Highlights of March 3 Meeting
As members and guests were arriving for the meeting, they were greeted by Steve Ross.
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 Dick Myren.  Greg Okonowski led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Rotary Minute - Induction of New Members - Daryl "Pai" Bethea
Scott Ramsey with his sponsor Don LaBarge and Diane Ware with Pam Cohen, who was standing in for Diane's sponsor Colleen Coons were invited to the front of the room with special guests who were attending for the occasion.  As new members of Mesa West Rotary Club, Pai reminded them that they are also now a part of a worldwide service organization, and will be welcome visitors at any other Rotary Club anywhere in the world.  Pai said that he has been a Rotarian since 1972 and has since been around the world, visiting Rotary Clubs as he travelled. 
As new members, Scott and Diane are now trustees of the Rotary ideals and should show Rotary at its best in all they think, say and do.  Rotary is not just another club - it is a way of life.  After swearing to support Rotary with their attendance and service and use their knowledge and talents to support the club and its activities, the new members received their pins and were given a standing ovation by their fellow members.  
Diane was given an opportunity to introduce her daughter Kylee Castro.  Diane shared that she was looking forward to participating in ervice projects and has registered to attend the first session of Rotary Leadership Institute March 19, 2022.
Scott shared that he has been with Salvation Army thirty-seven years.  This is actually the second time he applied for membership in Mesa West.  The first attempt was aborted by COVID.  We are the second Rotary Club he has joined.  He feels Mesa West is overwhelmingly friendly and welcoming.  
Introduction of Guests
  • Frank Rosenberg introduced his two of his favorite women in his life - his daughters - Danielle and Sammy.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck explained that the holder of the other half of the ticket drawn would win $50 and the opportunity to try to draw the Ace of Clubs from the remaining cards in the deck.  Should the Ace of Clubs be drawn, they would win an additional $1,385.00.  Chuck asked Pai Bethea to draw the winning ticket, which was held by Jim Erickson.  After shuffling the cards face-down, Jim drew the nine of diamonds.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski
  • Frank Rosenberg contributed.  He was happy to be surrounded by beauty seated between his daughters.  He was also happy about a recent vacation.
  • Don LaBarge contributed $5 to tell about the apron he was wearing - the most famous apron in existence.  Several years ago Mesa West Rotarians earned money to be used for their charitable endeavors by working at the concession stands at the Cubs spring-training games.  One day, when Don was in his Boy Scout class A leadership uniform, he found an apron in the back room to keep the uniform clean.  A guy showed up at the stand with four others and was screaming "hand me that," pointing to the apron Don was wearing.  The one he had found in the back room.  Don yelled back and it went back and forth for a while.  Don went to the back room.  It turns out the apron had the logo of the company that ran the stand previously - a competitor of the then-current contract holder.  After that day "Don LaBarge was not allowed to be on the premises, so when he worked, he stayed in the back room.  The next year, they guy wouldn't hire Mesa West to work the concession stands anymore.  Don still has the apron and - obviously - wears it proudly.  Some thought perhaps $5 was a little light for this infamous tale.
  • Erwin Reiman he was happy their granddaughter, who was on her way from Washington DC to San Francisco stopped by to visit them for a few days.
  • Dick Myren contributed his traditional $2 for himself and Honorary member Rod Daniels - both are glad to be part of Mesa West Rotary.
  • Steve Ross wanted to let fellow-members know that Jack Rosenberg had been in the hospital since Friday, February 24, but was in pretty good spirits.  Steve commented on Chuck Flindt's glowing new hiking boots, which Chuck explained he found online.
  • Jay Stucky contributed $10 to remind everyone that every day we have with our loved ones is precious.  He was painfully reminded of that when he learned his parents had survived a crash that occurred when his father fell asleep at the wheel of their new Lexus as they were driving home from a getaway to Sedona.  They both survived, even though their vehicle had rolled seven times after going off the highway.  His mother had to be extracted from the vehicle using jaws of life.  Their dog was in a crate in the back of the vehicle and the dog also survived the crash.
