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 Interact Week
Child Crisis Arizona - Lunch For Love
Mesa West Rotary was well represented at the October 31 Lunch for Love - the annual launching of their fundraising campaign to support the work they do in Arizona.  The program was filled with some heart-rending presentations as well as apparent enthusiasm for their new facility currently under construction in Mesa.  John Benedict's history with the organization was impressive during some of their very formative years.  His influence and efforts helped create a legacy he and his family can be proud of.
District Youth Exchange Halloween Party
At least four Mesa West Rotary Club members amd one past president (current DG Dan Coons)  were in attendance at the District 5495 Youth Exchange Halloween Party..  The Koeneman party won the prize for the best group costumes, and Olivia won the best costume prize.  We are told this is the first time Dan dressed up for Halloween since he was six years old.  Is it the truth?
Highlights of October 26 Meeting
Opening of Meeting and Welcome from President Colleen Coons
  • Shelly Romine shared the thought for the day:  In a world where many are lonely, we give thanks for friendship and community.  In a world where many are despairing, we give thanks for hope.  In a world that many find meaningless  we give thanks for faith.  In a world where many are hungry, we give thanks for this food.  In a world full of needs, we give thanks for Rotary and the opportunity to serve.
  • John Pennypacker led the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Colleen expressed appreciation for 
    • Steve Ross who served as greeter
    • Dick Myren and Jack Rosenberg who checked members and guests in as they arrived for the meeting
    • Chief technology officer - Ed Koeneman
  • Colleen welcomed members attending via Zoom:  Pai Bethea, Melodie Jackson, and Deb Koeneman
Introduction of Guests
  • Visiting Rotarian Dayna Guskte was introduced.  She has been a member of Tempe Downtown Rotary Club for about twelve years.  She is now working at the Sprouts market near our meeting place.
  • Machelle Considine took time to apologize for her recent absences, saying she'd been on her best behavior about 98.7% of the time before introducing the exchange students who were seated with her.  Thilde is from Denmark.  Her class schedule is very rigorous at the arts prep school she attends making her ability to attend our club meetings very rare.  Olivia is from Sweden and attends Mesquite High School in Gilbert. Members are encouraged to invite the girls to participate in their fun family activities.
  • Tim Troy was welcomed to the meeting.  He has had work scheduling challenges for months preventing his attendance.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck explained that the daily small pot was $40, and the large, accumulating pot was up to $1,210.  He asked Polo Santiago to draw the winning ticket.  President Colleen was very excited because Polo drew her ticket number, making her the winner of the small pot and the opportunity to draw a card from the dwindling deck.  If she were to draw the joker, she would win an additional $20.  If she should draw the Ace of Clubs, she would be the winner of the large pot.  Sadly (for Colleen) the card she drew from the deck was the Jack of Hearts.
Happy Bucks - Sgt at Arms Ron Thompson
  • Ed Koeneman contributed $13 celebrating his 13-year anniversary of being a Mesa West Rotarian.  He also celebrated the fact that Thilde and Olivia had the opportunity to attend a homecoming game and go to a homecoming dance.  Ed also contributed celebrating their fun trip to see their son's graduation from his Army basic training.  Ed was also happy to see Tim - it's been a while!
  • Dayna Guskte thanked the club for letting her be a guest.  She also celebrated her father's retirement from Honeywell after a 47-year career.
  • John Penneypacker was happy to be at the meeting.
  • Brian Harvey was happy to be at the meeting.
  • Harry Grossman did not seem very happy to still only be giving $3 - $1 for each of the Cardinals' wins so far this season.
  • Pam Cohen was happy she would be celebrating her birthday in Flagstaff with her family - especially her grandson,, Wilder, who she said would be a whirling dervish.  She also mentioned that she had the sobering opportunity to visit the Trinity bomb site near White Sands New Mexico.  She found that experience to be very emotional.
  • Warren Williamson shared a story about a man and his wife who owned a yacht near San Diego.  One evening as they were having cocktails at sunset, the man was thinking about his many blessings.  He'd done well financially, and had a beautiful younger wife.  But he started wondering if maybe his wife had been attracted to his wealth rather than himself.  He asked her, "Honey, if I lost all my money and had to sell all our possessions, would you still love me?"  She responded, "Of course, I'd still love you, and I'd miss you, too!"  The $20 Warren contributed was to help fund Olivia's train tour.
  • Allan Cady contributed $5.  He was happy he and Polly would be representing Mesa West at the USA/Mexico Friendship Conference and Grants Exchange Workshop in Prescott over the weekend.  Their friend Omar Falcon, who they met at the first Friendship Conference they attended would be coming home with them and spending a bit of time before travelling back to Mexico.  Allan has a budget of $4,000 which has been approved to support one or more grant projects presented at the workshop.
  • Polly Cady was happy Olivia's Cross Country Team made state, and that Tilde was finally able to attend our meeting.  She urged members to check Olivia's bucket list and help get some of her wishes crossed off.  She said Ed had taken Olivia and Carlotta to the Friday morning Tempe South club meeting, then went on to the zoo.  Neither of the girls had every been there before.  He also treated them to middle eastern food and they found it delicious.  Tilde is very musical - anyone planning to visit the instrument museum should take her with them.
  • Dick Myren contributed - happy that he and Honorary Member Rod Daniels are associated with the Ace of Clubs.
  • President Colleen contributed $20.  She was happy that Tesla solar wall batteries were being installed at their home.  She also acknowledged that Don Boucher had joined the meeting on Zoom.
