Club Information
Welcome to our Rotary Club of Mesa West!
Mesa West
Transforming Communities, Creating Opportunities, Impacting Youth
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.
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Mesa West Participates - Day of Service in Mesa
Photos taken at the Day of Service Event held Saturday, September 9 at the Red Mountain Institute Building in Mesa. Mesa West Rotary Club Volunteers joined Westwood High School Interact Club Members at the Mesa West Rotary booth at the event.
From the Facebook post about the activity: 
"Amazing Day of Service in Mesa in honor of 9/11 National Day of Service.

Thank you everyone who came out to enjoy the morning
with Mesa West Rotary and the Mesa community!

We LOVED making dog toys for our local pups!
260 toys were made by all of our crafters"
Bunyard Family Inspired by our Club's New Project
After learning about the new project Mesa West Rotary Club will be starting this year - empowering unaccompanied (without parent or guardian) homeless youth in the McKinney Vento Project to successfully graduate from high school - The Bunyard Family was inspired to make a $1,000 donation to Mesa West Rotary Foundation to support one of the youth in the program.  
Highlights of September 7 Meeting
Opening and Welcome - President Colleen Coons
Colleen pointed out the new Club Banner which was designed by Pam.  AG Dan Coons arranged for having it printed.
  • Dick Myren offered the invocation.
  • Jack Rosenberg led the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Chuck Flint was thanked for arriving early to sell raffle tickets.
  • Steve Ross was thanked for serving as Greeter, welcoming members and guests to the meeting.
  • Ron Thompson was thanked in advance for his effort as Sgt at Arms collecting Happy Bucks.
  • Ed Koeneman was thanked for his expertise as chief tech officer.
Introduction of Guests 
  • Polly Cady introduced Olivia from Sweden, a Rotary Youth Exchange student hosted by Mesa West Rotary.   She is attending Mesquite High School where she is on the student council and is on the cross-country team.  She is really enjoying school and looks forward to any experience she can have while on her exchange.   She would like to attend our Rotary meeting every week if possible.  She also has a list of things she would like to do while here.  Olivia announced she would like to go hiking, visit a pumpkin patch, the zoo, and attend a football game to name a few.  She would enjoy the theater, and would like to try barbeque.  If anyone in the club would like to do something with Olivia, they should contact Ed Koeneman or Polly.  To follow RI youth protection policies, Olivia's contact information cannot be published in our Messenger.
  • Frank Rosenberg was happy to have a friend and former member seated at his table.
  • President Colleen also acknowledged those who were attending the meeting via Zoom:   Pai Bethea, Deb Koeneman, Lola McClane and Jeanie Morgan.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
After announcing that the small pot would be $30 and the large pot was up to $950, Chuck asked Olivia to draw the winning ticket.  When no-one responded that they had the ticket number drawn, Chuck checked his own ticket, which did match.  He had Jay Stuckey verify that fact, then asked Olivia to try to draw the Ace of Clubs on his behalf.  The card Olivia drew was the Ace of Hearts - which was then destroyed.  
The raffle will continue with the large pot growing.  Each week, proceeds of ticket sales are divided three ways:  1/3 to the club operating account, 1/3 for the small pot and the final 1/3 added to the cumulating large pot until it is won when some lucky person draws the Ace of Clubs.
Happy Bucks - Ron Thompson
  • Dick Myren contributed his traditional $2.00 for the good fortune of he and Honorary Member Rod Daniels being associated with Mesa West Rotary.  He said he really enjoyed the tour of the Library on August 31.
  • Don LaBarge had recently returned from a two-week trip to Vermont where he visited three of his aunts.  While he was gone, his wife, Chris, was in charge of his normal residential maintenance duties.  Something went wrong with the irrigation system.  A valve needed to be turned.  Chris couldn't turn it.  Their neighbor couldn't turn it either.  Don suggested they try turning it the other direction.  They did, and it worked just fine.  The other thing that went wrong was it appeared they had a roof leak.  It was not actually a roof leak.  There was a rusted pan collecting water from the Air Conditioner which had started leaking through the ceiling.
  • John Pennypacker said he had an appointment to see Ron Thompson to get his wisdom teeth removed.  John removed his baseball cap to show the resulting stitches on top of his head.
  • Ed Koeneman was happy Olivia was at the meeting.  He and Deb are going to take the student they are hosting to the State Fair.  When they decide for sure when, they will try to reach out to Olivia to see if she is available to go with them.  Ed added that he had renewed his library card after the library tour.  Ed said the Westwood HS interact members had informed him that it is incorrect to say Interact is Rotary for kids.  What is accurate is to say that Rotary is Interact for old people.
  • Warren Williamson contributed $5 to tell a story on Steve Ross.  It seems Steve told his doctor he had recently walked about 3-4 miles, waded in a small lake, climbed cragley rocks on the edge of a mountain, and walked in the sand where he got sand in his shoes.  His doctor congratulated him on taking the need to exercise so seriously.  In truth, Steve just had a bad day on the golf course.
  • Polly Cady was happy Olivia was at the meeting.  She said she has the best job in the district, being the Youth Exchange Counsellor.  She was also happy that Ron Thompson said he would take Olivia to a Cardinals game including a tailgate party.
  • Harry Grossman was celebrating the Cardinals pre-season games.  He was wearing his specdial shoes and Cardinals hat.
  • Chuck Flint was happy to have won the small pot.  He was unhappy that John Pennypacker was giving chocolate away at the front table, but he was only giving it to females.  Chuck wondered why John didn't bring enough for everyone.
  • President Colleen contributed $2 celebrated the arrival of our new official volunteer service vests.  They come in all sizes.  We now also have a table banner for use when we do tabling events.  As part of her Mesa Leadership, Colleen participated in a police department ride-along lasting nine hours.  She said it was the best experience she ever had.  She said she learned so much from their viewpoint - those who are on the streets every day.  She said they consistently showed dignity and respect to those they dealt with.
  • Ray Smith pointed out that Allan Cady's birthday was coming up.  Allan pledged $78 to the Guaymas project to celebrate his birthday.
  • John Pennypacker asked President Colleen to remove her hat.  He placed a new red "enhancer" (flower) in her hair.  Colleen said she was surprised and delighted it was something so sweet.  She was kind of expecting it to be something that would move or crawl down her back.
Program - Mark Young President and CEO Mesa United Way
Mark is a member of the Mesa Rotary Club.  He is from Leavenworth Kansas.  He has lived in Arizona since 1996.  He was an American Baptist pastor for several years.  He is now with the United Way.  He likes Baseball, football, jazz and kayaking.
The United Way has been part of our community for a long time.  It had its beginning in 1921 as the Community Foundation.  The founders wanted to make sure there was food and clothing for migrant workers during the cotton disaster.  It became the Mesa Community Chest in the late 40s, and finally became the United Way in 1964.  Their mission was to ensure nonprofits got the funding necessary to do their work.  They changed from being merely an allocation group to also being a direct service provider in 2017.  They found they needed to fill gaps in services needed in the community.
CLICK HERE to see the slides Mark used during his presentation, one of which is shown below:
Over the years, fundraising has changed.  It is now much easier to support the specific charities one wants to support with on-line donations.  Some United Ways have merged.  The Mesa United Way saw needs increasingly not being met with the old model.  The new non-profit allows them to respond to unmet needs in the community   Foster kids and parents can visit Helen's Hope Chest four times a year to "shop" for what they need at no cost.  It allows them to raise money in communities receiving services, but not "allowed" with current boundaries to support United Way of Mesa.  They are still a pass-through vehicle for donations.  That is an important thing to do, but not their primary focus.
Mark spoke specifically about the need to improve reading proficiency.  He said there are ways to predict jail cells needed in twenty years based on 4th grade reading proficiency scores.  Volunteer reading tutors are needed.  Their Azure organization qualifies for Arizona Tax Credit donations - in Arizona, we have a state government that lets us decide how to spend our tax obligation.
Money helps, but people volunteering help more.  It's easy to blame parents, but they may not speak English and may be working multiple jobs.  The reading tutors can make a huge difference.
Mark said they can't fill all the gaps, but they can fill some.  He said there needs to be a way to address homelessness - before homelessness and desperation occur.  
Don LaBarge told a story on himself.  He said a Gilbert Judge tolk him to donate to the United Way in order to ge a charge dismissed.
Announcement - John Pennypacker had his laptop with him and was glad to stay and be available to answer questions about My Rotary or Rotary Direct.
You Are Invited - Peace Pole Rededication Event
Something to Ponder