  • Bob Zarling contributed both sad and happy bucks.  He reported that Penny May was on her way back to Alaska after receiving word that her son had suddenly passed away there.  Consequently, she would not be traveling to Germany as previously announced.  Bob was happy to report that he is making good use of he container set he received at the post holiday party.  He is no longer using old Cool-Whip containers to store leftovers in his refrigerator.
  • Ron Thompson was happy.  After he had been a disappointed unsuccessful bidder on a shawl created by Son Hee Williamson, Warren Williamson offered to have Son Hee make another - for a price.  Ron will be invoiced $100 for the sponsorship campaign to benefit the team Warren is on.  
  • Jim Erickson shared some Rotary News.  Eight vaccinators were recently murdered in Afghanistan - another setback for Polio eradication efforts.  He also wanted to let members know that the John Hewko, General Secretary of Rotary International, is a member of the Rotary Club of Kyiv, Ukraine.
  • John Pennypacker pledged $100 to the sponsor campaign in memory of Jeane Crouse.  He also shared that his five-year-old grandson had asked to talk to his grandpa so he could ask, "Why can't we all just get along?"
  • Jim McGown was happy that being in Rotary has health benefits.  Ron Thompson is a great dentist, and Frank Rosenberg referred Jim to a good surgeon when he learned Jin had a hernia needing attention.  He said it was a "smooth operation."  He was in at 8:30 and out by 1.00.  Instead of one hernia needing attention, there were three.  They were all taken car of and Jim feels great.
  • Pam Cohen was happy to be out of the hospital and back at Rotary.
  • Ed Koeneman was happy to have participated in the advisor training activities and general sessions at the Interact District Conference February 26.  He also voiced appreciation for the members who bring in their Rotarian Magazines so he can share them with the Interact students.
  • President Dan contributed because he was moved and impressed by the teachers and sponsors he met at the Interact District Conference.
  • March service projects - On March 11, we will be painting the exterior of a house at the House of Refuge. CLICK HERE for the House of Refuge project signup link. On March 19, we will be volunteering at Street Light USA - a facility for girls who are victims of sex trafficking.  Volunteers at this facility are required to be background checked.  CLICK HERE to download the form. EMAIL THE COMPLETED FORM TO SHELLY ROMINE CLICK HERE to volunteer for the Street Light USA project.
  • Ed Koeneman reminded members of the Interact Students at Westwood who would like to have time to be advised/mentored by Rotarians in the fields they wish to pursue.  He thanked those who have already responded.  
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is planned for April 7-10 at Camp Ponderosa near Heber, Arizona.  RYLA is a leadership development experience targeting freshmen and sophomores so they can use and hone their learned skills in their remaining years in high school.  The opportunity will be made available to youth in the Interact Club we sponsor at Westwood High School.  Rotarians who have children that age are encouraged to learn more about it to see if they feel it might benefit their son or daughter.  The link for more information is
Program - Reclassification Talk - Ed Koeneman
Ed was born in Cleveland, Ohio.  He lived a few years in Erie, Pennsylvania.  He remembers 20' snowdrifts.  At age 16, his family moved to Mesa where he attended and graduated from Mountain View High School.  He went on to ASU where he studied Electrical Engineering Technology and went on to receive his Masters Degree also from ASU.
He worked in product development.  One of the jobs he did was to design a slot machine, which made him acutely aware of the odds of a player winning, so he doesn't play.
In 1997, Ed married Debbie.  She was from Wisconsin and was the youngest of eight children.  
In 1999, James came along and Ed and Debbie learned about sleep deprivation.  Susie arrived in 2002.  Ed and his father started a medical device company.  Based on neuro plasticity - the brain can revive.  With appropriate repetitive exercise, the brain can be retrained and patients can regain functionality and independence.  The problem was that it needed to be six hours a day five days a week - a rehab price insurance companies would not pay.  The desired machine would involve robotics with the patients participating in an engaging game.  It could not be a cost burden.  two out of three of those challenges would be easy.
