Happy Anniversary Rotary!
Highlights of February 17 Meeting
Welcome - Dan Coons
As members and guests were arriving for the meeting, they were greeted by Greg Okonowski.
President Dan opened the meeting by introducing himself then reciting the Rotary International theme - Serve to Change Lives.  He then reminded everyone of the Rotary Vision Statement:
Together we see a world where people unite and 
take action to create lasting change - 
across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves
The invocation was offered by Darl Andersen.  Polly Cady led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Rotary Minute - Ray Smith
Ray read from a framed Rotary document which he gave to Pam Cohen afterward to add to the collection of historic memorabilia that will be displayed when Mesa West Rotary celebrates it's 50th anniversary in June, 2023.
As a Rotarian engaged in a business or profession, I am expected to:
  1. Consider my vocation to be another opportunity to serve;
  2. Be faithful to the letter and to the spirit of the ethical codes of my vocation, to the laws of my country, and to the moral standards of my community;
  3. Do all in my power to dignify my vocation and to promote the highest ethical standards in my chosen vocation;
  4. Be fair to my employer, employees, associates, competitors, customers, the public and all those with whom I have a business or professional relationship;
  5. Recognize the honor and respect due to all occupations which are useful to society;
  6. Offer my vocational talents to provide opportunities for young people, to work for the relief of the special needs of others, and to improve the quality of life in my community;
  7. Adhere to honesty in my advertising and in all representations to the pubic concerning my business or profession.
  8. Neither seek from nor grant to a fellow Rotarian a privilege or advantage not normally accorded others in a business or professional relationship.
Introduction of Guests
Robin Harris introduced Jim Jackson a visiting Rotarian whose home club is in Illinois.  Jim added a few words of his own.  He has been a Rotarian since 1969.  He is a PDG.  He said Rotary has enriched his life with fun and wonderful people.  President Dan also introduced our club's three newest members, Scott Ramsey, Diane Ware, and Mike Whalen.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck announced that the holder of the match to the ticket drawn would win $60 and the opportunity to try to draw the Ace of Clubs from the 28 cards remaining in the deck, with would make them the winner of the big pot which was up to $1,280.  He asked Shelly Romine to draw the winning ticket, which was held by Jim Erickson who happened to be sitting next to Shelly.  Jim's attempt to draw the Ace of Clubs was unsuccessful - he drew the four of spades.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski
Prior to getting started, it was noted Bob Jensen and Pai Bethai were both attending via Zoom.
  • Shelly Romine announced that she had a bag of individual bags of Jamon Iberico to share.  She said her son, who has never been great at gift-giving, sent her and her husband a 17# Christmas ham in February.  Since it would take the two of them forever to consume the delicious 17# ham, she wanted to share it with her Rotary friends.
  • Ray Smith contributed $5 to honor Jeane Crouse.
  • Warren Williamson shared a story about an elderly couple.  The husband kept forgetting things and his wife kept urging him to write things down.  He was headed to the kitchen to get treats for them.  She asked him to write down what she wanted.  She wanted a dish of ice cream topped with whipped cream and a cherry on top.  He refused to write it down insisting he could remember.  After being gone a long time, he came back with a plate of bacon and eggs for his wife.  She said, "I knew you wouldn't remember what I wanted.  Where's my toast?"
  • Colleen Coons contributed $20 to honor the owner of Print USA who printed colorful cards for Rotaract District 5495.  Scanning the QR code on the cards will take you to the Rotaract website.  She said Arizona Rotaract is alive and well.
  • Jim Crutcher contributed because his phone had gone off during the meeting.
  • Dick Myren shared a joke.  Apparently there have been complaints to the NFL about Superbowls being played in the home state of one of the competing teams and that team being the winner.  The commissioners have come up with a solution that would ensure that wouldn't happen any more.  The will move the Superbowl permanently to Texas stadium.
  • Jack Rosenberg pledged $20 in memory of Jeane Crouse.
  • Chris Krueger contributed.  She had participated in "Hot Yoga" with Colleen Coons and Diane Ware on Saturday, February 12, resulting in Chris being a sore, sweaty mess afterward.  She was happy they were planning to do Pilates, rather than Hot Yoga together on the 19th.
  • Dave Brauchler contributed saying he and his wife had gone to the Glendale arena for a TobyMack concert.  Their tickets weren't being accepted by the admission scanners.  They found out the event they wanted to attend was in a different venue.  The reason their tickets wouldn't work was because everyone else was arriving for a Monster Truck Rally.
