Mesa West Rotary will not meet at noon on Thursday, June 23, 2022
That evening we will have our annual "Changing of the Guard" 
Installation Celebration and Dinner
May Service Project
Mesa West Rotarians are invited to participate in a bunk bed build for Sleep In Heavenly Peace.  The goal is to build 65 beds for kids in need! 
Sleep in Heavenly Peace Bunk Bed Build
Saturday, May 21, 2022
7:30 AM - 11:30 AM
VIP Mortgage
9221 E Via de Ventura
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
All ages and abilities welcome.  
CLICK HERE  to sign up to help!
We will have the opportunity to learn more about Sleep in Heavenly Peace at our Thursday, May 19 Meeting when Joe Genovese, President of the Arizona Phoenix Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peach will be presenting our program.
Their motto?   No kid sleeps on the floor in our town®. 
Preview of District Conference Highlights
Several members of Rotaract were honored with their first Paul Harris Fellow.  Many Mesa West Rotarians will remember the young man in the back row - Colton Cagle.  He was a member of Westwood High School Interact Club, attended RYLA, served on the Interact District Council as an AG follows by a year as their District Governor.  He was a Crutches for Africa Ambassador, and was a Rotary Youth Exchange Student.  He received his second Paul Harris Fellow at the conference.
Pam Cohen was the "hostess with the mostest," winning the "best food" prize for the Mesa West "Great-Gatsby"-themed hospitaility suite she coordinated on Friday evening of the conference.
Look for more images from the District Conference held May 13-14 in Prescott in the May 25 Messenger.
Highlights of May 12 Meeting
Opening of Meeting - President Dan Coons
President Dan opened the meeting by thanking Colleen Coons for serving as greeter.  He thanked the members for the gift of being able to serve as Club President  He then reminded Rotarians and guests of the Rotary International 2021-22 theme - Serve to Change Lives - after which he recited 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.
Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance
  • Ray Smith offered the invocation. 
  • The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Warren Williamson.
Rotary Minute - John Pennypacker
John spent some time highlighting some of the more interesting discussions and enactments at the Rotary International Council on Legislation he participated in on behalf of District 5495.  CLICK HERE to see a list of the items he was prepared to talk about.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck asked Mike Whalen to draw the winning ticket which was held by Pam Cohen.  After shuffling the cards, with the cards face-down, the card she drew was NOT the Ace of Clubs.
Happy Bucks - Ron Thompson
  • Ed Koeneman contributed.  He was happy his friend Matt Scott was at the meeting to present the program, He was sad because a bobcat ate one of their chickens.
  • Greg Okonowski contributed.  He was happy so few people were at the meeting - there was more than plenty of food - even for him!
  • Pam Cohen was happy.  She was looking forward to hosting an amazing hospitality suite at the District Conference.
  • Don LaBarge was happy for all who went to the District Conference though he didn't know how they would have a good conference without all the various country flags he typically transports to be displayed at our conferences, contributing to the ambiance of the conference setting.
  • Jim McGown contributed, sharing more wisdom about how to trick the technology into turning traffic lights green on demand.
  • Mike Whalen contributed - happy to have completed developing a Rotary-related app which will soon be introduced.
  • Dick Myren contributed - happy that he and Rod Daniels are fortunate to be in the best club in Rotary.
  • Ted Williams contributed - saying he'd received a reminder of his $200 sponsorship pledge, adding "The check is in the mail."
  • John Pennypacker was happy - his grandson had scored 4 birdies and 2 eagles in his final round and finished 3rd in his high school golf championship.
  • Jim Schmidt was happy to be headed to Prescott for the District Conference.
  • Dan Coons was happy to announce Mesa West Rotary Club would be hosting a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in 2022-23 - a young lady from France.
  • Ron Thompson contributed - he was just happy to be at the meeting.
  • Disclaimer - your editor was not at the meeting - some of the reasons people were happy may be fictional - not necessarily true but could possibly be true.
  • Shelly Romine announced the May service project would be participation in a Sleep in Heavenly Peace bed build to take place in Scottsdale on Saturday, May 21 - see separate article in this Messenger for details.
  • Don LaBarge - had a story to share and thought it would be less expensive if he announced it than it would have been if he were "happy" about it.
  • Dick Myren - hopes he won't be the only one filling in for Jeanie when she goes to Michigan for two months this summer.
  • Disclaimer - your editor was not at the meeting - some of the announcements may be fictional - not necessarily true but could possibly be true.  Thanks to Lola McClane for taking great photos, we have proof that they had something to say!
Program - Matt Scott - Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Ed Koeneman his friend, Matt Scott saying that the thing they have in common is that they can both trace their family lineage back to individuals who participated in the American Revolution.  Ed's 4th great-grandfather spent the winter at Valley Forge.  Matt had a long career in banking and now resides in Pebble Creek.  Matt's grandfather was involved in putting together the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington.  They just passed the 100th anniversary.
