Rotary Week of Service Project
Rotary Club of Mesa West is planning to collect pillow donations (standard size-new) from now until April 23rd to benefit Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) as a kick off for our Rotary Week of Service Project. (see below or click on their logo for more info on SHP)
We now have a location where NEW standard-size pillows can be dropped off for this project.  They can be dropped off between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Salvation Army, 241 East 6th Street, Mesa, Arizona. AZ 85201
Please save the date of Saturday April 23rd from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. 
  • We will be coming together with the donated pillows to assemble bedding kits. 
  • The Mesa West Rotary Foundation is contributing funds to purchase other bedding that will be matched with the individually donated pillows to be delivered with beds that are provided by other sponsors of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. 
  • The planned location for the bedding kit assembly on April 23 is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, located at 848 North Westwood, Mesa, AZ 85201.  
Club members can also bring donations of NEW standard-size pillows to club meetings.  EMAIL SHELLY ROMINE if you have any questions or need to arrange for your donated pillows to be picked up.
In the coming weeks you will see additional communication for this project and requests for you to share the details on social media to help promote Rotary and all the good we do in the community.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a volunteer organization that builds beds for kids who are sleeping on the floor.  Their motto is "No Kid Sleeps on the Floor in Our Town".  A link to their website is below:
John Pennypacker - Doing Rotary on a Grand Scale
John Pennypacker is in Chicago this week representing Rotary District 5495 at the Rotary International Council on Legislation (COL).  COL is the legislative body of RI.  They convene every three years in April, May, or June (preferably in April).  The council considers and acts on proposals which are duly submitted in accordance with the RI Bylaws.  Their actions are subject only to action by clubs as provided in the bylaws of RI.  It is an interesting process.  With the global representation from districts throughout our globe, perspectives vary and debates are interesting because of those varied perspectives.
At this writing, John has sent photos of himself with the following individuals (l-r):
  • Current Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta
  • Jennifer Jones who will serve as the first female President of Rotary International in 2022-23
  • Ann Lee Hussey, a polio survivor and well-known advocate for Rotary's Polio Plus commitment
  • Wyn Spiller, a PDG and Rotary friend from California
  • Lee Blankenship, a PDG and friend from California is shown in the photo with our current Zone Director, Vicki Puliz and John.
Be sure to attend May 5, John is scheduled to share some COL highlights at our club meeting during the Rotary Minute segment.  John obviously spent time with leaders who are more "invested" than most Rotarians have the time or opportunity to be, and could learn hearing their perspectives on matters being debated.
Highlights of April 7 Mesa West Rotary Meeting
Opening of Meeting - President Dan Coons
President Dan opened the meeting by thanking Penny May for serving as Greeter.  He thanked the members for the gift of being able to serve as Club President  He then reminded Rotarians and guests of the Rotary International 2021-22 theme - Serve to Change Lives - after which he recited the Rotary Vision Statement:
Together we see a world where people unite and 
take action to create lasting change - 
across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.
Invocation and Pledge
Dave Brauchler offered the invocation.  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Bob Zarling.
Introduction of Guests
  • John Pennypacker introduced Jo Wilson, a member and Past President of the Mesa Rotary Club, and her guest, Kate.  Kate is a student at the Benedictine University campus in Mesa.  She is attending the University on a volleyball scholarship and is studying one major and two minors.  She is from Russia and has been impacted by the war in Ukraine.  She can no longer receive financial support from her family in Russia, and at this time would not be able to travel home if she wanted or needed to do so.  A sports injury required knee surgery.  
  • Penny May introduced her son, Patrick May.
  • Colleen Coons introduced Dora Le from ASU Rotaract.
  • Bob Zarling introduced Erica Henderson who was attending via Zoom.   He also introduced AG Lee Holmes and Roberta Holmes, President of Superstition Mountain Rotary Club in Apache Junction.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski
  • Dick Myren pledged $150 to the sponsor campaign - $86 in honor of his team captain, Kayla Mudge, $52 is for each of the years since he originally became a Rotarian in 1970, and the balance if $12 is because he and Rod Daniels are both happy to be associated with the best Rotary Club in the world.
  • Bob Zarling was happy Erica Henderson was able to attend in person.  Erica is a Rotary Peace Fellowship candidate being sponsored by Mesa West Rotary.  Bob first met Erica when he travelled to South Africa a few years ago to visit the work being done there by Blessman International.  Bob is happy Mesa West members will have a better understanding of the Peace Fellowship program offered through The Rotary Foundation after hearing from Tony Cerato and Erica during the program. He was also glad to contribute the $5 he would have spent for a raffle ticket - he had talked to Rod Daniels recently and Rod may attend a Mesa West meeting in the near future.
  • Ron Thompson contributed - happy to be at the meeting
  • Ray Smith contributed.  This close to the end of tax season, he is half awake and half asleep.  The money he contributed was for the right to share a poem from Dr. Seuss:
I'm happy to be here. I am. I am.
I'm the happiest slave of the Firm, I am.