  • Chris Krueger pledged $50 to TRVFA in memory of Jeane Crouse.
  • Lu General contributed $10.  Wayne has held front row seats for the Arizona Opera season for 40 years.  There are a couple of upcoming events they cannot attend, and she would be glad to sell the tickets which are worth $250 per vent for $180 to anyone interested.
  • Jim Schmidt pledged $100 in memory of Jeane Crouse.  He remembered her arranging for him to enjoy an amazing cruise experience.  She befriended his brother and his children as well as Jim's father after his mom passed.  She would bring food to Jim at his office when he was working late during tax season. 
  • Penny May contributed.  She had received a call from her granddaughter, Lydia Jacoby, from Alaska.  She was surprised to learn the seventeen-year-old high school student was in Phoenix for a hockey tournament.
  • Allan Cady contributed.  He and Polly recently visited South Florida and enjoyed time with a good friend they have known about eight years.  Johny Williams has been with a dealership Allan worked with in Florida for 40 years and is well-enough known and liked that a street is named after him.  When Allan learned that Johny and his wife were members of an all-black church, he asked if he and Polly could attend church with them while they were in Florida.  He seld they felt at home and had a great time enjoying the service which lasted about two hours.  He said one prayer lasted ten or more minutes.  "It was marvelous - we hope to do it again."
  • Polly Cady contributed.  She was happy to see all three of our newest members at the meeting.  And her takeaway from the church service she and Allan attended in Florida was "Wear your church clothes every day."  
  • Dan Coons contributed saying a Rotary International employee resides in Mesa.  Colleen had lunch with his wife recently and encouraged her to come to Mesa West.  She said she would if she could get free business cards...  Colleen said she knew someone who might make that happen.
  • Pam Cohen pledged $100 to TRVFA mentioning that Jeane Crouse had hoped to host a fundraiser for TRVFA this February in her home.  She also pledged $150 to Ed Koeneman's sponsorship team for the work he did to get the microphone working.
  • Robin Harris pledged $20 in memory of Jeane Crouse.  He also made an announcement about an Easter Pageant at the Mesa Temple April 6-9 and 12-16.  He shared some impressive information about the quality of the musical score.  His daughter will be in the chorus and Darl Andersen's son is in the group.  
  • Jim McGown contributed and shared a story about when he first went to work in the police department in 1976, his captain was Lyn Kotsur, who eventually became Chief of Police until his career ended after he was in a head-on collision with a drunk driver resulting in Lyn being a quadriplegic.  His biggest heartbreak was that he could no longer communicate with his deaf son using American Sign Language.  Lyn's son, Troy Kotsur was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in "Coda."
  • Mike Whalen contributed - he was proud to have been Greg's sponsor when Greg joined Mesa West Rotary.
  • Bob Jensen pledged $100 to the Guaymas Hearing project in Jeane Crouse's memory.  She was extremely helpful in the early years of the project in arranging flights, raising money, etc.  He shared one time when she was helping him get through customs with three big boxes of medical supplies.  After he answered the way Jeane had instructed him "nothing to declare" and each box was opened disclosing the supplies, Bob was retained in a locked room until the Guaymas Mayor bailed him out.
  • Polly Cady invited Bob Zarling to the front of the room so she could present him with his Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) graduation certificate.
  • Shelly Romine reminded members there will be two Community Service projects in March
    • Friday March 11, Mesa West Volunteers will be painting the exterior of one of the residences at House of Refuge.
    • Saturday March 19, from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM volunteers are needed to help at Street Light USA located at 6805 N 81st Ave
      Glendale, AZ United States of America 85303. Click on Sign Up to view available slots and book yourself directly online.  They rescue girls that have been victims of sex trafficking.  We will be working on their campus to provide some needed upkeep.  This will include either yard work, furniture moving, painting etc.  Due to the nature of their mission, they require all volunteers to fill out a volunteer sheet/ criminal background check prior to entering the campus.  CLICK HERE to download their form.  After you have completed it, send it to Shelly Romine as soon as possible.  For more information about this organization, visit
Program - Jeanie Morgan - The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona
Jeanie began by saying she felt like she was preaching to the choir since Mesa West Rotary is TRVFA's  top giving club in the state.  At the time, she said between our club members and Mesa West Rotary Foundation, TRVFA had received  $13,117.  At this writing, that number has increased to $14,817.  