Matt started out by remarking how much fun our club seems to have.  He had been at a Mesa West Meeting about 7 years ago. 
The bodies of many soldiers who were killed in World War I could not be identified.  Matt's grandfather was a member of the cemetery division of the Department of War.  The tomb was created to honor them in our own country.  He was assigned the duty of documenting all of the aspects of the selection and burial of the first unknown American soldier in Arlington.
World War II, Korea and Viet Nam have also been so honored.  Because of DNA technology, the soldier from Viet Nam was exhumed and identified.  There may never be another unknown soldier. 
Congress approving the establishment of a tomb in Arlington, March 2, 1921.  They found out there were 1237 unknown American soldiers buried in four cemeteries in France.  They determined they would go to the four cemeteries and select one unknown soldier from each and bring them back to Chalons, France to the Hotel DeVille.  There were six pall bearers.  One of them, Sargeant Younger, who was injured during the war was selected to choose the one of the four who would be buried in the Tomb of the Unknown.  He was given a bouquet of white roses he was to place on the casket of the unknown soldier he selected.   
He later described what this meant to him.  He was left alone in a chapel with four coffins all unnamed and unmarked.  He walked around the coffins three times and suddenly felt an urge to stop.  He remembered feeling as though something had drawn him to stop.  The coffin he was facing was where he placed the white roses.  He said he couldn't help but wonder if the soldier in that coffin was someone he had known.
The unknown soldier selected was honored while lying in state at Chalons-sur Marne with American Soldiers on the left and French Soldiers on the right.  The other three unknown soldiers were returned to the cemeteries they had been taken from in France with the identities of any of the four to ever be known.
The ceremonies in France were conducted with great dignity and reflected the strong relationship of France and the United States.  The casket was transported to the train station in Chalons where it was transported by train to LaHavre where a parade and another ceremony took place which was very well attended.  There was no shouting - no noise. The white roses remained on the casket at all times. 
The casket was transported with dignity through LaHavre to be placed on the Olympia - the ship that would bring him home.  When moved on land the Army was with him.  When on board the Olympia the Navy and Marines took over.  The Olympia was Admiral Dewey's ship during the war.  More ceremonies took place on the ship.  The Ruben James escorted the Olympia.  The casket was under constant guard by a US Marine during the entire voyage.  There were some very severe storms during the voyage.  Some on board thought they would not make it.  When the casket was carried down the gangway of the Olympia in November, it was turned over to the Army to be carried to the Capitol Building in Washington, DC where it would lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda. 
During a ceremony at the Capitol, President Harding placed a wreath on the Casket with a banner which had been hand-made by his wife.  The white roses were again present.  On Armistice Day, the casket was carried by caisson to Arlington to the Ampitheatre where another well-attended ceremony took place.  Large amounts of flowers were brought for the ceremony.   The casket was transported to the mall where the burial would take place in another dignified ceremony.  General Pershing dropped something into the casket.  
Every day to this day, there are about 30 processions at the tomb.  
Something to Ponder
Today's Chuckle
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
May 26, 2022
Hire a Rotarian
Jun 02, 2022
New Member Talk
Jun 09, 2022
East Valley Institute of Technology
Jun 16, 2022
The Happiness Breakthrough
Jun 23, 2022
GCU Rotaract Club
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
Rotary International Convention
Jun 04, 2022 – Jun 08, 2022
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Jun 21, 2022 5:30 PM
Installation Banquet - Changing of the Guard
Jun 23, 2022
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Rotary Leadership Institute
Jun 25, 2022
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Jul 19, 2022 5:30 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Bryan Goetzenberger
May 11
Diane Ware
May 12
Chuck Flint
May 16
Ed Koeneman
May 20
Greg Bouslog
May 21
Sean Green
May 21
Robert LaBarge
May 28
Spouse Birthdays
David Murphy
May 8
Bryan Goetzenberger
May 11
Jessica Lamborn
May 14
Michelle LeCheminant
May 17
Julie West
May 27
Bob Jensen
Nancy Jensen
May 16
Shelly Romine
Scotty Romine
May 25
Jim LeCheminant
Michelle LeCheminant
May 29
Carla Krcmarik
Kevin Fleege
May 31
Join Date
Amanda Rosenberg
May 1, 2019
3 years
Erwin Reimann
May 1, 1998
24 years
Jack Rosenberg
May 1, 1980
42 years
Joan Reimann
May 1, 2017
5 years
Shelly Romine
May 1, 2005
17 years
Logan Harper
May 5, 2021
1 year
Polly Cady
May 6, 2010
12 years
Kayla Mudge
May 13, 2021
1 year
Jay Stuckey
May 25, 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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