I love this work, I love these chores.
I love the meetings with deadly bores.
I love my job - I'll say it again.
I even love those friendly men.
Those friendly men who've come today,
in clean white coats to take me away!!!!!
  • Colleen Coons was able to have her own money to contribute since she didn't get to buy a raffle ticket.  She was happy Dora was at the meeting with her.
  • Chris Krueger was happy that they've accepted an offer on the sale of their home in Mesa.  It is scheduled to close May 2 and they will be heading for Omaha in early May.  She is sad to leave so many wonderful Rotary friends behind, but looking forward to being close to family - especially the grandbabies.
  • Polly Cady was happy to announce that guest, Dora Le, as a Rotaract member, is a graduate of Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI).  She was also happy that Ray Smith called to sing "Happy Birthday" to her on her actual birthday. 
  • Allan Cady contributed to celebrate the 4th day of Polly's birthday month.  He said they would be celebrating through the 30th.
  • Kayla Mudge was happy to have a $100 check from her mom for our sponsor campaign.  She said she has been using Facebook to try to get donations from family and friends.
  • Shelly Romine reported that Dan Coons had printed greeting cards from Mesa West to insert in the bedding kits we will be preparing for our Rotary Week of Service project.  The Westwood High School Interact Club members will write unique uplifting messages in each of the cards and have them ready to be inserted in the bedding kits.
  • Erwin Reimann contributed - happy to be in Rotary and especially happy to be in Mesa West.  He told of being on a Rotary Friendship Exchange to New Zealand.  One of the homes they stayed in was the home of a Maori couple.  His host's father had been the first Rotarian in New Zealand from the Maori Indigenous people.  At a Rotary meeting the question was asked how many at the meeting had Scottish blood in their veins, and Erwin's host raised, who was known for his sense of humor, his hand.  When everyone looked more than a little amazed, he reminded them that his ancestors had been cannibals...
  • Jim Schmidt was happy to have gotten acquainted with Tony Cerrato, our speaker, at RLA.  Hearing Ray talk about tax season reminded him how happy he is to be retired, especially because the last day of tax season this year is April 18.
  • Pam Cohen was happy to see so many at the meeting, but sad to know Chris and Mike will be on their way back to Omaha in the near future.
  • Jo Wilson was happy to be at our meeting to introduce us to Kate.
  • Penny May announced that she and Patrick would be leaving in a week to travel back to Alaska.  Patrick will be moving there so they will be on the road with Patrick driving a UHaul.  She said she would be back in January.
  • Ed Koeneman contributed hoping everyone had fun and enjoyed the Tacos at the Keeper's Workshop tour and demonstration March 30.  He announced he would be auctioning the pen he made during the demonstration later in the meeting.  He also pledged $200 to the sponsor program to celebrate a bunch of family birthdays and anniversaries this time of year - including his and Debbie's 25th wedding anniversary.  He also put $1 in the hat to celebrate that it is only 625 days until the next Star Wars movie is released.
  • Jim McGown  contributed.  A house in his neighborhood went on the market for $599,000.  With competitive bidding, the first offer presented was for $630,000.  The final offer that was accepted was $770,000.  Jim is happy to know he made such a wise real estate investment when they purchased their home years ago.
  • John Pennypacker contributed - he was happy to have Jo Wilson and Kate at the meeting.
Paul Harris Fellow Recognition
John Pennypacker recited the Rotary Vision Statement to remind everyone that we are able to effect positive change in the world, in our communities, and in ourselves through our support of The Rotary Foundation.
  • Kayla Mudge was invited to receive her first Paul Harris Fellow recognition.  She took a moment to share a few words expressing that Mesa West Rotary is one of the best things that has happened to her since moving to Arizona, and she was very happy to be able to be at the meeting and receive the recognition.  She hopes to be able to be present at more meetings in the future.
  • Chris Krueger and Ron Thompson were each recognized with Paul Harris plus six recognition.
Auction of Pen from Keeper's Workshop Tour and Demonstration March 30
The bidding for the pen was lively.  With the proceeds to go to the Mesa West Foundation sponsor campaign, it didn't take long for the bids to exceed the normal retail value of the pens.  Chris Krueger really wanted it.  She is moving away.  She saw it being made.  Her dad, seated in his wheelchair, was close enough to the demonstration to get man glitter (sawdust) on him.  Jim Crutcher outbid her with his bid of $200, but said the pen would go to Chris.  Robin Harris outbid Jim Crutcher with a bid of $210 and said the pen would go to Jeanie Morgan (who was completely taken by surprise because she had not been bidding.)  Ed struck a deal.  Robin and Jim would each contribute $200 to the sponsor campaign with Ed's team being credited with the donations and he would make another pen for Jeanie.  It has already been delivered and is shown below the photos from the auction.  Jim Crutcher received a "thank you" hug from Chris.
