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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Highlights from February 9 Meeting
Welcome and Opening of Meeting - President Pam Cohen
  • Ray Smith offered the invocation,
  • The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Sean Green.
  • Logan Harper was thanked for serving as official greeter, welcoming members and guests as they arrived for the meeting.
Rotary Vision Statement combined with 2022-23 International President's Theme - Imagine Rotary.  President Pam thought it would be a good idea to substitute the first three words of the Vision Statement with the word "Imagine."  
She felt like using our own imaginations -  to see the endless possibilities - would bring it home to each of us so we could make it our own vision.
Rotary Minute - Erwin Reimann
Erwin shared information about Gemma Sisia, from New South Wales, Australia.  During her college years, Gemma was in Africa and saw the need for a school in Tanzania, near Mount Kilimanjaro.  When back in Australia, she passionately shared her idea with a Rotary Club.  $20,000 was raised the first weekend.  At the Rotary International Convention in Brisbane in 2003, she was a speaker and her idea attracted more Rotary support.  Visits to the school campus by donors and Rotarians are still encouraged.  Erwin enjoyed an opportunity to travel to see the school.
The school's mission is to provide free quality education to poor Tanzanian students enabling them to lead their families, community and country with respect, responsibility, honesty and kindness to a life of growth and prosperity.  They believe they can fight poverty through education combined with an emphasis on community service.  The school has active Earlyact, and Interact clubs for the students, and Rotaract for the faculty.  They do teach and strongly encourage the use of English as it is the international language of business.
Based on need and ability, full scholarships are available.  Half of the students commute  For them, bus transportation is provided.  The other half reside in dorms on campus.  97% of their students go on to higher education.  By 2021, eight alumni had become doctors.  They now have three separate campus locations.
CLICK HERE to see the slides containing more details and several images shared by Erwin during his presentation.  It is amazing to see what an idea combined with Rotary time, talent, and treasure can do.
Introduction of Guests
  • Colleen Coons introduced Elsa Beljean who was visiting our club.  She is employed by the City of Mesa  Originally from Sanora Mexico where parents were involved with Rotary, she was Chair of her Rotaract Club while attending San Diego State University.  Her husband was a Rotary Youth Exchange student from France.
  • Colleen also introduced Craig Henry who she became better acquainted with when she recently travelled to Hermosillo, Mexico to learn more about the Microcredit program Mesa West is involved with there.  Craig is the Foundation Chair for the Mesa Rotary Club.  Don LaBarge felt a need to explain the difference between the Mesa Rotary Club and Mesa West Rotary Club.  The Mesa club receives notes of appreciation that were intended for Mesa West, but Mesa West does not receive notes of appreciation intended for the Mesa club.
  • Don Boucher introduced, a 41-year Tempe South Rotarian, John Orr.  John was with the Tempe Police Department for 21 years where he became a Commander.  He then became a judge in Maricopa County.
  • President Pam noted that Pai Bethea was attending via Zoom, along with a Zoom visitor - Shane White.  Melodie Jackson had suggested Mesa West might be a good fit for Shane.  When Pam asked him to introduce himself, Shane stated he is with Arizona General.  He is the Director of Operations in their Medical Imaging department.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck asked Warren Williamson to draw the winning ticket since he had won the big pot on February 2.  After mixing the tickets for a moment, Warren drew his own ticket making him the winner of the small pot of $40, along with the opportunity to try to draw the Ace of Clubs for the 2nd week in a row, which would have netted Warren an additional $45.  Warren's luck stopped with drawing his own ticket.  After shuffling the cards face down, the card he drew was the Five of Hearts.
Happy Bucks - Ron Thompson
Before handing the microphone over to Ron, President Pam noted it was Happy Heart-Giving Day.  She then asked Ray Smith to lead the group in singing Happy Birthday to Jeanie Morgan to start the celebration of her 80th birthday a day early.
  • Jack Rosenberg pledged $80 to Jeanie's charity of choice.
  • Sean Green was proud to have brought home a banner from a Rotary Club in Texas.  Shen had travelled there on a gig to mentor a 21-year-old video marketing director.  While in Texas, Sean took the young man to a visit a Rotary Club there and demonstrate the tradition of exchanging banners when Rotarians visit other Rotary Clubs.
  • Chuck Flint contributed.  He has a new dog named Alex.  Alex is a black lab and is the niece of Ace who will no longer be the sole pet in the Flint household.
  • Polly Cady contributed $5.  She wanted to bring everyone up to date on Anita Kegler, our newest member who was supposed to have been formally inducted at our  post-holiday celebration.  Anita missed RLI and the celebration on January 21.  She has been ill, and didn't want to pass it on to anyone else in the club.  She is on the mend and hopes to be at our February 16 meeting.  Polly wished Jeanie Happy Birthday.  She was happy to have Elsa visiting Mesa West as a potential new member, and enjoyed recently spending time with their New Zealand Youth Exchange Student's father when he visited them on their boat in San Diego.  While in San Diego, Polly and Allen did a makeup at the San Diego Yacht Club Rotary Club.
