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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World Immunization Week - April 24-30
Join with Rotary this week to promote the power of vaccines
World Immunization Week is an opportunity to raise awareness about the effectiveness of vaccines and mobilize community support for immunization.

In July 2022, WHO and UNICEF reported the largest sustained decline in childhood vaccinations in approximately 30 years. An estimated 12.5 million children in the world are totally unvaccinated.

Vaccination is one of the best tools we have to improve people’s health and well-being. Global vaccination programs for preventable diseases, such as polio, need to continue to protect vulnerable children and prevent outbreaks.

Rotary members have proven the good that vaccines do by immunizing 3 billion children against polio and reducing the cases of polio by 99.9% since 1988. But we know the job isn’t done until every child is vaccinated, and polio is stopped for good.

You can show your support for Rotary’s efforts by taking these steps:In today’s interconnected world, let’s take collective action to ensure that the polio vaccine reaches every child and communities are safe from disease.

Together, we end polio.
You Are Invited to help with 50th Anniversary Celebration
All Mesa West Rotarians are encouraged to help make this event a success.  Ways you can help:
  • Send photos from 1973 and/or important Rotary moments in your membership tenure to Ed Koeneman.
  • If you are aware of a volunteer who has made a significant difference in Mesa or the East Valley Community, nominate them before the end of April to be recognized with our People of Action award.  CLICK HERE to download the nomination form.
  • Share the invitation with former members, potential members, members of other Rotary Clubs, you get the picture!  We want to share our celebration with as many people as possible.
  • Don't forget to email Jeanie Morgan to make your own reservation for yourself and any guest(s) you plan to bring with you.
Rotary District Conference 1st Weekend in May
CLICK HERE or on the image to go to the online registration form.
Enjoy Prescott in May - Attend RLI
CLICK HERE or on the image to be taken to a site with more information and the opportunity to register.
The Board of Directors of Mesa West Rotary voted this year to support reimbursement of registration fees for members who have not yet graduated from RLI.  Rotary Leadership Institute is designed to expand the knowledge of Rotarians beyond their local club level.  It can be enjoyed by new Rotarians as well as individuals who are long-time members of Rotary but find themselves in a position where they have time and motivation to learn more about our wonderful organization.
Highlights of April 20 Meeting
Welcome and Opening of Meeting - President Pam Cohen
  • Invocation was offered by Dick Myren.
  • John Pennypacker led the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Polo Santiago was thanked for serving as greeter, making visitors and guests feel welcome as they arrived.
  • President Pam welcomed Pai Bethea and Carla Krcmarik, who were attending via Zoom.
Introduction of Guests
  • President Pam introduced former Mesa West Rotary Club member Greg Okonowski who is now a member of the Queen Creek Satellite Club.
  • President Pam introduced Shane White.
  • Don LaBarge introduced his granddaughter, Renee Allen, who was visiting from Pennsylvania.  Renee promosed to try to keep her grandpa in line while she is in Arizona.
  • President Pam introduced PDG Tom Yuzer, who will be heading back to Minnesota and his home club in the not-too-distant future.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck explained that the proceeds of ticket sales was divided three ways.  A third to the club operating account, a third added to the "big pot" and a third going to the holder of the stub of the raffle ticket drawn.  The large pot was up to $390 and the lucky winner would win $35 plus the opportunity to try to draw the joker, which would be worth another $20 or the Ace of Clubs, which would entitle them to the big pot.  Chuck  welcomed our CPA member, Ray Smith,   to his first meeting since the peak of tax filing season by asking him to draw the winning ticket.  The ticket Ray drew was held by Dave Brauchler.  Dave shuffled as though he knew what he was doing, but the card he drew from the deck was the Four of Diamonds.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski
  • Dick Myren contributed his traditional $2 for himself and for Honorary Member Rod Daniels for their good fortune in being members of Mesa West Rotary Club.  He contributed another $1 for the delicious pork served in our buffet lunch, saying good pork represents his home state of Iowa.  
  • Warren Williamson contributed enough to share a story about an egotistical man named Charlie who prided himself on owning and showing off the best of everything.  He had just purchased a new Mercedes and had taken it out on the road to see what it would do.  A patrolman, seeing Charlie speeding, pulled him over.  As Charlie started to get out of his Mercedes to see what the patrolman wanted, a large truck drove past, and without slowing or stopping ripped the left door off of the new Mercedes.  Charlie was screaming and hollering, asking why the patrolman was still there when the truck driver had obviously committed a "hit and run" offense.  The patrolman said, I was more concerned about your well-being.  When the truck ripped your door off, your arm was ripped off as well."  Charlie looked down and exclaimed, "Oh no!  My Rolex is missing!"
