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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February 23 Speaker -  LeAnn Mobley
LeAnn Mobley is the Disaster Relief Global Grants Coordinator for Rotary Zones 26 and 27.  She has over ten years of extensive experience training club and district leaders on all aspects of The Rotary Foundation with special emphasis on grant programs.  LeAnn has written four global grants and participated in twelve international projects since 2000 (Mexico, Uganda, The Dominican Republic, Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand).  She has additional experience writing grants for other non-profit organizations that resulted in approximately $1,000,000 in funding since 2013.  She has served in various Zone and District positions, including Assistant Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator, GETS and GNATS faculty, PETS Curriculum Development Team, Grants Subcommittee Chair, and Fund Development Chair.
Something for your Calendar
Our President-Elect, Colleen Coons enjoyed a visit to our microcredit project
in Hemosillo, Mexico  While there she learned about this challenge, and 
offered her home as a place to educate others.  Should be an interesting
and enlightening evening while enjoying some delicious Mexican cuisine.  
Watch for future communication to RSVP if you plan to attend.
Revival of Mesa West Spring Olympics
Ed and Debbie Koeneman have generously agreed to allow a revival of the Mesa West Spring Olympics to take place at their property on Saturday, April 8.  More information will follow, but this fun event needs to get into our individual planning calendars.  
Grant Management Training Seminars
A minimum of two members of each Rotary Club in our district must attend the grant management training seminars being offered this spring in order for their cub to receive a District or Global Grant in the coming Rotary year.  To qualify for grant participation two of our members must attend, but there is no limit restricting additional members from attending to have a better understanding of this process that makes it possible for Rotary to do so much good in their own community and throughout the world.  There will be four opportunities to attend this spring:
Follow this link if you are interested in attending:
Highlights of February 16 Mesa West Rotary Meeting
Opening of Meeting - President Pam Cohen
Members and Guests who read their texts and emails arrived prepared with warm coats and some even brought blankets.  The hotel was colder than usual and our assigned meeting room was especially cool because of all the windows.  We had more guests than usual and less seating capacity.  Mesa West Rotarians enjoyed some warm conversation and adapted to the situation with flexibility and good humor.
The invocation was offered by Dick Myren.  Polly Cady led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Pam thanked John Pennypacker for serving as greeter.  President Pam extended greetings to those attending via Zoom:  Pai Bethea, Bob Jensen, Melodie Jackson, and Debbie Koeneman.
Introduction of guests:
  • Don Boucher introduced his good friend and brother-in-law, Sharon's brother, Bobby Moore.
  • Frank Rosenberg introduced his and Amanda's Rotary Youth Exchange daughter, Fanny Leinard.
  • Colleen Coons introduced her niece, Whitney Butler. 
  • Colleen also introduced her sister, Judy Roller.  Colleen is hoping Whitney will decide to move to Arizona.  If she does, Colleen is pretty confident Judy will move here as well.
  • Dave Brauchler introduced Kevan Carlson, a friend Dave first knew in California who has recently relocated to Arizona.
  • Pam introduced Shane White who attended the February 9 meeting on Zoom and decided to try an in-person meeting as well.  He is with Dignity,  Arizona General.
  • Also introduced by Pam was Joe Sweeney, President of Prescott Rotary Club.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Because we had so many guests, Chuck briefly explained the raffle, then asked Fanny to draw the winning ticket.  The ticket she drew had been purchased by Don LaBarge who left the meeting early.  He had left his ticket stub with Chuck.  Chuck asked Fanny to draw a card on Don's behalf.  The card she drew was the Ten of Hearts, making Don the winner of $35, which Chuck will hold for him.
Happy Bucks - Ron Thompson
  • Polly Cady Was Happy to have Joe Sweeney at the meeting.  
  • Allan Cady fined himself for announcing the wrong Super Bowl winner at the February 9 meeting.
  • Dick Myren was happy.  He and Sandy had enjoyed a visit from their son, his wife, and their three sons.  One of the boys played 45 holes of golf in two days.  Because of their visit, Dick had missed the February 9 meeting, so he contributed $4 to get caught up on his $2/week tradition of he and Rod Daniels good fortune to be part of the Ace of Clubs.
  • Our server, Dana, was asked to stay available long enough for Rotarians and Guests to help her celebrate her birthday by singing "Happy Birthday" to her.
  • Colleen Coons contributed to thank her many Mesa West Rotary Club mentors who have helped her feel confident about her commitment to serve as President in 2023-24.