In 1990, Dave Wastchak, a Rotary leader who was a member of Phoenix 100 and a very visionary individual believed he had an idea about how Rotarians could have a very worthwhile statewide Vocational Service program that could be supported with Arizona Tax Credit donations.  He got others involved and they went to work making that vision become a reality.  In 1991, The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona was incorporated in the State of Arizona.  In 1992, they were designated a 501(c)(3) public charity by the Internal Revenue Service.  In 1993, after 65% of all Rotary Clubs in all Arizona Districts voted to support it as an ongoing project, the Rotary International Board of Directors approved TRVFA as an ongoing multi district Rotary project.  When first operating, the Arizona Tax Credit category they operated under was for the "Working Poor."  That wording is no longer used in the categories used by the state.  TRVFA is now a Qualifying Charitable Organization for tax credit donations.  Individuals can give up to $400 annually and married couples filing jointly can give $800 to offset their Arizona State Income Tax obligation.  
TRVFA provides grants for vocational education to Arizona residents who are at or below the poverty guideline.  They do not fund 4-year degrees.  The longest term programs they fund are two-year associate degree programs.  
When Jeanie first joined the TRVFA board in 2018, she replaced Pam Cohen who needed to resign because she had found she was overcommitted.  At the first board meeting Jeanie attended, because of increased application activity, they elected to lower the maximum available grant from $3,000 to $2,000 so they could help more students.  Income has increased year-over-year, but application activity has also continued to increase, so that former $3,000 maximum has yet to be restored.  Grants are not made to anyone who has already achieved a four-year degree - they have many more options available to them than the individuals TRVFA strives to help.
Applicants range from young people just out of high school to older adults who have experienced life changes and are no longer able to qualify for positions that will offer a living wage.
Donations to TRVFA are not limited to Rotarians and they are not limited to tax credit donations.  Individuals, family trusts, private foundations, and charitable businesses can all help individuals lift themselves out of poverty by making donations to our 501(c)(3) just like any other tax-deductible donation.  If someone doesn't need a tax credit, or for some reason wouldn't benefit from a tax deduction, sometimes it just feels good to help someone because they want to help themselves and are willing to do the work to make it happen - they just need a hand up.  We all have neighbors, family and friends who probably have no idea this is something they could help us do.  We need to talk about it. and talk enthusiastically.
Allan Cady was invited to say a few words about his experience with TRVFA since being elected at the 2021 District 5495 Council on Legislation to begin a three-year term July 1, 2021.  Allan said that when Jeanie recruited him to be nominated for that seat she said she wanted him to be the TRVFA Fundraising Chair.  She told him that the successful Mesa West Sponsorship program was just training ground for bigger things.  He has a committee and they will be getting into action.  
Bob Zarling added to the content of the program remembering when he was Mesa West's Vocational Service Chair, he had the opportunity to interview several TRVFA applicants.  He remembered one in particular who was from Yuma but was attending a nursing program at East Valley Technical Institute (EVIT).  Her goal was to go back to Yuma and get involved with helping the children who arrive in this country illegally and often have been abused on their journey.  They are victims through no fault of their own and need to be helped by individuals who truly care.  She had a real passion for what she hoped to accomplish.
After being prompted by Lu General Jeanie pointed out that there are different categories of Tax Credit donations - Foster Care, Public School, School Tuition Organizations, in addition to the Qualifying Charitable Organization category TRVFA qualifies for.  When we are lucky enough to live in a state where we are allowed to direct where our tax obligation is spent, we haven't "maxed out" until we've given more than we owe the state, yet stayed within each category's limit.
Even though Mesa West is leading the state, we still have a long way we could go.  63% of our members are not yet represented by a donation this fiscal year, which began July 1, 2021.  Many members have indicated they want to make donations to honor Jeane Crouse.  CLICK HERE to easily make your donation on line.  In the blank at the bottom of the donation form where it asks for the club name just put "Mesa West in honor of Jeane Crouse."  Donations made by the April tax filing deadline can be used offset your 2021 or 2022 state tax obligation (but not both).
Party to Celebrate Life of Jeane Crouse
Mesa West Rotarians are invited to participate in a party celebrating the life of Jeane Crouse on Saturday, March 5 at 5:00 PM.  The party will be held at her home.  The event will be catered, so it is important to know how many plan to attend.  CLICK HERE to complete a Survey Monkey survey by Sunday evening February 27. so the information can be shared with Jeane's daughter who is planning the party.
