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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No Regular Meeting November 23
No Regular Meeting November 30
We do not hold a regular meeting at the Doubletree on the 5th Thursday of any month with five Thursdays.
CLICK HERE to Register for the tour and lunch
November 4 - Day at the Farm
Saturday, November 4, Pam Cohen was one of four Mesa West Rotarians who volunteered to help direct parking for those who attended the Canyon State Academy Day at the Farm.
The other Mesa West volunteers were Colleen Coons, John Pennypacker and Shelly Romine.
Guaymas Gift of Hearing 2023 Memorialized
Mesa West Rotary Club's volunteer service vests were very visible the evening of November 8 after the Gift of Hearing 2023 volunteers arrived at their destination and were enjoying an evening meal.
After returning to Arizona Sunday, Erica Williams expressed appreciation for all the volunteer hours invested in this year's mission.  She reported 232 patients were served, again making an impact for the hearing health of the Guaymas community.  True to the Rotary Service above Self motto, Rodolfo will continue to travel back a few times during the year for mini clinics to help meet needs until next November.  She said they have been training the Mexican doctors on some of the more advanced testing needs as well to bring back to their community.  
Erica said they are targeting the same week/weekend for 2024, with more information to follow in the future.  CLICK HERE for a link to an article Bob Jensen came across to reflect about why the team does what they do.
If you haven't already seen the reel about the project that was posted on our club's Facebook page, CLICK HERE or on the image  to view it.  
Youth Exchange at Tempe Lantern Festival
Highlights of November 9 Meeting
Welcome to November 9 Meeting of Mesa West Rotary - President Colleen Coons
Before the bell was rung to begin the meeting, members and guests enjoyed a great meal and some social time.  Before actually checking items off her agenda, President Colleen introduced Amy, who is the catering manager at the Doubletree.  After Amy learned about our McKinney Vento - Rotary Bridges to Education program, she wanted to share a personal story.  There was a time when she had three children in the Mesa Public Schools and became homeless.  The McKinney Vento regulations allowed her children to remain in their schools even though they were moving, which allowed more stability than she imagined would be possible.  What she learned through working with that program opened other roads for Amy and her family. Thankfully, she is no longer in that situation, but - having been there - she is very touched by the program Mesa West Rotary is beginning this year.
  • Shelly Romine led the Pledge of Allegiance
  • John Pennypacker shared a Rotary Minute.  He said he spends a fair amount of time on the Rotary International website seeing what he can learn about what is going on in the world of Rotary.  He had recent run across an article titled "Pakistan's female vaccinators are doing more than helping end a disease."  Women make up 2/3 of Pakistan's polio workforce.  That was surprising since Pakistan is second from the bottom out of 146 nations who were ranked on their statistics on gender parity in participation and opportunity.  Because of cultural norms, men are not allowed to enter many homes there.  Women providing the health care are a key link.  They can build mom-to-mom relationships and provide trusted advice on health and other issues.  After meeting with polio workers in Pakistan, immediate past RI President Jennifer Jones said "women working with women on the front line is going to be what gets us across the finish line."  Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries where wild poliovirus is still transmitted persistently.  The work of the female vaccinators in Pakistan is neither safe nor easy.  They are sworn at, shoved, beaten, and some have been killed.  They fight misinformation, but their work is crucial.  In addition to fighting for polio eradication, they are supporting their education, their household, their men and giving change to Pakistan.  Most of the women range from 21-38 and have their own children, yet they wake to say prayers before dawn, feed their children breakfast and leave to start their work to end a disease.  Employing women is a key strategy of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. - not just at the front lines, but as supervisors, doctors, and decision-makers.  John went on to talk about Past International Ron Burton, who essentially told an audience at one point, "You men in Rotary are  stupid if you don't understand why we need more women in Rotary - they're the ones getting things done!"  John spoke of some of the women in his own Rotary experience who have influenced him - Sylvia Whitlock, Jennifer Jones, Lucinda General, to name a few.  John asked the women at the meeting to stand to be recognized.