  • Allan Cady was happy Craig Henry was visiting from the Mesa Rotary Club, and very thankful for the sizable check their club presented to him when Allan made a TRVFA presentation at their club recently.  Allan was also happy that his son Chris had purchased tickets for his dad and both of his brothers to attend the Super Bowl on the 12th.  Allan predicted the Eagles would win.
  • John Orr contributed saying that Mesa West was one of his favorite places to do a Rotary makeup.  He has fond memories of Jack Rosenberg traveling the world as Jellybean the Clown.
  • Colleen Coons contributed.  She was happy for the opportunity to attend PETS in Los Angeles.  She said it was an amazing experience to be with 650 fired-up Rotarians.  She also felt they received some awesome training.  
  • Your editor's notes were not clear on who shared this information:   22 years ago John Orr was Sgt at Arms at Tri-District PETS, While there, he met a Past President of Sun City West Rotary Club.  Long story short - He married her.
  • Sherry Mischel contributed saying it was good to see old friends and wished Jeanie a happy birthday.
  • Jim Schmidt echoed what Colleen had said about Southwest PETS.  He waid it was world-class training.  Jim also committed that he would be donating $800 to TRVFA to honor Jeanie's birthday.
  • Jim McGown said he participated in a Laws of Risk training led by John Orr, and that as Judge, John did a fine job of officiated the wedding of Jim's best friend.
  • Jeanie Morgan was happy about all the good birthday wishes and appreciative of the support her birthday was generating for TRVFA.  She pledged she would give $100 to Polio Plus to celebrate her birthday, and said she planned to live long enough to see that disease finally eliminated from our planet.
  • John Pennypacker was happy to report there have been no wild polio virus cases diagnosed anywhere in the world so far in 2023.  He was also very proud and happy for his very remarkable niece.  She took the responsibility of providing foster care for a little boy a couple of years ago.  With the fine help of Child Crisis Arizona, she was able to adopt the little boy February 8.
  • Warren Williamson donated $10 for whatever Jeanie wants to spend it on.
  • Ed Koeneman was happy to have enjoyed Fan Fusion with his group being joined by Sherry Mischel.  Ed thanked Shelly Romine for her fine camera work at the February 2 meeting. 
  • John Benedict wanted everyone to know that the reason he was late for the meeting was because his dentist - Ron Thompson - had slipped out the back to get to the meeting and left john in the dentist chair.  Ron paid a $20 fine.
  • Joan Reimann contributed happy for the wonderful week they had enjoyed in South Dakota spending time with family.
  • Pam Cohen was happy Ed filled in for her on February 2.  It allowed her to enjoy the opportunity to be in California at the end of the runway with the Blue Angels taking off over her head.  She was also happy Elsa and Shane were visiting our meeting and hopes they both decide to join Mesa West.
  • Elsa Beljean made a generous $50 donation.  She hopes to expand her Rotary connection here now that she is with the Economic Development office for the City of Mesa.  Her parents are in Rotary in Mexico, and she enjoyed her Rotaract connections and friends made through Rotaract.  She has also enjoyed the opportunity to see the Blue Angels in person.
  • Dave Brauchler said the had plenty of volunteers for the Valentines party at Child Crisis Arizona.  He said Carla did a great job providing supplies and organizing the craft project.,  There were sixteen children between the ages of 3 and 7.
  • Pam Cohen reminded members to hold the June 29 date open for celebrating the club's 50th anniversary.  The event will be held at the Doubletree.
  • Pam and a few other Mesa West Rotary Club members were going to be attending the 100th anniversary celebration dinner for Tempe Downtown Rotary Club.  (The celebration was at the Tempe Doubletree Thursday, February 9)
  • Jim Crutcher has retired from Larry Miller Ford.  He has a new email address.
  • Former Mesa West member Chris Krueger is opening a Pilates studio in Lincoln Nebraska.  She will be joining a Rotary Club in Lincoln on the 20th of this month.
Program - Sherry Mischel - Rotary Youth Leadership Awards
It took two Past District Governors to introduce our speaker.  Don LaBarge said he had known Sherry a long time.  When he was District Governor in 2008-09, Sherry was his District Secretary.  He said he was going to read her "short" bio and let the papers he was holding drop and it was a long strip of connected sheets that reached to the floor.  John Pennypacker took over saying that when he was District Governor, Sherry travelled with him when he visited clubs as she was in line to follow him as DG.  One of the facts he learned about her was that she has served as Rotary Club President five times.
