President Chris Krueger opened the meeting with an invocation offered by Daryl Bethea and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Jeanie Morgan.
Donna Goetzenberger introduced Albie Abrahams and Sheri Collins from First Things First and who would be heard from later in the program.  She also introduced Clem, who was an inbound Rotary Youth Exchange student from Belgium a few years ago.  During her exchange, the Goetzengergers were her host family.
Darl Andersen was the lucky $5 winner in the weekly attendance drawing.  Chuck Flint explained that the weekly raffle winner would definitely receive $39.00, but might also be the lucky winner of $126 if they were to draw the ace of clubs (which we are).  President Chris's ticket was drawn by Clem, and she did draw the ace of clubs.  Feeling lucky, Chris announced she might use some of her winnings to buy lottery tickets.
Buck Board
Because we did not have many guests and Rotarians present were all familiar with the Buck Board, Chuck Flint announced he would simply circulate through the tables to give Rotarians the opportunity to purchase squares on the board with the hope they will be purchasing the square that will result in them going to the next level in Paul Harris Society giving to The Rotary Foundation.
Happy Bucks
Chris Krueger was the first to contribute - happy to have won the raffle, and very happy to have recently spent lots of time in Nebraska enjoying her family.  Pam Cohen paid sad dollars as a fellow board member on Gift of Life Arizona, Michael Burke of the Arcadia Rotary Club, had recently passed away.  Bob Jensen contributed $50 to go to the Gift of Hearing Mission.   Bob helped the Dove Mountain club get a $12000 district grant to train Guaymas, Alamos and San Felipe, Mexico volunteers to receive training in basic hearing testing.  Bob explained they would start with a two-day training session during our clinic in Guaymas in November,  which will help us in pursuing a global grant as it begins the first steps to sustainability. The global grant was obtained by the Catalina Tucson club and will provide many aspects of health care in Alamos including some hearing health care. Our club has contributed money for this grant. Darl Andersen paid happy dollars thanking Carolyn Jones for being the young beauty putting up with the old guys at their table.  Jim McGown was back from his summer travels.  It wasn't clear that he was happy to be there, as he would have been out on the lake if he were still on his summer respite.  Don LaBarge was happy to have enjoyed his Rotary adventure in Idaho.  Chuck Flint was happy to announce the Havasu Falls trip had sold out.  Donna Goetzenberger was happy to report they had interviewed another outbound youth exchange candidate the night before.  They are now up to fifteen outbound students for next year.  She also said that the inbound students had traveled to Sedona September 7-9 for to participate in a  campout as well as work at a car wash fundraiser.  Polly Schumacher contributing asking fellow Rotarians to keep the people on the east coast in their thoughts and prayers as they deal with the coming hurricane.  Immanuel Beeson paid happy dollars because, even though his little boy's team lost their game, his son was the only one who scored.  His other son had the opposite experience.  His holder son's team won even though that son did not score. 
Donna Goetzenberger introduced the speaker from First Things First, Albie Abrahams, who explained that Albie is not the name on her birth certificate, which is a very long, formal, traditional Spanish name, but the simpler name she has been known as for her entire life.  She was born in Puerto Rico.  In her first home, there was a lot of love, but there was also a lot of conflict.  Her parents divorced when she was five.  At that young age, she had learned some survival skills.  Her fright or flight instinct was very strong, and she learned to be hyper-vigilant.  
Albie is the mother of a 10-year-old daughter.  As a social worker, Albie was very aware that 90% of brain development occurs by age 5.  She knew that early nurturing and love would be essential.  She described interacting with her daughter as an infant.  She would talk to her daughter, then remain silent while she allowed her little girl to babble back at her.  When the daughter finished babbling, Albie would talk to her again, then remain silent and repeat the process.  The daughter was learning to engage in conversation before she had a vocabulary.  The earlier one can intervene and optimize a child's exposure to positive nurturing and love, the greater will be the return.  First Things First was created in Arizona ten years ago utilizing Tobacco Tax Revenue.
They form partnerships to support communities with a hope of helping children become self-regulated, learn to share, grown in skills to interact with their peers and have good communication skills.  Their family support centers try to help by matching needs with available resources.  The state is divided into twenty-eight regions.  We are in the Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek (East Maricopa) region.  There is a regional partnership council with six members.  The council provides volunteer opportunities for citizens to get involved to help make decisions to make most effective use of available assets to meet needs in the community.  Community impact reports are prepared and reviewed regularly to ensure that program goals are being met.
  • John Pennypacker congratulated Bob Jensen on working toward integrating the use of TRF global grant funds in the work Bob has long supported in Mexico.  When clubs get involved in TRF grants, they are actually putting their own invested dollars to work.  John announced that last year, The Rotary Foundation did not meet their fundraising goal.  They exceeded the goal of raising $315,000,000.  They raised over $400,000,000.  In our zone, Mesa West Rotary Club had the second highest per-member giving, averaging $551.85 per member in 2017-18.  Getting more involved in grant participation enables us to ensure some of the funds we give are used for projects we directly support with our volunteer efforts.
  • Immanuel Beeson said that Salvation Army would work closely with Red Cross in meeting disaster response needs of those impacted by the hurricane.  They will be feeding first responders and he was very proud of the Salvation Army's ability to quickly organize and deploy the resources necessary to make a difference.  He stressed the importance of giving monetary gifts rather than stuff when the emergency is happening.  That way they can quickly respond to actual needs without having volunteers tied up with sorting, storing, and managing mountains of stuff.