President Allan was pleased to open the meeting with a full house.  Jim Schmidt gave the invocation and Polly Cady led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Ray Smith led all present in a harmonious rendition of "America, the Beautiful."
Among the visitors were Colton and Saundra of the Westwood High School Interact Club, along with their sponsor, Andrea Murphy, a new member of Mesa West Rotary.  Colton and Saundra explained the Purple Pinkie Project their club is doing to raise awareness of and funds to support Polio eradication efforts of Rotary during the month of October. 
Other guests in attendance were Don Kesner from Tempe Downtown, Norm Duve of Mesa Sunrise, Bill Beamish, Guest of Don LaBarge, a Four-Peaks Rotary Club Representative, Cindy Harrison, from Tucson Sunset, Christine Weeks, a former youth exchange student, Sakio Kamakawi (from Japan), Norm Duve, Yordy Miguel (an aspiring exchange student) and his mother, Aide Rayna.
Jim McGown won $34 in the weekly raffle, but made everyone else happy when the drew the 7 of diamonds, allowing the growing accumulating pot to keep growing.    After three badge numbers were called with their owners not present, President Allan declared that the $5 would roll over to be won by next week's badge number winner.
Steve Ross collected happy bucks, with the largest contribution coming from Don LaBarge, who was celebrating his 70th birthday, and the fact that Chris has let him know he is now old enough that she will no longer pester him about wearing his suspenders.
Chuck Flint explained the buck board for the benefit of our guests. 
Bob Kesner passed the district's Traveling Friendship Trophy from Tempe Downtown to Mesa West, explaining that we do not get to keep it, but pass it on to another club in District 5495 at their regular meeting.  
The speaker was introduced by Bill Beamish.  Sarah Hagerman is the President of ASU Rotaract and was sponsored by a grant from our district to attend the Rotary International Convention last summer.  Sarah opened her remarks by saying, "Rotary makes me feel good at the end of the day."  She said it was amazing how welcome she felt at such a huge convention.  She said it was like "visiting family she'd never met."
Key ways the summer benefited Sarah:
  • She found that being in the Rotary Family is a huge honor
  • She learned that (positive) change is happening in the world because of us
  • Leadership is scary, but worth it
  • Rotarians are all the same - wanting to do good in the world
  • Nothing is better than to know you are a part of something bigger than yourself.
In addition to attending the RI convention, Sarah talked about her experience participating in the Rotaract Round trip which started in Nice, France and ended in Paris.  On the trip, she stayed with local Rotaractors, and met Rotaractors from around the world.  She also attended the European Rotaract Convention. 
It was obvious Sarah was appreciative of the opportunities Rotary has given her, and that she is committed to Rotary as a way of life. 
Following the program, President Allan made a few announcements:
  • The October 19 meeting will be on the 8th Floor of the hotel in the Grand Canyon Suite.
  • With donations received and pending commitments, the sponsor program is now over $20,000.
  • A Guaymas Mission sendoff breakfast will be held at the Red Mountain Campus of Mesa Community College at 7:00 AM, Wednesday, November 8.
  • Don LaBarge announced that Mesa West is Partnering with Norm Duve from Mesa Sunrise to support Veteran's Day including the collection of peanut butter for the local food bank.
  • Don LaBarge also announced that while he appreciated the acknowledgment of his part in sending Rotaractors to the RI convention, that Bill Beamish was a key player in sending Sarah and the others to the Rotary International Convention.
  • The Traveling Trophy will be taken to the Camelback Club - date, place, and time to be decided.