Sherry began her presentation asking some RYLA trivia questions.  She asked if anyone knew why the "A" stands for Awards.  Ron Thompson answered correctly when he said it was because all the youth attending as delegates are there as a result of Rotary Clubs sponsoring their attendance.  She asked if anyone knew where RYLA started.  Jeanie Morgan knew it had started in Australia.  Sherry provided more details about that.  A Festival of Youth was held in Queensland Australia in 1959.  The next year the first RYLA was held.  It was formally adopted and recognized by Rotary International in 1972.,
Sherry said she has been involved a number of years.  Her first year she rode to the camp on the Boy Scout Camp Bus, which she said had no shocks.  She said that was fun!
District 5495 has three RYLA camps.  
  • Ponderosa near Heber is held Colunbus Day weekend
  • Pinerock near Prescott is held Martin Luther King weekend
  • Wamatochick near Prescott is for middle school interactors and is held in June.
Camp Ponderosa has an array of Activities.  The delegates arrive about 2:00 PM for check in where they are assigned to dorms.  There are no co-ed dorms.  Students are separated in their assignments from others in their own school.  This allows each participant to be more fully aware of themselves and not subject to peer pressure.  They have an icebreaker, followed by a motivational speaker and they participate in a "true colors"exercise where students identify their own personality traits and gain understanding of traits of other participants.  This understanding enables better and more considerate communication between participants through the rest of the weekend.
Saturday is very full.  They have an indoor activity where ethics is the focus.  They learn about Leadership.  One of the Saturday activities is Stand Up/Speak Up - an activity to take the fear out of public speaking.  The youth are encouraged to be themselves.  The weekend is very student-driven.
Outside activities involve being on teams named for wherever country the Youth Exchange Student on their team is from.  They play volleyball.  The get to do a climbing tower.  They get to go on a zip line  Sherry say that is a real kick.  Colleen was at the last RYLA Ponderosa in October.  The weather was bad so they were unable to do the tower.
They do shuffleboard.  There is a shipwreck.  They have to get th whole team on it.  These are all team-building activities.
Saturday night they have a big dance and the teams do one-act plays that last 10 minutes or less about social issues.  Some of the best in Sherry's memory were one about killing mother nature and another about immigration.  
When they have to say their good byes, they are all sad to be leaving their new friends.  They have learned to be themselves, with strengthened character.  They understand they are capable of being leaders.  All have experienced personal growth.  There are lots of stories.  
Sherry remembered one young lady a number of years ago.  The attended as a sophomore in high school.  She was from a disfunctional family.  She was ready to commit suicide.  A counsellor talked her into RYLA.  She got involved in high school Interact.  She went to college back east where she formed a Rotaract Club.  She is now married with children.
Who qualifies to attend?  She asks Rotary Clubs to interview those hoping to be sponsored to attend RYLA.  The students fill out their applications on line.  The cost is $400 for each sponsored youth to attend.
It would be awesome if every student could go, but there are more kids than money.  This year, Mesa West sent 14 students to Ponderosa, and five to Pinerock.  Ten of the fourteen who went to Ponderosa were members of Interact.
Sherry encourages Rotarians to visit the camps when they are in session.  There are lots of opportunities to volunteer to help.  Colleen Coons encouraged members to volunteer to observe the changes in the lives of those who attend.
Mel Taunt was the first RYLA Chair.  He was followed by Pam Cohen.  Pam asked all members who have been to RYLA to stand.  A significant number did.
During the pandemic, a virtual RYLA was held and the participating students found it to be worthwhile.  
Any student can attend.  There is no restriction preventing children of Rotarians from participating.  Sherry reinforced the reason students are separated from their familiar groups when they arrive.  It eliminates cliques.  No one dominates.  There is more equal participation.  Visit and or Google RYLA5495.  
Where were you in 1973?
For our 50th Anniversary celebration, Ed is putting together a collection of photos of our members taken during the year when our club was formed.  Please look through your old photos and send one or more to Ed 
Save the Date - June 29, 2023
This is a REALLY big year for Mesa West.
We will celebrate our 50th Anniversary June 29, 2023 at the Doubletree where we regularly meet.
The details for this event are evolving.  Please say "yes" if you are asked to help!
SAVE THE DATE!  You won't want to miss this celebration!
Something to Ponder
Love doesn't make the world go round.
Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
--original source unknown
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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.
Feb 16, 2023
Feb 23, 2023
Zone 26/27 Global Grant Coordinator - Disaster Relief Efforts
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Executives & Directors
President Elect
Membership Dir "23
Director '23
Director '23
Director '24
Director '24
Public Image Co-Chair
Public Image Co-Chair
TRF Chair
Executive Secretary
Upcoming Events
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Feb 21, 2023 5:30 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Mar 21, 2023 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
Join Date
Bert Millett
February 1, 2007
16 years
Erica Williams
February 1, 2018
5 years
Jim Schmidt
February 1, 1984
39 years
Diane Ware
February 14, 2022
1 year
Lola McClane
February 21, 2019
4 years
Chuck Flint
February 24, 1987
36 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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