Club Assembly - President Colleen Coons
CLICK HERE to see the PowerPoint slides used during the assembly
  • Colleen announced that later in the meeting seven items would be auctioned with the proceeds to benefit Polio Plus.
  • As President, Colleen is making it a priority to recognize a Rotarian of the Month at each club assembly.  In September, Ed Koeneman was recognized.  In October, she elected to recognize someone who puts a smile on everyone's face at every club meeting.  He has a wife who does amazing things.  She recently made back packs that were hand crocheted for the ambassadors to Mexico and Kenya.  More recently, she made blankets for the McKinney Vento students.  Warren Williamson is the October Rotarian of the month.
  • Colleen announced that several members would be attending the Child Crisis Arizona Lunch for Love on October 31.
  • Volunteers are needed to help coordinate parking at the Canyon State Academy event to be held November 4.
  • John Pennypacker represented Mesa West at the the District's Pints for Polio event to raise funds for and awareness of Polio Plus.  John said the Iron Lung Lager is still available and is very good.
  • Don LaBarge announced that he would soon be looking to fill shifts for this year's bell-ringing shifts at the Bass Pro Shop.  If each member would do three 2-hour shifts, he could fill the available slots. Anyone who can should volunteer to do more, because their will be some members who simply cannot volunteer.  He wants to get someone to take of what he does in scheduling the shifts after this year.  He said anyone who plans to donate to Salvation Army should do it though our kettle, so the funds will stay in our community.  The Bass Pro collection station is the only collection station that is totally voluntary, and it is the highest yielding station in the entire southwest region.
  • Lucinda General said that when she and Wayne were in Portugal, they visited the Rotary Club of Lisbon.  They have 40 members and met in a suite of offices.  There were only eight there.  It was in a living-room type setting.  The meeting was much like a club assembly.  They did not have a guest speaker.  It was all business and about service, service, service.  She brought back a deck of cards to use for our next Raffle round (after the Ace of Clubs is finally drawn in the current round.)  The cards have scenes of Portugal on them.  Rather than post a picture of she and Wayne in swimwear on Facebook, she was inspired to post a picture of their feet with someone attractive between them and the water.
  • Shelly Romine reported on our October 21 service project at Desert Chapel in Apache Junction.  It was a joint project with the Superstition Mountain Rotary Club. It was fun seeing the guys chopping vegetables.  There was a good turnout from both clubs.  Their President Jeff Mitchell and Sabrina were great help. They made close to 200 meals to serve the homeless.  Colleen thanked Shelly for all her work.  She planned it, shopped for the food, hauled it all out there ad organized and coordinated the shifts.  She said Dan now knows how to chop vegetables and can cook for Colleen now.  Shelly said that when she understood we would have to plan, shop, cook and clean up, she wondered what she had gotten herself into, but said looking back, it was a good team building exercise.
  • Colleen is happy that we have a commitment from a volunteer to create an inventory management sheet that can be turned into software to be used in the Working Warrior's program at Westwood High School.  Once it is all in place, the kids that participate in that program will have acquired a marketable skill to place on their resumé.  The volunteer will finalize the list of equipment needed and may be able to get some of it donated.
  • Nine McKinney Vento students have now been identified.  Days are scheduled for meet and greet opportunities.  They are homeless twelfth grade students without parent or guardian.
  • The first items to be auctioned was a bracelet purchased by Dan Coons while on the Crutches 4 Africa Interact Ambassador Mission this past summer.  Machel Considine was the top bidder at $15.  
  • The second item to be auction was a similar bracelet from the same place.  Machel said she would match her $15 bid and no one bid against her.
  • A hand-carved wooden box with a rose on the lid was purchased by Colleen when she was in Mexico.  Warren Williamson's top bid of $20 made him the new owner of the box.
  • A handbag from Africa was the next item auctioned - Shelly Romine became the owner of the bag with her $50 bid.
  • A bag containing Mescal was won with Allan Cady's $55 bid.
  • Machel Considine's top bid of $55 made her the proud owner of a beautiful hand-stitched cloth from Cuernavaca Mexico.
  • Jim Erickson provided an update on Rotary's polio eradication efforts.  He said that the cases of vaccine derived polio happen when the virous gestates and ends up in the waste environment making it possible for those who are under-immunized or non-immunized can get it.  CLICK HERE to view the fact sheet he had on the tables.
    • He said the Novel 2 Vaccine is more effective and with it there is less risk of vaccine-derived polio.
    • For those who are wondering when we will declare the world to be polio-free - there is talk about moving the goalpost.  Right now the goal is by 2026.  October is World Polio Month and October 24 was World Polio Day.  
    • Until that polio-free declaration can be made donations are essential to continue effective immunization efforts.  Three doses are necessary to be effective.
    • The two countries where cases have been reported this year are Pakistan and Afghanistan.  The Taliban is becoming more cooperative.
  • Jay Stuckey had some tickets to the OdySea Aquarium and Butterfly Museum to auction.  Tim Troy's was the top bidder at $100..
  • Lucinda General had a white bag of items Wayne selected in Portugal.  John Pennypacker's bid of $50 made him the proud owner.
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
A Bit of Humor
  1. Sometimes, someone unexpected
  2. comes into your life out of nowhere,
  3. makes your heart race,
  4. and changes you forever. 
  5. We call those people cops.
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.
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 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
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
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
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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