  • Ed Koeneman contributed.  He was proud of Cassandra and Natalie from Westwood HS Interact, who had made a presentation about the value of Rotary Youth Programs at the Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club.  They not only did an outstanding job with their presentation, Natlie won $25 in their 50/50 drawing.  Ed was glad to see Greg Okonowski looking so good.
  • John Pennypacker was happy to have attended his 60th reunion with his classmates from the Stanton Military Academy.  The school, which opened in 1854,  has had some notable past graduates - Barry Goldwater, Barry Goldwater, Jr., Michael Goldwater, and John Dean to name a few.  One individual at the reunion was from the class of 1945.  He and his wife were both in great shape and tap dancing all over the place.
  • Ray Smith was happy tax season is over.  He was so happy he donated $100 to Polio Plus and $500 to the sponsor campaign.  He reported that Wendell Jones is not doing so well.  He has been diagnosed with ALS, which is a slowly degenerative disease.  Wendell was out riding his bike four days earlier and was hit by a car.  He did not have any broken bones, but did need to have stitches in his lip.  Wendell sent a $500 sponsorship donation to the meeting with Ray.
  • Shelly Romine was very happy.  They were going to be leaving town over the weekend heading for the Galapagos Islands.
  • Dave Brauchler was happy to share a story from his adventures as a grandpa babysitting his three-year-old granddaughter.  She comes up with lots of excuses not to go to or stay in bed when it's bedtime.  She recently said she had some big, big boogies and needed a Kleenex.  Dave got the Kleenex for her and told her that needed to be the last thing, to which she held out her little hand with her little finger ready to "pinkie promise."
  • Don Boucher was happy about a recent encounter with his 'brother from another mother."
  • Cuck Flint said Mesa West is still solidly in the lead to be the Polio Plus Champion Club recognized by the district this year.  To ensure we stay there, he is willing to match Polio Plus donations in increments of $100 with 2/.1 recognition points from his personal recognition point account.  
  • Kayla Mudge had recently spent time with her dad.  She said he always asks if she has enough money.  She always replies that she does.  He asked her if there was anything she needed money for, and Kayla told him about being captain of one of the sponsorship drive fundraising teams.  Her dad handed her a $100 bill.  Kayla said she was also happy that Ed Koeneman had agreed to help auction the gift bag she had brought back with her from New Zealand.
  • Don LaBarge was very happy to have Renee visiting.  He said it was her second trip here.  Don reported that President Pam had recently taken him aside and told him that it had been noted that Don couldn't hear what anyone was saying.  He has since been to the VA and will be going back in three weeks to get his hearing aids.
  • Jim McGown was happy to have again had the opportunity to drive some of the choice cars being sold at the Mecham Auto Auction the prior weekend.  He especially enjoyed driving a McClaren.  He said if anyone else in the club was interested in participating as a driver next year to let him know.  He was also happy that his home was staying dry with his new roof.
  • Colleen Coons was happy to see Greg.  She reported she had driven to make a Rotaract presentation at the Peoria North Club, which meets at 6:00 PM.  She said it was an hour and a half commute from her home to that meeting at that time of day.  The good news was the Peoria North club donated $500 to the Rotaract Club their club sponsors.
  • Pam Cohen contributed some happy and sad bucks.  She was happy to see Greg.  She was sad to hear about Wendell's diagnosis and recent accident.  She was sad to report that Jack Rosenberg was in the hospital with kidney failure and pneumonia.  She was happy to say that after the meeting she would be driving to Cottonwood for that Rotary Club's 75th anniversary.
Auction of Kayla Mudge's souvenirs from her trip to New Zealand 
Mesa West Rotary has a tradition in which members are encouraged to voluntarily participate.  When they travel to interesting places on vacation, they bring back souvenir loot to be auctioned at a meeting relatively soon after they return.  Kayla Mudge brought a bag of items she picked up in New Zealand.  She had no problem finding souvenirs, but it was more than a little challenging to find items that were actually local rather than "made in China."  Kayla shared that there was some edible art in the bag, as well as something wearable and something which was environmentally friendly.
Ed Koeneman acted as auctioneer, and asked for an opening bid of at least $10.  The bidding was pretty enthusiastically competitive early on, but Jim Schmidt's bid of $55 ended up being the top bid.  After the bidding was over, Jim and Kayla showed some of the items.  From a local shop, there was a bottle opener that was a wood carving of a Kiwi.  There were some unique earings and local chocolate.
The Rotary Foundation Giving Recognition  - John Pennypacker
Before presenting the recognition, John briefly shared information he had gained listening to a podcast about the goal The Rotary Foundation Trustees have set for growing The Rotary Foundation endowment to $2.025 billion by 2025.  If interested in learning about this,  CLICK HERE to view the on-demand webinar.  He also encouraged members to keep the Polio Plus donations coming.
John then had the pleasant task of presenting a Paul Harris Fellow Plus 5 recognition pin to Joan Reimann representing $6,000 in total giving to The Rotary Foundation.  Joan remarked about how surprising it was to have already achieved another level, saying when you set up automatic giving, it just happens without having to think about it, and not even missing the funds donated.  
