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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Where were you in 1973?
For our 50th Anniversary celebration, Ed is putting together a collection of photos of our members taken during the year when our club was formed.  Please look through your old photos and send one or more to Ed 
Highlights of February 2 Meeting
Welcome and Opening of Meeting
Ed Koeneman filled in for President Pam Cohen to welcome members and guests to the meeting
  • Dick Myren offered the invocation.
  • Warren Williamson led the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Ed Koeneman presented the Rotary Minute.  He told about attending a reunion back in Pennsylvania.  While there, he learned that a neighbor's dad had been in Rotary all Ed's life, but Ed hadn't been aware that the neighbor's dad was in Rotary back then.  Ed asked, "Who knows you are a Rotarian?"  Then he took a selfie of himself with his fellow-Rotarians behind him so he could share it on social media and let his friends know he was proud to be a member of Mesa West Rotary.
Introduction of Guest
Jim Schmidt introduced Tabatha Peden, a visiting Rotarian from the Queen Creek Satellite Club.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck asked Jack Rosenberg to draw the winning ticket.  The ticket was held by Warren Williamson, who automatically won the small pot of $25.  After shuffling the cards, Warren drew the Ace of Clubs making him the happy winner of the large pot of $340.
Happy Bucks - Ron Thompson
  • Inspired by Ed's Rotary Minute, Ron remembered his early days in Rotary when members would be fined if they were not wearing their Rotary Pin, then announced that he would expect those who were not wearing a pin to fine themselves.
  • John Pennypacker was wearing a Rotary shirt and was also wearing a pin.  He was happy that he had the information he needed to see his accountant to get his tax filing for 2022 started.
  • Warren Williamson was so happy about winning the raffle that he donated $100 for Polio Plus and also donated $100 for The Rotary Foundation Annual Fund.  He told a pretty good fish story, but your editor did not accurately record all the details.
  • Mike Whalen's dad was in Rotary.  Mike learned that the Rotary rule was to "keep your fork."  If you failed to do so, you had no way to eat your desert when it was served.
  • Jim McGown's  father and grandfather were both Rotarians, making Jim a 3rd generation Rotarian.
  • Jim Erickson confessed he was not wearing his Rotary pin.
  • Brian Harvey said he'd lost his Rotary pin.
  • Chuck Flint paid some sad bucks - he has a "slab leak" in his house which is not going to be simple to fix, but help is on its way.
  • Dick Myren contributed his traditional $2.  He also pointed out that in addition to wearing his Rotary pin, he was also wearing a US flag pin  - something he has done since 9/11.  He suggested that might be a good tradition for others to follow.
  • Jack Rosenberg was happy to be at the meeting.
  • Ed Koeneman contributed.  He was happy about the blankets Carla Krcmarik donated which will go to an animal shelter.  He also announced they had a new pet residing at their house.  Their daughter had brought home a bald python named Marshmallow.  
  • Dave Brauchler was happy he escaped California when he did.  He said a former neighbor tweeted that gas prices have quadrupled, electricity had tripled, and water had doubled.  The neighbor said his monthly utility costs were running over $700.
  • Ray Smith contributed for both himself and Melissa Stuckey saying neither of them were wearing Rotary pins.  He also said Bob Jensen has his report ready on the Guymas 2022 Hearing Mission.
  • When asked if anyone on Zoom needed to be fined for failing to wear a Rotary pin, Wayne General and Bob Jensen pleaded guilty.
  • John Pennypacker reminded members who want to attend the 100-year anniversary of Tempe Downtown Rotary Club needed to make their reservation before the weekend.
  • Dave Brauchler reminded members
    • February service project would be a valentines craft project with the children housed at the Child Crisis Arizona emergency shelter,  Dave said Carla Krcmarik will coordinate the craft project.  Dave reminded members we are limited to no more than seven volunteers on site for the event.
    • .Dave is working with Sunshine Acres hoping to put together a service project at their site.
    • In May, we will be working with the Red Cross to have a Mesa blood drive.  Members who want to donate on May 11 when we have an offsite meeting and tour the YMCA should sign up to donate blood on the Red Cross website.
    • Dave had forwarded an email about an organization needing new children's tennis shoes to distribute in a community just over the border in Mexico.
  • Shelly Romine reminded members to keep their calendars open June 29 so they can attend our 50th Anniversary gala.  Ed Koeneman is putting together a slide show and needs photos of all the members - photos taken in 1973 if at all possible.