Introduction of Guests
  • Liz Polis - founder of College Bound and member of Mesa Rotary Club
  • Jane and Lisa with the McKinney Vento program who we would hear more from later.
  • Don Boucher and Bryan Goetzenberger were welcomed after missing several recent meetings.
  • Justin Hart was welcomed as a local business owner - Just In Time Moving.
  • Connie Bunyard was welcomed.
  • Those attending via Zoom were also welcomed:  Allan and Polly Cady, Melodie Jackson, Natalia Rivera, and Daryl Bethea.
Tis the Season - Don LaBarge
Don was prepared with his notebook of scheduling sheets for the Salvation Army bell-ringing shifts at our station at the Bass Pro Shop.  He passed it around at the meeting.  Members need to sign up for 2-hour shifts.  It would be ideal if every member would sign up for at least three.  We start our duties the Friday after Thanksgiving.  The early weeks are usually the hardest to fill.  Don says it gets easier as people get more into the spirit of the season.  The picture of Allan and Polly Cady was taken last year to remind us that it's a fun, enjoyable experience smiling at and talking to strangers. Our station is by the store exit where people leave after some self-indulgent spending which often seems to make them feel like maybe they should be generous and help those who have less. . . Don sent a list since the meeting of shifts during those early weeks that are still open.  Let's try to make his job a little bit easier this year.  
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck asked our exchange student to draw the winning ticket.  After no-one claimed to have the number drawn, Chuck checked his own ticket and he was the winner of the $35 small pot.  He asked Olivia to shuffle the cards while he looked away before he tried to draw the Ace of Clubs which would have made him the winner of an additional $1,285.  Of the nineteen cards remaining in the deck, the card drawn was the Queen of Diamonds.
Happy Bucks - Sgt at Arms - Ron Thompson
  • Ted Williams explained that he had remarried after his first wife died.  He and his current wife, Susan, celebrated their 20-year anniversary with a trip to Oslo Norway.  They were in Europe for two and a half weeks.  He pledged $100 to the Rotary Foundation.
  • Dick Myren told about a friend who had turned 95 and been married 70 years.  He was asked how they had stayed happily married for that many years.  He said it was easy.  When they were first married, he told his wife she could handle all the minor decisions.  and consult him if something major came up.  In all those 70 years, nothing major ever came up.  Dick went on to donate his traditional $2 for himself and Honorary Member Rod Daniels good fortune of being associated with the Ace of Clubs.
  • Ed Koeneman was happy about the two good meetings with the schools.  At one o the meetings, they learned one student was in need of a cell phone.  After putting out some feelers in the club for donated used phones, he got three.  Ed knows how to wipe the used phones clean before passing them on.  
  • Tom Yuzer was happy to be back in Arizona and back at Mesa West Rotary.
  • Harry Grossman sadly donated only $3 - $1 for each of the games won by the Cardinals so far this season.  His daughter - the mother of his grandson who is currently in Sweden, won a district service award.
  • John Pennypacker said it was a good experience being back at Mountain View High School for the first time in thirty years.
  • Pam Cohen said November 10 would mark the 248th birthday of the U.S. Marines.  Logan Harper and any other Marines were asked to stand.  She then asked all Veterans to stand to be honored with Veteran's Day coming up before we would meet again.
  • Kayla Mudge shared information that caused some to laugh and others to groan.  When you cross a pig with a dinosaur, you get JURASSIC PORK
  • Erwin Reimann contributed saying their grandson and his mom had come to visit and they had a great time.
  • Don Boucher shared some happy and sad thoughts.  Their grandson is turning two and has been a source of many moments of pleasure.  Don enjoyed John Pennypacker's Rotary minute.  The sad thoughts were very sobering. He recently learned that a former neighbor and member of the LA Sheriff's Department had committed suicide.  He then learned two others in that department had also taken their own lives.  Tuesday morning, Don learned a fourth member had also committed suicide.  He asked that we all keep those in law enforcement in our prayers.