  • Greg Okanowski shared information about a 5K run, walk to take place Saturday, May 13 at 7:00 AM.  The Rotary Run for Resilience is being hosted by the Queen Creek Satellite Club to raise funds for and awareness about Teen Mental Wellness.  It will be held at Horseshoe Park, 20464 E Riggs Road in Queen Creed, AZ 85142.  $35 registration includes t-shirt and medal.  The QR code in the image will take you to their registration.  If that doesn't work, CLICK HERE to go to
  • Dave Brauchler reminded members that our May 11 meeting will be held at the Ross Farnsworth YMCA.  Our May service project will be an opportunity to donate blood through the Red Cross.  For one week, registration for the available donation appointments was limited to Mesa West Rotary.  After that week, registration to donate will again be open to the public.  Whole blood donation appointments are 45 minutes long, and Power Red donation appointments are one hour long.  If you have questions, email Dave.
  • Pam Cohen shared information about the District Conference coming up the first weekend in May.  For more information, CLICK HERE
  • Ed Koeneman said that the top male athlete at the Spring Olympics left the event before the winning medals were presented.  He said Jim Schmidt accumulated an obscene amount of points.  He made three baskets and did very well in bocce ball.  Jim received his Gold Medal at the meeting.
Program - Dr. Janine Crifasi - Arizona Chiropractic Neurology
Jay Stuckey introduced our speaker, Dr. Janine Crifasi.  Dr. Janine is committed to learning and educating people to change their awareness about their bodies' potential and empowering them with unique methods of retraining their brains to maximize their qualify of life through neuroplasticity.  Her gift of gab and passion for this work and ability to put people at eae lends itself to community speaking engagements for anyone willing to listenn.  She has owned a center specializing in kids wiith learning disabilities and served as a northeast clinical director of a functional neurology practice overseeing several functional neurology clinics prior to her arrival in Chandler seven weeks prior to the meeting.
She was invited here and will be mentored by Dr. Trevor Berry.  He is the founder of Arizona Chiropractic Neurology Center and has been in practice in Chandler since 1997.  He is involved in multiple  laser studies and has been the principal investigator for Level 1 FDA clearances, and has been awarded the 2014 researcher of the year for Erchonia lasers.
Dr. Janine said we all start out as two cells - one sperm and one egg.  The brain is the first of our organs to develop.  It controls everything.  Our bodies can experience a variety of things that negatively impact the brain's ability to control things optimally - traumatic brain injury, mold exposure, lime disease, and many others.  She spoke of using combinations of technology and the patient's participation using their vision and other functions to enable analysis of problems as well as the patient participate in their own care.
They have found that some situations that used to seem hopeless are seeing regeneration of function through what they are learning.
CLICK HERE to see the slides Dr. Janine used in her presentation.
She invited members to take advantage of an offer to come in for a tour.  She will donate a 30 minute consultation if members call to schedule it within two weeks of the meeting.  The office number is 480-756-2600.
Dr. Janine has been a member of Rotary in the past, and hopes to be a Rotarian again after she gets settled.
Something to Ponder
One should never be ashamed of small beginnings;
it’s the small growth that disappoints.
--original source unknown
Today's Chuckle
I see people my age out there 
climbing mountains and zip lining
and here I am, feeling good about myself,
because I got my leg through my
underwear without losing my balance.
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.
Apr 27, 2023
Efforts in Ukraine
May 04, 2023
May 11, 2023
Tour of Ross Farnsworth YMCA
May 18, 2023
Rotary Youth Exchange Report
May 25, 2023
Guaymas Hearing Mission Update
Jun 01, 2023
Multiple Sclerosis for Over 40 Years
Jun 22, 2023
Volunteer Opportunities Abroad
View entire list
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
TRVFA Dinner
May 04, 2023
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
District 5495 Conference
Renaissance Hotel
May 05, 2023 10:00 AM –
May 06, 2023 10:00 PM
Mesa West Rotary Blood Drive 5-11-2023 at Mesa YMC
Ross Farnsworth East Valley YMCA
May 11, 2023
9:30 AM – 1:45 PM
Mesa West Rotary: Blood Donation Opportunity
Ross Farnsworth EV YMCA
May 11, 2023
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
May 16, 2023 5:30 PM
Rotary Leadership Institute
May 20, 2023
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Jun 20, 2023 5:30 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
John Bethea
April 1
Lu General
April 2
Wayne General
April 3
Anita Kegler
April 4
Polly Cady
April 5
John Pennypacker
April 10
Tim Troy
April 11
Stephen West
April 26
Debbie Koeneman
April 27
Spouse Birthdays
Wayne General
April 3
Polly Cady
April 5
Kim Deering
April 12
Randy Jackson
April 18
Debbie Koeneman
April 29
Jack Rosenberg
Cindy Rosenberg
April 4
Bert Millett
Kelli Millett
April 5
Debbie Koeneman
Ed Koeneman
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
Gina Schroeder
Mike Schroeder
April 29
Mike Schroeder
Gina Schroeder
April 29
Melodie Jackson
Randy Jackson
April 30
Join Date
Jim Erickson
April 1, 1977
46 years
Keith Deering
April 1, 1992
31 years
John Pennypacker
April 5, 2001
22 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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