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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October 21 Service Project
Volunteers from Mesa West Rotary and Superstition Mountain Rotary joined forces Saturday, October 21 to provide meals for the homeless at Desert Chapel in Apache Junction.  Service Chair, Shelly Romine reported they cooked and served approximately 200 meals.  Not shown in the photos are Bert Millett and his family who were involved in KP cleanup duty.  Thanks to all who participated and had gun providing this important service.
Olivia's Bucket List
Olivia - our Rotary Youth Exchange Student from Sweden has a bucket list of things she hopes to do while here on her exchange.  Review the list and see what you might want to do with her.  CLICK HERE or on the image to email Polly Cady so she can coordinate scheduling an opportunity to make that to happen!.
Olivia's Bucket List


Coming Soon - World Interact Week
Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) Nov 18 in Kingman
Sessions I, II, and III
SATURDAY, November 18, 2023
8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
COST:  $65.00 Mesa West Rotary Club will reimburse registration fee for club members who attend.
Breakfast Pastries/Coffee
Study Materials
Registration is now open!
Why Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI)? Participant Interaction and FUN!
Come interact with fellow Rotarians about:
Rotary Basics                          Service and Foundation                               
Leadership                              Communication
Ethics & Vocation                   Membership
RLI is a world-wide organization that some refer to as Rotary’s “College of Knowledge”.  RLI touches on “everything Rotary” and is not a “leadership” course to become an officer of your Club. RLI is made up of three one-day Sessions to give you an overview of what Rotary is and what it does worldwide. Its goal is to create ENTHUSIASM for Rotary and show the enormous potential of Rotary service and how with knowledge and excellent leadership in Clubs, the world will benefit.
Highlights of October 19 Meeting
Opening and Welcome to Meeting - President Colleen Coons
  • Invocation was offered by Dick Myren.
  • Jack Rosenberg led the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • President Colleen thanked:
    • Ray Smith for serving as greeter.
    • Chuck Flint for handling the raffle.
    • Jack Rosenberg and Dick Myren for managing check-in
    • Ron Thompson for serving as Sgt at Arms.
    • Pan Cohen who managed technology for the meeting
  • Colleen welcomed Melodie Jackson who was attending via Zoom and our inbound exchange student, Olivia.  Jim McGown and Brian Harvey were welcomed back after being gone for the summer.  Jim was specifically thanked for his purchase of mobility devices for the Interact C4A Ambassador program. He purchased them at an amazingly low price on an on-line auction site 
  • Members were reminded to fill out the forms on the tables indicating how their happy dollar donations were to be allocated - if for anything other than club operating budget.  The form also needs to be filled out if a member wants to be billed for their happy dollar commitment.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
After explaining that the proceeds of the raffle ticket sales are divided three ways - 1/3 to the club operating account, 1/3 to be won by the daily winner, and 1/3 added to the cumulating large pot.  He said the large pot is now up to $1,170.  The holder of the stub of the ticket drawn will automatically win the daily pot and the chance to draw a card from the cards remaining in the deck.  If they draw the joker, they will win another $20.  If they draw the Ace of Clubs, they will win the large pot - $1,170.  Cuck asked Shane White to draw the winning ticket.  It was held by Pam Cohen.  After shuffling the 22 cards left in the deck face down, Pam had Chuck pull a card for her.  The card was the King of Clubs.
Happy Bucks - Ron Thompson
  • John Pennypacker contributed $20.  His daughter and her husband were celebrating their 10th anniversary.  John contributed $10 for each of them.  
  • Warren Williamson shared a story about President Colleen.  She called her husband (our AG - Dan Coons) and said, "Honey I have some bad news and good news I need to tell you about.  Which do you want to hear first?"  Dan responded, "Give me the good news first."  Colleen responded, "The air bags in our Tesla work really well."
  • Dave Brauchler was happy to be at the meeting.  He enjoys and celebrates every visit he has with his three-year-old granddaughter Abigail.  He's busier than he's been all year at work, but the current mortgage interest rates are higher than they've been in years.