The caterer will not be providing dessert as some individuals have indicated they want to contribute to the celebration.   It is not mandatory to bring dessert to share, but there is a question on the survey to indicate whether you plan to do so or not.  
There will be opportunity to share tribute stories at the party, so if you plan to attend, search your memory for your most entertaining or heart-warming Jeane Crouse story to share. 
The specific address will be provided to those who respond indicating they plan to attend.
CLICK HERE to read the tribute Jeane's daughter Chara Deland shared on Facebook February 18.  Chara is very firm in wanting to call the celebration a party.  Jeane loved to host parties and Chara wants to make sure Jeane's life is celebrated with a grand one! 
Something to Ponder
Story number one
Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago.  Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic.  He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.
Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie."  He was Capone's lawyer for a good reason.  Eddie was very good!  In fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuverings kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.
To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well.  Not only was the money big, but Eddie got paid dividends, as well.  For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all the conveniences of the day.  The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block.
Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.
Eddie did have one soft spot, however.  He had a son that he loved dearly.  Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education.  Nothing was withheld.  Price was no object.
And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong.   Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was.
Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son; he couldn't pass on a good name or a good example.
One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision.  Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done.
He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son som resemblance of integrity.  To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great.  So, he testified.
Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street.  But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay.  Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine.  The poem read:
"The clock of life is wound but once, 
and no man has the power to tell 
Just when the hands will stop,
At late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own.
Live, love, toil with a will.
Place no faith in time.
For the clock will soon be still."
Story number two
World War II produced many heroes.  One such man was Lietenant Commander Butch O'Hare.  He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.
One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission.  After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank.  He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.  His flight leader told him to return to the carrier.  Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet.
As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold:  a squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding its way toward the American fleet.
The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless.  He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet.  Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger.  There was only one thing to do.  He must somehow divert them from the fleet.
Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes.  Wing-mounted 50 calibers blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another.  Butch wove in and out of hte now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent.
Undaunted, he continued the assault.  He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible, rendering them unfit to fly.  Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.
Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier.  Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return.  The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale.  It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet.  He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft.  This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy's first Ace of WWII, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Medal of Honor.
A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29.  His hometown would not allow the memory of this WWII hero to fade, and today, O'Hare airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.
So, the next time you findyourself at O'Hare International, give some thought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honor.  It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.
So what do these two stories have to do with each other?
Butch O'Hare was "Easy Eddie's" son.
Yesterday's Chuckle
Hoping you had a happy day yesterday.
Seriously doubt many, if any, of us will 
be around to see another day like it.
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.
Club Information
Welcome to our Rotary Club of Mesa West!
Mesa West
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.
District Site
Venue Map
Mar 03, 2022
The Unknown Soldier
Mar 10, 2022
James Wheeler Davidson and the circumnavigation of the world with Rotary clubs.
Mar 17, 2022
Lu's Life Story
View entire list
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Membership Dir "23
Community Service Dir. '22
Vocational Dir '22
Foundation Dir. '23
Public Image Dir. '23
Fundraising Chair
Co Sergeant. At Arms
TRF Chair
Vocational Service Chair
Youth Services Co-Chair
Youth Services Co-Chair
Executive Secretary
Upcoming Events
President Elect Training Seminar (PETS)
DoubleTree by Hilton Phoenix Tempe
Mar 04, 2022 12:00 PM –
Mar 05, 2022 5:00 PM
House of Refuge - Paint Project
Mar 11, 2022
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Mar 15, 2022 5:30 PM
Street Light USA - service project
Mar 19, 2022
8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Club Leadership Academy
Apr 09, 2022
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Apr 19, 2022 5:30 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Amanda Rosenberg
February 1
Melissa Stuckey
February 8
Jeanie Morgan
February 10
Scott Ramsey
February 15
Melodie Jackson
February 17
Bert Millett
February 18
Shelly Romine
February 21
Spouse Birthdays
Amanda Rosenberg
February 2
Melissa Stuckey
February 8
Kaye Andersen
February 10
Carrie Hunt
February 23
Join Date
Bert Millett
February 1, 2007
15 years
Erica Williams
February 1, 2018
4 years
Jim Schmidt
February 1, 1984
38 years
Chris Krueger
February 13, 2006
16 years
Lola McClane
February 21, 2019
3 years
Chuck Flint
February 24, 1987
35 years
Rotary District 5495 Links
District Links
Rotary Interact District 5495
Rotary 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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102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7
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