The machines could be rented.  They would provide usage analysis.  The device would record time spent, and the game could record progress which was important for insurance to continue to pay.  Ed remembered one individual who celebrated what the machine had enabled him to be able to do again.  When out walking his dog, he had regained the ability to pick up dog poop while maintaining control of the dog on its leash.  
In 2015 the medical device company was sold to a company in Atlanta.  Governor Janet Napolitano presented Ed with the Arizona Innovation Award.  He is one of two to ever receive the award.  He remembers that as a fun day and said Governor Napolitano was a "crackup."
Ed was elected to serve as President of Mesa West Rotary in 2015-16.  During that year, his parents had a house fire, and he worked with helping solve their many insurance issues.  As his year as President was drawing to a close, Mesa West merged with Mesa Baseline and he had the distinction of being the club president who gained 18 new members in a single day.
Ed explained the back story behind why he still periodically announces the number of days til the next Star Wars movie is released.  The date that "The Force Awakens" would be released had been announced and he opened each meeting with an announcement as to how many days were left until that event occured.  When it did happen, he was there.  He does own Star Wars PJ's, socks and - Yes, there is room for all.
From 2016-2021, Ed was at GCU to start an electrical engineering technical program.  He got to write the program and teach the program.  He loved working with the students.  He was a mentor for the GCU Robotics Club.  They made it to the finals in an international competition and received the judges award for the tem with the most promising future.
Over time the environment at GCU for the program changed.  It was no longer insulated and he felt like he wasn't heard when offering advice about how the program would work best.  There was no support from new deans and he felt like his students were not being supported as they should have been.
In 2021, Ed started a new business - Keepers Workshop - using talents developed as an avocation in creative woodworking.  He is shown with the crib he built for James in 1999.  He shared a photo of a backlit headboard he built for his mother and a second photo of the same headboard illustrating that the lighting is changeable.  From the custom stands he has created to showcase various art pieces to the California serving tray he created for his brother to cutting boards that are "too pretty to use, the diversity of his talent is displayed.
Mesa West Rotary does not hold a regular meeting on the 5th Thursday.  We plan an alternate off-site activity.  On March 31, we are invited to the Koeneman home to visit Keeper's Workshop.  We will have the opportunity to see a live demo, enjoy catered tacos and have fun.
Additional Ed Koeneman Trivia
  • Worked as a PADI divemaster in college
  • Has been scuba diving with sharks, barracuda and stingrays
  • Played guitar in several bands
  • Has used an inflatable emergency airplane slide more than once
  • Was the official photographer for the Shotgun Shirleys roller derby team
  • Was ASU's Outstanding Young Alumni in 2007
  • Was one of the Business Journal's 40 Under 40 in 2005
  • Was part of a Guinness World Record Event in 2017
  • Has been to two Rotary International Conventions
Something to Ponder
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Eleanor Roosevelt 1884-1962
Today's Chuckle
Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street...with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.  --Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill loved paraprosdokians, figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected.
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 17, 2022
Lu's Life Story
Mar 31, 2022
We will be dark - Mesa West Rotary does not meet on the 5th Thursday of any month
Apr 07, 2022
Rotary Peace Fellow Program
Apr 14, 2022
Gilbert Historical Museum
Apr 21, 2022
May 05, 2022
Majestic PHX Theaters
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
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
Sleep in Heavenly Peace - Bunk Bed Build
Fountain Hills High School
Apr 23, 2022
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Jim LeCheminant
March 3
Dick Myren
March 12
Erica Williams
March 31
Spouse Birthdays
Angie Troy
March 6
John Yost
March 25
Erika Yost
John Yost
March 3
Robin Harris
Debbie Harris
March 17
Marc Hunt
Carrie Hunt
March 20
Join Date
Wendell Jones
March 1, 1989
33 years
Mike Whalen
March 9, 1995
27 years
Daniel Lamborn
March 12, 2021
1 year
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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102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7
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THE FOUR WAY TEST of the things we think, say or do

first  Is it the TRUTH?
second  Is it FAIR to all concerned?
third  Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
fourth Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?