  • Jim McGown celebrated his successful purchases of mobility devices on on-line auction sites.
  • Chuck Flint celebrated the fact that his November 7 surgery date had been postponed until - probably - the 21st.
  • Brian Harvey contributed - happy that our chief technology officer had helped him personally.
  • Allan Cady pledged $50 sad dollars.  He and Polly recently learned that Judge Tommy Webb and his wife Judy had recently lost their 47-year-old son, Troy.
  • Colleen Coons was happy to have retired from an organization.  She has been able to see a motto of theirs work in Rotary - "Determined people working together can accomplish anything."
Program - McKinney Vento
Justin Hart
President Colleen introduced Justin saying he was one of the first people she met when she became a member of this year's  Mesa Leadership class.  After Justin learned about the project Mesa West Rotary is starting this year, he shared his personal story.  Colleen thought this particular meeting would be a perfect opportunity for him to share his story with our club.  Justin's early ears were spent in northeast Pennsylvania in a depressed farm community.  His family moved to Arizona in 1996.  Everything seemed fine - until it wasn't.  They were evicted from their home.  His mom's car was repossessed.  His sisters and their mom stayed at friends where there was a high level of drug activity.  His sister quit school.
Justin bounced around staying at different friend's homes.  Out of necessity, his priority changed from school to survival.  He stayed in school but abandoned his dreams of going to the Air Force Academy, and playing college football.  He had to start life.  He had to work.  Work was most important.  He started his own business in 2005.  It was a struggle to work, keep his bills paid and help his mom when he could.  His oldest sister - the middle child - went down a really bad path and eventually passed away.  His youngest sister struggled, but eventually did well.
Program Kickoff
Meetings are being held at the high schools where the unaccompanied homeless students which our club will be working with are registered.  On November 6, they met with five students at Westwood High School.  On November 8, the meeting was with two Mountain View High School.  The remaining three students will be introduced to Mesa West Rotary volunteers during meetings to be held November 13 and 14.
Dick Myren was at one of the meetings and made an "elder statesman" statement.  Of the ten students identified, only one is a boy.  The other nine were girls.  Liz Polis said the ratios are similar in her College Bound program - 80% are women, 20% men.  Dick said the students were very quiet at first, but after some icebreakers, all participated and made a good impression.
Jane Foley - Mesa Public Schools McKinney Vento Program
She could tell stories about folks who have been homeless benefitting from the stability benefit of children being able to stay at the same school.   Federal law requires that students need to be enrolled immediately.  If they are unable to produce a birth certificate or shot records, those details cannot prevent enrollment.
"Unaccompanied" youth do not live with their biological or court appointed guardian.  Some run away from abuse, including drug or alcohol abuse.  Every three years, the school system applies for a grant which is used for more than food.  It is also used to provide gift cards and hygiene supplies.  Transportation from shelter to school must be provided for the students.  This can include city bus passes, gas cards, Some transportation is provided by third party vendors where the students are picked up in cars and dropped at school.  These drivers have to be background checked.
Rents doubled and tripled during COVID.  Saving for a deposit is impossible for moth.  They end up living with other families and/or friends.  Shelters are full.  A program called Community Bridges provides shelter for up to 90 days, but are always full.  Last year, there were 1200 homeless students of which 178 were unaccompanied.  So far this year, there have been 650 homeless students with 143 unaccompanied.  When Colleen contacted Jane, she referred her to Chandler where a similar system was already working.  The goal is to get the number of graduates higher.
Lisa Grant 
Lisa is a Social Worker.  She meets with homeless high school student weekly to find out what kind of help is needed..  Lisa is at a different school every day checking on her students' attendance and checking in.  Many of the students are in credit recovery classes.  She loves collaborative work  She sees her work as really important and it is obvious she is personally veryemotionally invested.  She loves the kids and loves the work.
