President Chris Krueger called the meeting to order with Dick Myren offering the invocation and Pam Cohen leading the Pledge of Allegiance.  John Pennypacker had served as official greeter making everyone feel welcome.  Ray Smith led those present in singing Jingle Bells, including the verses.
Several guests were present including a membership prospect, Tom Bradford.  Seasonal visitors included Tom Mellen from Maine, Rick Bouse from Alaska, and Joan and Erwin Reimman from South Dakota.  
Karen Chavez won the attendance drawing.  Chuck Flint announced that the winner of the weekly raffle would win $30, and if they were lucky enough to draw the Ace of Clubs from the cards remaining in the deck, they would receive an additional $231.  Chris Krueger's ticket was drawn, but the card she drew was the five of hearts.  Chuck Flint also explained the club's Buck Board - a way we keep The Rotary Foundation on members' minds, and raise money for TRF in the process.
Happy Dollars
John Pennypacker received a surprise package delivered by Sergeant at Arms on behalf of some Mesa West members who were aware that John suffers from insomnia and sends messages during times he is awake in the middle of the night.  The package included some sleep-aid supplies - tea, honey, and a (hopefully boring) book full of home remedies.  Jeanie Morgan paid happy dollars for the therapeutic effect of Salvation Army Bell Ringing.  Karen Chavez also contributed as a recent bell ringer.  Dollars were given in honor of the Bob and Ray Guaymas Show.  Bob Jensen was the organizer and Ray Smith was the herder.  Dan Coons announced that Caiu is now in their home.  He thanked Rotarians for the effort made by club members to ensure Caiu has a positive experience on his inbound Youth Exchange adventure.  He has already been to California three times.  Melody Jackson contributed for an event of Mesa Leadership at the Mesa Center for the Arts.  Warren Haessler was happy to have won the Chili Cook-off and said it was nice to have Youth Exchange represented that evening.  
Auction Item
John Pennypacker had an auction item from the Rotary Institute he had recently attended in Reno.  He wanted the proceeds of the auction to benefit which will help families in the Paradise California community who lost everything in the November fires.  He had brought a poem written by a Paradise resident to share.  If you missed seeing it in last week's Messenger and did not get a printed copy at the meeting, click here.  After learning that John planned to match the highest bid, the bidding got more animated.  Chuck Flint won the beautiful centerpiece that was auctioned with his bid of $50.
Trivia Question
Chris Krueger eliminated those that actually went on the Gift of Hearing Mission to Guaymas in November, and asked members if they knew how many had been served on that mission.  Karen Chavez won because knew the correct answer was 370.  She knew because she had read the report about the mission in the Messenger.
Decision about When to be Dark for Holidays
President Chris let the members decide which two dates we would be dark for the holidays.  There will be no meetings on December 27 and January 4.
  •  A multi-club social with visitors from our district from Naivasha was to be held Thursday, November 29 from 5:30 to 8:00 at Zips in Gilbert.
  •  Don LaBarge announced that at the Salvation Army Kettle Night Kickoff, Pam Cohen was the Mesa West bucket runner going around the room collecting donations.  She was the winner because her bucket contained $5,287.  (Someone had put a check for $5,000 in her bucket.)  Don also announced the bell ringing season is longer this year.  Westwood High School interact is filling a gap left when a problem came up with boy scouts not being allowed to ring the bell in their scout uniforms.  They are working to resolve the resulting question as to whether they can get credit for service hours when ringing the bell out of uniform.  Don announced some open time slots and had a sign-up sheet available at the meeting.
  • If Polly Schumacher had been able to attend the November 29 meeting, she had planned to make an announcement about the Fifth Annual Holiday Concert presented by the House of Broadcasting.  She will be unable to attend the December 6 meeting also, so asked to have the concert information available to members.  CLICK HERE to download the flyer.  The concert will feature Mike Chamberlin & Friends, and be held Friday, December 7 at 7:00 PM at Central United Methodist Church, Kendall Hall, 1875 N Central, Phoenix.  Tickets are $15 per person and will be available at the door.
Bob Jensen introduced our speaker, Dr. Ingrid McBride, Dr. of Audiology, Clinical Professor of Audiology at Arizona State University.  Bob said that Dr. Jensen and some of her students had travelled with our team to work at the Gift of Hearing Mission in Guaymas, Mexico this year.  He said she has a passion for service above self which he hopes will eventually lead to her becoming a Rotarian.   She worked with the Hearing for Humanity project in Malawi Africa for seven years.  She was awarded the annual Focus on People Award for her work in Malawi.  Dr. McBride's husband, Dave McBride has gone on the Guaymas mission for sixteen years, but this was her first year.
Dr. McBride spoke about her work in Malawi Africa - one of the five poorest countries in the world.  Its place in that group of five changes year-to-year but it has consistently been one of the five poorest for many years.  Hearing for Humanity was established in 2010.  During the years she was involved, 8500 were served - mostly children and more than 2,000 hearing aids were provided.  By training local people to do hearing testing, and using remote technology, the program eventually became sustainable without her having to travel each year to Malawi.  Sustainability should be the eventual goal of any service project.
In looking at "what next?" Dr. McBride determined it was not necessary to travel to another country to help people in need.  In the United States, hearing loss is in the top three issues needing attention.  One in ten Americans has some hearing loss.  For many, affording hearing aids is out of reach, with the cost ranging upward from $3,000.  
A new program is being developed through ASU Speech and Hearing Community Fund.  Dr. McBride is talking with the Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation and hopes that Rotarians also might want to join in a collaborative effort to work on a collaborative program which she hopes will eventually serve 600 individuals each year at an annual cost of $660,000 or more.
Holiday Party Location Appeal to Members
Before adjourning the meeting, President Chris requested that any member who would be willing and have the available space in their home to host the post-holiday party contact her.