone on a road trip with his family.  While on the trip they attended a conference in Salt Lake City and was sad to say BYU lost the football game they were able to attend. 
  • Jim Schmidt was happy to say that even though the October 15 corporate tax deadline was looming, Mesa West Rotary members in the accounting profession were present at the meeting. 
  • Jim Bissonett was happy that half of the Cast of "You're A Good Rotarian" were present at the meeting. 
  • John Pennypacker was happy to be nearly finished with his current dental upgrade project. 
  • Noel DeSousa reminded members that the RYLA food packing project needs to raise money to support the project.  The meals packed stay in Arizona.  Donations which qualify for Arizona Tax Credit can be made to Manzanita Outreach to support the project.  Noel was also happy about Mesa West and Gift of Life Arizona combined investment of $2,500 in a Rotary Foundation grant which supported neonatal equipment for a hospital in Caborca, Mexico.
  • Erwin Reiman announced that he met Penny May when he was visiting our club last spring.  Soon after meeting Penny, he ran into her in the community where they both stay during their seasonal visits to Arizona.  Erwin told Penny that he and his wife were planning a trip to Alaska this past summer, and Penny invited them to visit her at her home in Alaska.  
  • President Chris announced she had received an e-mail about a Polio Immunization trip to India in January-February 2019.  She encouraged anyone who wants to know more to e-mail her to get more information. 
  • Bob Zarling invited Colton and Shakima to go to the podium to talk about their Purple Pinkie Project at Westwood High School Interact Club to raise money at their school to support Rotary's polio eradication efforts.  They announced they were going to stay after the meeting to allow interested Rotarians to participate.  Their goal for the Purple Pinkie Project this year is $1,000.  They said they have standing room only at their Interact Club meetings which occur before school on Wednesdays.
Lee Holmes introduced District Governor Jim Erickson who was making his official visit to Mesa West Rotary Cllub.  Jim is a member of the Superstition Mountain Rotary Club.  He has been a Rotarian for over 40  years, and has over 40 years of perfect attendance.  
One of the goals for the RI President this year is to have each club donate $1,500 or more to the polio campaign.  DG Jim knows that would be very difficult for smaller clubs in District 5495, so his goal is that individual Rotarians will donate $50 to the campaign.  He also stressed it is important to support the annual fund of The Rotary Foundation, noting that at Mesa West, he is "preaching to the choir" since Mesa West was the number 2 club in the District in 2017-18 with per capita giving of $551.85.  
DG Jim had some props with him to promote his District Conference  to be held June 20-22, 2019 in Scottsdale.  He has a video about the conference on his YouTube Channel.  He wants to see the conference be something fun for Rotarians to top off a successful year with celebrating good times together.  Friday night will have dinner and dancing with Southwest Surfers, a local Beach Boys tribute group with Beach Volleyball going on the opposite side of the meeting facility.  Saturday afternoon will feature "Rotary's Got Talent."  Saturday evening will feature hospitality suites with an End of the Year Blowout Toga Party in the District Governor's Suite.  
Our District Governor said he flunked nominee training, as he had one more year of training than the average DG.  He said he is a third generation Rotarian.  His father was a Rotarian, but when he changed jobs, he was booted out of his club because he "lost his classification."  Later, when the family was living in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, a local Rotarian approached his father wanting his business to support a Rotary fundraiser.  He did support the fundraiser after coercing the Rotarian to sponsor him as a member in the local club.  A few years following his father's death, the club invited Jim to be a member.
Polio is DG Jim's Rotary passion.  When he was about 10, he had a hospital stay for an emergency appendectomy.  While there, while he was recovering, he had to walk around the pediatric ward to rebuild his strength.  He remembers seeing a girl whose face was pale and her hair very stringy.  That was all he could remember about her.  The rest of her body was in an iron lung. 
As an older youth, when attending camp, one of Jim's camp counsellors was Rick Litke.  40 years later, Jim and Rick met again.  Rick Litke recognized Jim and reminded him of the camp where they had first known each other.  Their paths had crossed again because Rick Litke was the Rotary District Governor and was making his official club visit to the Menomonee Falls Rotary Club.  
Jim had the privilege of participating in a Rotary polio immunization trip to India.  He recited some statistics.  Even though we are very close to eradicating polio, we still have a very long way to go.  Unfortunately, there have been more cases at this point in 2018 than last year, with 19 reported cases so far.  In the entire year of 2017, there were 22 cases.  We are up 72% this year.  Pakistan has vowed not to be the last country to be polio free and they are making good progress.  Afghanistan is very difficult.  It is very difficult to know if they have reached all children.  The virus can be present without symptoms.
For Rotarians who wish to honor the District Governor's hope to have each district Rotarian donate $50 for polio eradication, and excellent time to do so would be October 24 - World Polio Day.  He also encouraged Rotarians to support The Rotary Foundation Annual Fund.  He would like to see more Rotarians support TRF through a Rotary Direct account which can be set up on the RI website.  repeating donations can be scheduled through a My Rotary account.
Membership in the District appears to be going up a bit this year even though we lost five clubs which closed during the 2017-18 year.  During that same period, three new clubs were formed.  Even though the total membership in the new clubs was greater than the total membership in the five clubs that closed, the district was down by 81 members at the close of that year.  Statistically, clubs will lose 10% of their membership each year.  To grow, a club needs to take in more members than they are likely to lose.  Jim told us we need to ask friends and associates to join Rotary, reminding everyone that "No" is an answer.  If you invite someone, you might get an answer of "No," but you also might get a "Yes."  If you don't ask, you won't get an answer.  Young people often don't get asked because Rotarians think they are too young.  During a visit to Lake Havasu City, DG Jim met a 19-year-old Rotarian.  It is hard for RINOs (Rotarians in Name Only) to get new members when they tell prospects they have lunch every week and sit at the same table with the same guys every week.  An active-engaged Rotarian who explains to a prospect that their club is a group of local professionals who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves is much more likely to get "Yes" for an answer.
Before DG Jim visits a club, he asks the Rotary elf who in that club deserves to be honored with one of his special commemorative coins, which he had made to give out to special Rotarians during his DG year.  One side features the District logo.  The other side features an image of Superstition Mountain.  In Mesa West Rotary, the elf told him there were three members deserving this recognition.  The grand finale of the meeting was his presentation of coins to: 
  1. Donna Goetzenberger for her work at District level with Rotary Youth Exchange 
  2. Lucinda General for her work ensuring the financial integrity of the first year of operation as a combined District had been well documented
  3. Pam Cohen for her dedication to Rotary education in the District.