Program - Rotary Peace Scholar Program - Tony Cerrato and Erica Henderson
Bob Zarling introduced the program.  He said he had learned more about the Peace Scholar program at a District Conference when he heard PDG Nancy Van Pelt talking about it.  He said he immediately thought of Erica Henderson, who he had met when she was working at the Blessman project in South Africa.  
He said that Tony Cerrato, our speaker, was selected by District 5495 as our district's Peace Champion last year.  He is a member of Phoenix Rotary 100 and has served twice as Assistant Governor.  He has also served as Foundation Chair for a couple of Rotary Clubs.  He is a Major Donor Level 2 to The Rotary Foundation and both of his sons are Paul Harris Fellows.
Tony was glad that Erica was able to be in attendance at the meeting.  He had had the opportunity to spend 90 minutes with her in Colorado Springs, where she currently resides, a week earlier.
Tony was complimentary about the Mesa West Rotary Week of Service Project partnering with Sleep in Heavenly Peace.  He was obviously very impressed with our signature project - the Gift of Hearing mission in Guaymas, Mexico.  
CLICK HERE of on the image above to view the slides Tony used in his Presentation.  They will contain more detail in a more appealing presentation than this article could cover.
Mesa West will not have a financial obligation in sponsoring Erica's studies if she is selected.  She will be fully funded by The Rotary Foundation.  To qualify for the Peace Scholar programs, candidates cannot have family members who are Rotarians.  It is acceptable for clubs to sponsor candidates who do not reside in their area.
Being selected is a competitive process.  If more Rotarians spread the word about it, the number of applicants would grow and the competition would be greater, allowing the final candidates selected to be a very select group of highly motivated individuals.  Many of the candidates already have 5 to 10 years of experience in the specialty and just want to build on that experience with a higher level of knowledge and expertise.  
There are two types of programs - Master's programs and Professional Certification Programs.  The scholars bond and learn to collaborate with each other.  They must apply for a program in a country other than their own country of residence.
Erica indicated that her first choice would be Bradford.  They have an emphasis on the African region.  She remembers meeting Bob and Lee while she was working there.  She feels quite at home with the Africa region.
Her second choice would be Uppsala in  Sweden  They focus more on emergency conflict environments.
Erica was very animated and excited about the prospect of being accepted.  She is currently employed by a Christian Nonprofit organizations.  She spoke about a relatively recent experience in Haiti and later attended a conference for Latin America and she was asked to make a presentation about the Haiti trip.
For her future, she sees herself being committed to peace and the people-serving industry.  If she is selected as a Peace Scholar, she will be better equipped for the rest of her life.  At some point, she might want to become a professor so she can "replicate" herself through others.
Something to Ponder
"Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently."
Maya Angelou
Born:  April 4, 1928
Died:  May 28, 2014
Today's Chuckle
While you are chuckling, add  standard-size pillows
for our Rotary Week of Service project
to your shopping list and
bring them to our April 14 or April 21
Mesa West Rotary Club meeting!  
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.
Club Information
Welcome to our Rotary Club of Mesa West!
Mesa West
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.
District Site
Venue Map
Apr 21, 2022
Apr 28, 2022
May 05, 2022
Majestic PHX Theaters
May 19, 2022
Sleep in Heavenly Peace
View entire list
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Membership Dir "23
Community Service Dir. '22
Vocational Dir '22
Foundation Dir. '23
Public Image Dir. '23
Fundraising Chair
Co Sergeant. At Arms
TRF Chair
Vocational Service Chair
Youth Services Co-Chair
Youth Services Co-Chair
Executive Secretary
Upcoming Events
Sleep in Heavenly Peace - Bedding assembly
Church of Jesus Christ
Apr 23, 2022
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Rotary District 5495 Peace Symposium
May 12, 2022 9:00 AM
Rotary District 5495 Fundraising Dinner for TRVFA
May 12, 2022
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
District Conference
Prescott Resort
May 13, 2022 8:00 AM –
May 14, 2022 10:00 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
May 17, 2022 5:30 PM
Rotary International Convention
Jun 04, 2022 – Jun 08, 2022
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
John Bethea
April 1
Lu General
April 2
Wayne General
April 3
Polly Cady
April 5
John Pennypacker
April 10
Tim Troy
April 11
Darl Andersen
April 20
Stephen West
April 26
Spouse Birthdays
Wayne General
April 3
Polly Cady
April 5
Kim Deering
April 12
Randy Jackson
April 18
Debbie Koeneman
April 22
Jack Rosenberg
Cindy Rosenberg
April 4
Bert Millett
Kelli Millett
April 5
Ed Koeneman
Debbie Koeneman
April 5
Lu General
Wayne General
April 11
Wayne General
Lu General
April 11
Ron Thompson
Toni Farmer-Thompson
April 15
Bryan Goetzenberger
Donna Goetzenberger
April 29
Donna Goetzenberger
Bryan Goetzenberger
April 29
Melodie Jackson
Randy Jackson
April 30
Join Date
Jim Erickson
April 1, 1977
45 years
Keith Deering
April 1, 1992
30 years
John Pennypacker
April 5, 2001
21 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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102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7
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