The graduation rate at Mesa Public Schools is 75%
Over Zoom, Allan Cady made a pitch for Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona being a resource for some of the youth.
Helen's Hope Chest is a private boutique for foster kids.  It will be open to our ten kids to shop there twice each year.
The blankets made and donated by Son Hee Williamson were very well received.
Pam Cohen commented that Lisa personally screened our students.  It was obvious Lisa knew the kids.
Lisa shared that they are putting together holiday wish lists, but it is hard for some of the kids to come up with anything to ask for.
When the students graduate, their chrome books will have to be turned back into the school.  In today's world, that kind of tool is a necessity.  Donated laptops would be something to consider.
Don LaBarge appealed for help at the Veterans Day parade to be held Saturday.
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
*American BBQ*Try pickle ball
*Do a Charity Thing*Bowling
*Dobbins Lookout*Make S'mores
*Go to a beach*Indoor roller skates
*Havasu Falls*Butterfly Wonderland
*Go to a Water Park*Go to Las Vegas
*Try Cheesecake Factory*Make an American Apple Pie
*Arizona Capitol Museum*Heard Museum
*Disneyland*Play Tennis
*Hot chocolate race*Kayak
*Play mini golf*Go to a lacrosse game
*Basketball game*Go to the movies
*Surf*Desert Botanical Garden
*Horseshoe Bend*Japanese Friendship Garden
*Try Sonoran Hot Dogs*Try typical Arizona food
*Have a picnic*Outdoor dirve-in cinema
*Camelback Mountain*Go swim in a lake
*Street festival*Hole in the Rock
*Have brunch at a restaurant*Go to a farmers market
*Go to a pumpkin patch*Go to Tucson
*Ice Cream*Go to a candy store (pick candy)
*Tennis match*Ice skate
*Try Scrumble Cookies*Make pizza/have pizza night
*Go on a road trip*Walk downtown Phoenix
*Go on a swimming competition*Sea World
*Be invited to dinner*See a waterfall
*Try Mexican food*Go tubing/boat riding
*Go to outdoor mall*Try Arizona/Phoenix best
*Go to a Christmas Market and have hot chocolate*Try American breakfast (pancakes, scrambled eggs, etc.)
*See a sunrise/sunset at a viewpoint*Watch performance at Chandler Arts Center
*Ride a cabriolet (car without a roof)  
*Hiking*Go to Costco
*Make Cake Pops*Pedicure
*Manicure*Go to IKEA
*Ride a boat*Carve pumpkins
*Go to Haunted House*Arizona State Fair
*Trick or Treating*Try boba tea
*Go to a zoo*Try Tiramisu
Something to Ponder
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues,
but the parent of all others.”
-Marcus Tullius Cicero
A Bit of Humor
When someone asks what
you did over the weekend,
squint and ask,
“Why, what did you hear?”
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.
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
Dec 28, 2023
We will not meet and hope our members are enjoying a wonderful Holiday Season!
Jan 11, 2024
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
Nov 21, 2023 5:30 PM
Sunshine Acres Tour and Lunch
Sunshine Acres
Nov 30, 2023
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Help Brian Harvey develop his Project - resent
Nov 30, 2023
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Dec 19, 2023 5:30 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Kayla Mudge
November 12
Keith Deering
November 24
Spouse Birthdays
Chris LaBarge
November 21
Don Boucher
Sharon Boucher
November 15
Erwin Reimann
Joan Reimann
November 25
Joan Reimann
Erwin Reimann
November 25
Join Date
Dick Myren
November 1, 1970
53 years
Pai Bethea
November 1, 1977
46 years
Wayne General
November 1, 2016
7 years
John Bethea
November 4, 2014
9 years
Geoff White
November 13, 2001
22 years
John Benedict
November 21, 2000
23 years
Rodney Daniels
November 30, 2003
20 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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