“The function of education is to teach one

to think intensively and to think critically.

Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”

Martin Luther King Jr. 

A Bit of Humor
This is the true story of George Phillips of Meridian, Mississippi, who was going to bed when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the shed. George opened the door to go turn off the light but saw there were people in the shed in the process of stealing things. He immediately phoned the police, who asked, "Is someone in your house?" and George said, "No," and explained the situation. Then they explained that all patrols were busy, and that he should simply lock his door and an officer would be there when available. George said, "Okay," hung up, counted to 30, and phoned the police again. "Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people in my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now because I've just shot them all." Then he hung up. Within five minutes three squad cars, an Armed Response unit, and an ambulance showed up. Of course, the police caught the burglars red-handed. One of the policemen said to George, "I thought you said that you'd shot them!" George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"
The Big Four - Ways to Support Rotary in Mesa West
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.
Sep 14, 2023
Canyon State Academy
Sep 21, 2023
Eagle Pathway
Sep 28, 2023
Featuring Jane Foley Graff - McKinney Vento
Oct 05, 2023
211 Arizona
Oct 19, 2023
Reverse Mortgages
View entire list
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Director '24
Director '24
Director '25
Director '25
Director '25
Mesa West Foundation President
Club Service Chair
Fundraising Chair
Membership Chair
Public Image Chair
Rotary Foundation Chair for Mesa West
Vocational Service Chair
Youth Services Chair
Executive Secretary
Upcoming Events
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Sep 19, 2023 5:30 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Oct 17, 2023 5:30 PM
Help Feed the Homeless
Desert Chapel
Oct 21, 2023
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Daniel Becker
September 8
Allan Cady
September 16
Jim McGown
September 18
Robin Harris
September 18
Bob Jensen
September 19
Wendell Jones
September 25
John Benedict
September 30
Spouse Birthdays
Allan Cady
September 16
Marsha Harvey
September 17
Jane Benedict
September 20
Andrea White
September 22
Keith Deering
Kim Deering
September 15
Warren Williamson
Sunny Williamson
September 30
Join Date
Allan Cady
September 1, 2010
13 years
Jim McGown
September 2, 1994
29 years
Greg Bouslog
September 5, 2019
4 years
Bob Zarling
September 8, 2000
23 years
Ray Smith
September 19, 2000
23 years
Polo Santiago
September 21, 2022
1 year
Erika Yost
September 24, 2020
3 years
Debbie Koeneman
September 30, 2022
1 year
Gina Schroeder
September 30, 2022
1 year
Mike Schroeder
September 30, 2022
1 year
Rotary District 5495 Links
District Links
Arizona Rotaract
Rotary District 5495
Rotary Interact District 5495
The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA)
Rotary Youth Exchange
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards - RYLA
RYLA Service Project Support
Bulletin Editor
Jeanie Morgan
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