  • Ed Koeneman reminded members that the February 9 program would be PDG Sherry Mischel.  Her program will be about Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA).
  • Jim McGown announced there would be an awesome car show in Fountain Hills the following weekend.  The show will benefit the Children's Hospital.  The said the cars would be on display on the "Concourse of the Hills."
Program - Gem Munro - Amarok Society
John Pennypacker introduced Gem Munro who has devoted his life to improving educational opportunities for disadvantaged people in Canada and around the world. Pursuit of this carried him into troubled indigenous communities across Canada before carrying him overseas.
He is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Amarok Society, a registered Canadian charity that provides education to the extremely poor in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
As well, Gem is an author whose recent book is a bestselling collection of stories about some of the extraordinary people he’s come to know in the slums of Bangladesh. All profits from the sale of this book go to Amarok Society.
For their work, Gem and his wife, Dr. Tanyss Munro, were recipients of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals.
In the spring of 2019, at Jim Erickson's District Conference, Gem Munro was one of the conference speakers.  John remembered having the opportunity to meet him treat him to breakfast.  When John told Gem he was going to take him to a car wash to have breakfast, Gem's skepticism was apparent.  He took him to the Tom Thumb Car Wash in Scottsdale, and was thoroughly enjoyed.
Gem said when they first became interested in working in Bangladesh, they found it was difficult to find much available information.  Their slums housed the poorest of the poor, the worst of the worst.  Their school system was the worst in the world.  The children in their slums were too poor to even attend school.  For Gem and his wife, Tanyss, it was too much to resist.  They knew they would have no impact if they tried to approach the need with traditional methods.
They determined they would go into the slums and teach the mothers to be neighborhood teachers.  It was innovative and thought to be impossible.  They would be dealing with the poorest Muslim women.  They would work to make them literate in their native language.  In fact, they also learned English, math, social studies, science, health, hygeine, and nutrition.  They learned how to reconcile differences through teaching methods to communicate and form community.  The mothers also learned about birth control.  In learning, life would start to make sense, enabling the women to make decisions that gave them a sense of self-control.
They had a strict condition - that each woman would be responsible for teaching five more women everything she had learned.  Most teach many more.  Our human minds are designed to learn.  Learning helps to combat depression and despair.  The process is transformative.
Their relationship with Rotary came about when Michael Maloney read their book of true stories.  Michael Maloney is with the Belleville Ontario Rotary and was their literacy chair.  He set about to make a connection with a Rotary Club in Bangladesh, which became chaotic as it turned out there were 53 clubs there.  Rotary reached out to them.  Illiteracy is not a third world problem.  It is a world problem.   
The economies of their method make sense.  Love costs less than fear and hostitlity.  Ignorance distorts the mind and severs from it the ability to have a healthy human spirit.
Something to Ponder
Life is moving too fast, so enjoy your precious moments.
Life is uncertain; eat dessert first.
Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage -- it can be delightful.

-- George Bernard Shaw 

Today's Chuckle
Save the Date - June 29, 2023
This is a REALLY big year for Mesa West.
We will celebrate our 50th Anniversary June 29, 2023 at the Doubletree where we regularly meet.
The details for this event are evolving.  Please say "yes" if you are asked to help!
SAVE THE DATE!  You won't want to miss this celebration!
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.
Feb 09, 2023
Feb 16, 2023
Feb 23, 2023
Retired Kansas City Chiefs Kicker
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Executives & Directors
President Elect
Membership Dir "23
Director '23
Director '23
Director '24
Director '24
Public Image Co-Chair
Public Image Co-Chair
TRF Chair
Executive Secretary
Upcoming Events
Child Crisis Arizona Valentine's Day Party
Child Crisis Arizona Shelter
Feb 11, 2023
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Feb 21, 2023 5:30 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Mar 21, 2023 5:30 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Amanda Rosenberg
February 1
Melissa Stuckey
February 8
Jeanie Morgan
February 10
Scott Ramsey
February 15
Melodie Jackson
February 17
Bert Millett
February 18
Shelly Romine
February 21
Spouse Birthdays
Amanda Rosenberg
February 2
Melissa Stuckey
February 8
Join Date
Bert Millett
February 1, 2007
16 years
Erica Williams
February 1, 2018
5 years
Jim Schmidt
February 1, 1984
39 years
Diane Ware
February 14, 2022
1 year
Lola McClane
February 21, 2019
4 years
Chuck Flint
February 24, 1987
36 years
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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