  • Jack Rosenberg said he is continuing to collect non perishable snacks and oversized sweats to give to Frank Rosenberg for the homeless serviced by the medical van Frank works out of as part of his Nurse Practitioner education program.  He also announced he would be participating in a craft fair from 9-1 on Saturday.
  • Brian Harvey was glad to be back and seemed particularly grateful to be in such a "fantastic club."
  • Pam Cohen was glad Ed Koeneman had been available during an hour layover in his flight so he could be available if she needed help getting the on-line portion of the meeting set up.
  • Shane White was happy to be at the meeting.
  • Olivia had participated in a cross country race on Wednesday.  She had her medal with her.  When asked what her tie was, she said she ran three miles in 24 minutes.
  • Polly Cady was happy to see Dave, Brian, Shane, and Jim.  She was also happy Olivia was doing well with cross-country.  She has signed up for a 15K hot chocolate race in December.   Olivia wants to go to a Pumpkin Patch.  She wants to participate in a Halloween-costume event.  She had her nails done because she had missed homecoming at her school, but she was  and Lotte's were going to attend Tilde's homecoming with her.  Olivia wants to go on the train tour, but needs to earn some money in order to be able to go.  She is looking for opportunities to babysit or do odd jobs.
  • Logan Harper contributed a happy dollar.  He proposed to Taylor last Friday and she said "Yes!"  Sunday was his birthday, but that doesn't matter any more. They are currently projecting a January 17, 2025 wedding day.  Logan started Marine Corps Basic Training on January 17, 2012.  Logan said he is also free to do odd jobs...
  • Harry Grossman contributed $3 - one for each of the games the Cardinals have won so far this year.
  • Colleen Coons thanked Ray Smith for spotting her $5 so she could participate in the raffle.  She thanked Jim Erickson for noticing her hat.  She is trying not to wear the same hat twice during her term as President..  Son Hee Williamson donated 5 hats.
  • She was happy to see Jim, Brian and Shane a our meeting.  She said Shane had a work-related surprise audit by the Federal Government - and passed.
  • Pam Cohen wanted to have a "shout out" to Logan to congratulate him on his engagement.  She had her phone cued up to play "Another One Bites The Dust" over the microphone.
Announcements - 
  • Colleen had something from the Working Warriors project at Westwood High School for Olivia.  Olivia confirmed it was canned fish from Sweden.  Colleen asked her what was special about the tightly packed canned fish.  Olivia said they "smell really bad, but taste good."
  • Colleen announced that nine youth have been identified for the Rotary Bridges to Education/McKenny Vento project.  Four are from Westwood High School.  The others are from Dobson, Mountain View and Red Mountain.
Program - The Mysterious Reverse Mortgage - Dave Brauchler - Hand Home Financial Services, Inc.
In preparing for his presentation, Dave decided that he would include a few photos - a trip down memory lane - in his presentation.  CLICK HERE to see all the slides included in his program.
A photo that he shared was of him with his favorite person in Arizona - Their three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter Abigail.  She photo shows Dave on a slide with her.  Apparently going down slides is a favorite activity for Abigail.
One photo Dave shared was taken the day he was inducted into the San Clemente Sunrise Rotary Club December 13, 1994.  He was President of that club in 2016-17  He was honored for having the "best small club in the district" they year he was President. 
He told about one service project where the club members would beg for food outside of a local grocery store.  People were amazingly generous in donating food to them.  He remembered one year when one woman donated a cart full of groceries.  She had been helped by their club five years earlier.
It was clear that the Christmas in January project conducted by that club from 1999-2017 at a school for deaf children in Mexico held a very special place in Dave's heart.  The only reason the project ended was because the school closed after their 2017 visit.  He said there would be 30 or 40 kids opening gifts at the same time - and it was quiet.
