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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Honoring our Veterans
Created by Rotarian Debbie Vance - Graphic Designer
November is Foundation Month
'Tis the season for financial advisers to guide their clients to consider ways to reduce taxable impacts for 2023.  As a part of this process, you may be presented several tax-wise charitable opportunities.  Deciding between stock gifts, donor advised funds and IRA rollovers can be unnecessarily confusing.  Especially when all you really want is to find a way to make the greatest impact with your gift.
So, how do you maximize your giving impact, while still protecting your financial future?
Selecting the best asset to give from is a great place to start.  Selecting a charity that will efficiently put your dollars to work is an equally important next step.  When  you consider Rotary as a beneficiary of your generosity you can rest assured knowing that The Rotary Foundation recently received the highest rating from Charity Navigator for the 15th consecutive year.  And because Rotarians like you design projects funded through Rotary Foundation dollars, your contributions can support the causes that matter most to you.  
This information was provided by Laura Mello, Major Gifts Officer of The Rotary Foundation.  If you want to learn more about Donor Advised Funds or Gifts from an IRA, CLICK HERE to send Laura an email. Please provide your contact information.
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.
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
Highlights of November 2 Meeting
Welcome and Opening of Meeting - President Colleen Coons
  • Mike Whalen offered the invocation.,
  • Warren Williamson led the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • President Colleen thanked
    • Jeanie Morgan for handling meeting check-in.
    • Chuck Flint for handling sales of raffle tickets
    • Ron Thompson for serving as Sgt at Arms
    • Ed Koeneman for handling the technology
    • Pam Cohen for handling the technoology the week Ed was away
Introduction of Guests
  • John Pennypacker introduced visiting Rotarian Liz Polis of Mesa Rotary Club.  Liz is the founder of a 501(c)(3) - College Bound.  
  • President Colleen introduced Vice Mayor Francisco Heredia, who would be presenting our program, and Lucy Hambright who was attending to assist the Vice Mayor.
  • President Colleen also introduced Major Mike Lutcher with the Salvation Army.
  • President Colleen acknowledged Bob Jensen and Melody Jackson who were attending via Zoom.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Polly Cady was asked to draw the winning raffle ticket.  Mike Whalen was the luck holder of the stub of the ticket drawn, making him the automatic winner of the small pot of $40 and the chance to try to draw the Ace of Clubs from the cards remaining in the deck - which would make hm the winner of the accumulating large pot, which was $1,250.  After shuffling the cards, sadly (for Mike) the card he drew was the 8 of Diamonds.
Happy Bucks - Sgt at Arms - Ron Thompson
  • Harry Grossman again contributed $3 - $1 for each of the Cardinal's wins this season.  He made an additional contribution happy for a special treat enjoyed by his grandson who is spending the year in Sweden on Rotary Youth Exchange.  His grandson had spent the weekend at the Ict Hotel which is above the Arctic circle.  CLICK HERE to visit the Ice Hotel on line.
  • Pam Cohen was happy to have gone to Flagstaff to celebrate her birthday, where she was treated to a dinner and a show.  Sadly, on Sunday, both her daughter and grandson came down with COVID.  
  • Deb Koeneman contributed to celebrate their son's 24th birthday.
  • Dick Myren contributed his traditional $2 - happy that he and Honorary Member Rod Daniels are associated with the Ace of Clubs.
  • Lu General was happy to remind Mike Whalen that when he was President of Mesa West Rotary in 2004-05 and she was Assistant District Governor, Mike had given out key rings.  That was back when she was Lucinda Pine.  She doesn't use the name Pine or the title ADG anymore, but she is still using the key ring she received from Mike.
  • John Pennypacker contributed - happy our guest was at our meeting.
  • Allan Cady contributed $4 happy bucks and $1 sad buck for the outcome of the game Wednesday evening.  He and Polly attended the USA Mexico Friendship Conference the prior weekend.  He said it was well attended.  Nest year the conference will be held near Vera Cruz in Mexico in the city of Xalapa.  He said fourteen projects were presented at the conference and seven were fully funded before the end of the conference.  He said he was told the remaining seven are also likely to be fully funded.  He said it has been his privilege to represent Mesa West at the conference the last few years.  It is always a pleasure.
  • Polly Cady also contributed for the wonderful conference.   Their friend from Mexico - Omar Falcon - stayed with them and left some shoes when he left, which Polly gave to Pam.
  • Shelly Romine was happy to have had Suns tickets so they could attend a game, but sad that they lost.  She was happy to have been the top bidder on the handbag that was auctioned the prior week and was excited to have already put it to use.
  • Ed Koeneman was happy for the fun Youth Exchange Halloween party held out our guest, Liz Polis' home.  There were three Barbies at the party.  Ed was Ken.  Ed was also happy his brother was in town for their son's birthday.  He was also happy it is only 777 days until the release of the next Star Wars movie.
  • Mike Whalen was happy to announce his 30-year-old son, who was three when Mike joined Rotary, has recently announced Mike will have his first grandchild in April.
  • Warren Williamson was reminded of his years spent in Illinois when he learned our guest, Liz Polis was from Chicago.  The town Warren was from was much smaller.  In fact, it was so small they shared a town drunk with another little town just down the road.  In Warren's hometown, Lloyd Butler was known as a person of means who enjoyed some of the finer things in life.  One of the things Lloyd owned was a grandfather clock which he had inherited.  When the clock stopped working, Lloyd took it to Smitty to be fixed.  He wasn't an expert on clocks, but Smitty was known for being able to fix anything.  As they were carrying the repaired clock out to Lloyd's vehicle, Dave (the town drunk) stumbled into them and they all went down smashing the valuable clock.  When Lloyd and Smitty were showing their obvious displeasure, Dave asked, "Why don't you wear a watch like everybody else?"
  • Colleen Coons contributed - happy that Mesa West was well represented at the Child Crisis Arizona Lunch for Love.  She was also happy about the Youth Exchange Halloween Party and very impressed with the Haunted House in the Polis' back yard. 
  • Colleen thanked those who have volunteered for the McKenney Vento project.  We are sponsoring ten students.  Son Hee Williamson has made blankets for each of the ten students.  The volunteers will have the opportunity to meet their students next week.
  • Allan Cady reported that the bottle of Mescal on which he had made the top bid the prior week, had been enjoyed by he and their friend Omar.  They enjoyed four very good shots each.  He said he has had the privilege of deciding which projects Mesa West would support at the Friendship Conferences he has attended.  One project was funding echocardiogram equipment for Orizaba Mexico, southwest of Vera Cruz.  Allan gave Colleen the plaque Omar had presented to him for our club's participation.
  • John Pennypacker went to a seminar about independent voters.  In Arizona, those who are registered as independents can request a partisan ballot for only one party.  They cannot work at polls or count votes.  He had picked up a book which he said would be a good cure for insomnia.
Program - Vice Mayor Francisco Heredia
President Colleen introduced Francisco Heredia who was appointed to the Mesa City Council to fill the vacant District 3 seat on September 28, 2017 and elected in November of 2018 to complete the term. He won re-election in August of 2020 to a full four-year term that will run until January 2025. He was elected as Vice Mayor in January 2023, a term that he will serve for two years until January 2025.

Heredia has experience working in government, working for both the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office and the United States Census Bureau. He spent time as the National Field Director of Mi Familia Vota and One Arizona, the KidsCare Outreach Coordinator for the Arizona Healthcare Cost Containment System and as a prevention specialist for Chicanos Por la Causa.

He is a member of the National League of Cities Human Development Federal Advocacy Committee and is also a member of the Hispanic Elected Officials Organization and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. He is the Immediate Past Chair of  both the Valley Metro Rail Board of Directors and the Valley Metro Regional Public Transit Authority (RPTA) Board, where he continues to serve as a Board Member.

Before moving to Mesa he was a resident of Chandler, where he served as a commissioner for the Chandler Housing and Human Services Commission. He also served on the State of Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners, which he was appointed to by the Governor of Arizona.

Heredia earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration from Arizona State University. He owns his consulting firm, assisting clients with grant writing, planning and strategy. He and his wife Carmen have three children.

The Vice Mayor said he was born and raised in Somerton Arizona.  His parents were migrant farmers from Sonora Mexico.  In the 80's, his mother was hired as a cafeteria worker, where she worked for thirty years.  His dad continued to be a farm worker and he drove cement trucks.  They had come from Mexico to provide a better life for thier family.  Francisco feels very lucky to have the opportunity to serve.  He and his family love west Mesa.  A goal is to provide the infrastructure to take Mesa to the next level.  One program he is proud of is Mesa Promise program whre all eligible Mesa high school graduates can attend Mesa Community College for two years tuition-free to ensure a future workforce.  The Asian District at Dobson and Main has 80 businesses - all Asian themed.  

The Fiesta District's mew fate is still being determined.  The unsightly mall has been bulldozed.  His own studies and experience enable him to work on policy issues that impact daily lives with the intent to provide infrastructure that will improve quality of life.  

The Fiesta Mall took a long time to get to the point it is at now.  There were multiple owners who couldn't agree or get along.  Now there is one owner who took over and bought other parcels.  It is still privately owned.  There are 80 acres involved.  It seems to be headed in a direction that would attract people with entertainment, office space, and mixed use.  He hasn't seen many details yet.  There are rumors of a potential arena or amphitheater.

There will be an annual toy drive to fill the closets at Banner Childrens' Hospital.  The East Valley Firefighters support this annual charitable activity.

The AARP Experience Corps participates in a Literacy Program partnering with Mesa Public Schools.  The commitment is about two hours every two weeks.

A challenge when buildings are demolished and new construction planned is to provide affordable housing.  This challenge is complicated by rulings enacted by the state legislature.  The fact that housing costs have risen faster than wages presents a very real problem for our city's workforce.

He said the Coyotes are still considering Mesa as well as other communities for their future home

He said his parents were here prior to the 1986 Reagon Amnesty, but it took until 1995 before they actually became citizens.

Candy was presented to Ray Smith to take to the children who will be served at the hearing clinic next week.  Lucinda handed a box of candy to Ray and told him not to eat it. He said he wouldn't eat more than half on the say down.  The Guaymas hearing project was briefly explained to Vice Mayor Heredia.  Guaymas is the Sister City of Mesa and the Vice Mayor is involved in the Sister City project.  

Bob Jensen explained that Guaymas Rotarians are setting the state to make the border crossing as simple as possible.  They are taking new equipment which will allow audio brain stem testing.  They will be able to test children age two and under.  They have buses lined up for the travel There will be 25 US volunteers and 5 more in Mexico.  Erica Williams has been doing lots of work to get ready for the clinic which is at a school for the deaf and disabled.  The school stores their equipment.  The children is for children with no resources.  3-400 are seen at the clinic.  Bob has been participating in the clinic for around 30 years.  Mesa Baseline Rotary helped with the project.  Bob has enjoyed the continued support of Mesa West Rotary since Mesa Baseline merged into our club.


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


Something to Ponder
"Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can."
--John Wesley
A Bit of Humor
Remember, if you lose a sock in the dryer,
it comes back as a Tupperware lid
that doesn't fit any of your containers.
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 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
Dec 28, 2023
We will not meet and hope our members are enjoying a wonderful Holiday Season!
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
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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