Dave told about his first Reverse Mortgage customer.  She was a recent widow who was referred to Dave by a bankruptcy attorney - a fellow-member of his Rotary Club.  She was facing bankruptcy and foreclosure or having to sell her home.  She had very little income but lots of home equity.  Using a reverse mortgage, she was able to keep her home, reduce monthly expenses, pay off debt and avoid bankruptcy.  When she passed away, her kids sold her home and received the remaining equity.
Some Reverse Mortgage Facts
  • You retain ownership of your home.
  • The lender does not own your home or "take it from you."
  • You must keep your property taxes, home insurance, and HOA dues current - just like you normally do.
  • Any cash you get is TAX  FREE because it is a loan.
  • You can use the proceeds for any purpose.
  • The loan must be paid off within one year of the last owner leaving the home - the home can be sold or refinanced to accomplish the payoff.
Aging at home
  • Reverse mortgages allow people to remain in their homes as long as possible.
  • Homeowners have access to their home equity without having to sell their home.
  • The loan proceeds are tax free and can be used for anything such as paying a caregiver to come to home rather than move into a care facility.
How it works
  • You receive a proposal from your lender covering your situation
  • The projection is to age 100
  • The current loan is paid off - no more loan payments
  • You can receive a lump sum or monthly distributions.
  • You can set up a line of credit to access additional funds.
  • The line of credit increases each year.
  • Home value $890,000 - ages 64 and 63
  • Pay off existing $77,000 mortgage
  • Eliminate $730/month payment
  • Can receive $96l623.05 lump sum now.
  • Line of credit starts at $129,940.
  • Age 80 line of credit $370,705.
  • Age 90 line of credit $713,808.
  • If no initial distribution is taken, the line of credit is larger.
Financial Planning Uses of a Reverse Mortgage
  • Withdrawals from Traditional IRA's and Non-qualified plans have tax consequences.
  • Income tax rates are expected to increase.
  • A Reverse Mortgage gives you an alternative to tapping investments and having to pay income taxes.
  • Paying off existing mortgages reduces expenses in retirement which reduces need for IRA and other withdrawals.
Something to Ponder
I have had dreams and I have had nightmares,
but I have conquered my nightmares
because of my dreams.
--Jonas Salk
A Bit of Humor
I finally got eight hours of sleep. 
It took me three days, but whatever.
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.
Oct 26, 2023
Club Assembly featuring Jim Erickson - Polio Plus
Nov 02, 2023
Service in Mesa Community
Nov 09, 2023
Featuring Jane Foley Graff - McKinney Vento
Nov 16, 2023
Official Visit of District Governor, Rotary District 5495
Nov 23, 2023
Nov 30, 2023
We do not meet at noon on the 5th Thursday of any Month with 5 Thursdays
Dec 07, 2023
Dec 14, 2023
Pearl at the Mailbox/Human Trafficking Kids
Dec 21, 2023
Club Assembly - Adopt a McKinney Vento Kid
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
Child Crisis Center Luncheon - Your Invited
The Biltmore
Oct 31, 2023
11:15 AM – 1:00 PM
Canyon State Academy - Day at the Farm
Canyon State Academy
Nov 04, 2023
9:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Nov 21, 2023 5:30 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Dec 19, 2023 5:30 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Don LaBarge
October 12
Jim Schmidt
October 15
Logan Harper
October 15
Warren Williamson
October 15
Pam Cohen
October 29
Spouse Birthdays
Devon Whalen
October 7
Sandy Myren
October 20
Scott Williams
October 25
Vickie Smith
October 29
Dick Myren
Sandy Myren
October 5
Jay Stuckey
Melissa Stuckey
October 20
Melissa Stuckey
Jay Stuckey
October 20
Greg Bouslog
Sheena Bouslog
October 25
Join Date
Andrea Murphy
October 1, 2017
6 years
Sharon Spane
October 1, 1988
35 years
Melodie Jackson
October 4, 2007
16 years
Brian Harvey
October 20, 2010
13 years
Ed Koeneman
October 28, 2010
13 years
Carla Krcmarik
October 29, 2020
3 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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