  • Dave Brauchler was happy about the February 11 service project at the Child Crisis Arizona emergency shelter.  There were eleven children there who had been removed from their families for cause.  They were ages 4-6.  One little guy had been fending for himself since he was about 2.  They created memory boxes for them and had some temporary tattoos to put on them.  Mesa West was allowed to do something no other service organization was allowed to do.  Our participating members really came through.  He said Colleen wanted to adopt one little guy.  One little boy was guarding a burger and was happily surprised when he learned it was his to enjoy.  Polo was the tattoo expert.
  • Colleen wanted to be happy again after being reminded of her affection for one little one.  His name was Chris.  He had just turned 3.  He was in a corner screaming and crying and could not speak.  Colleen held him on her lap.  She went on to tell about testifying at the state legislature advocating for passage of a bill that would help many but is very important for a Taiwan micro-processing firm moving here.  She was proud the bill passed the house.  
  • Joe Sweeney wanted to know who took his gift at the post-holiday party.
  • Warren Williamson contributed what he felt like was enough to tell about a successful wage increase negotiation between a relatively new housekeeper and the lady of the house.  He may have contributed enough to tell it, but not enough to get it in print.
  • Don Boucher was happy about Bobby and Angie's visit.  That evening they were going to visit Stephanie so they could meet Don's grandson.
  • Joe Sweeney moved to Arizona from California after retiring.  He is very active in Rotary.  He resides in Prescott.  While AG, he was asked to step in and be President of the Prescott Rotary Club which was struggling.  He has had a passion for blood donations for ten years or so.  In Arizona, he works with the Red Cross.  He is trying to get it to be a bigger part of what Rotary does in Arizona.  He is glad Mesa West is going to work with the Red Cross to host a blood drive at the YMCA in Mesa on May 11.  Rotarians can be there to help people check in.  One donated pint of blood can save three lives  He hopes to have twelve locations, with six events happening at each location (every 2 months) each year.
  • Dave Brauchler is still trying to get something going with Sunshine Acres - something hands-on not just writing a check.  In April will again be participating in a Sleep in Heavenly Peace bed build project.  Dave urged anyone with service project ideas to let him know.
  • President Pam announced that we would be reviving the Spring Olympics as a fun club social event this spring.
Program - My Story, My Life - Dr. Ron Thompson
Instead of hearing from Dr. Toni Thompson, we heard from Dr. Ron Thompson.  It will be interesting to unravel how it was that the news got out that Toni would be our speaker - but that news never reached either Toni or Ron.  When Ron discovered the miscommunication upon his arrival at the meeting, he made some phone calls and worked with Ed to have a slide show ready and we were treated to an excellent personal story.  To view his slides, CLICK HERE
Ron was born in Arizona.  He lived in the projects on Van Buren.  When he was five, his mom married Steve Thompson.  It turned out his stepdad was a bad abuser.  He did get to start going to a really nice new school where he learned that he didn't really know how to read.  He participated in a special course and learned how to read correctly.  He still loves to read.  It is a fact that schools in really poor areas are not able to provide the same quality of learning that is enabled in areas have better financial resources.
Keith was the name Ron grew up with.  When Ron was 12, his stepfather adopted him, so he became Keith Thompson instead of Keith Griffin..  In Arizona at East High School, he did not have a lot of friends.  He said he was a very skinny shy boy.  By the time he was 16, he had attended nine different schools.  Ron learned he had accumulated enough credits to graduate at mid-term so he took that route as he didn't really want to be in school anymore.  If we had known him back then, we would remember him as a boy with his head down who didn't talk a lot.  
Keith became aware that joining the Army might be a way to get his college education.  He went to see a recruiter.  He was told if he joined the infantry he could get out in three years and would get a sign-on bonus.  Keith knew he didn't want to sleep in the dirt, so the asked the recruiter what else was available.  He was given a book to look through.  He saw a photo of someone dressed in white.  He was pretty sure that guy would not have to sleep outside.  He went back to the recruiter and asked questions about that option.  The person in the photo was a dental tech.  Keith said that was what he wanted to do.
Keith knew that his full name was Ronald Keith Thompson.  He knew he wanted things to be different for himself.  He practices saying "Hi, my name is Ron."  When he went off to boot camp, he was Ron and has been Ron since then, except maybe with family and long-time acquaintance who first knew him as Keith.
Ron weighed 150 when he started boot camp and 175 when he finished - the opposite of what happens with most of the newly enlisted.  He was sent to Germany.
He saw snow for the first time.  He was also invited to go for a drink.  He was 17.  It was the first time he got drunk.  He loved his chosen career path. In 3 1/2 years Ron grew up.  He was determined to go to school.  After discharged, he went to ASU and finished in three years.  He went on to study dentistry at UCSF Dental Center.
Ron says,  The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."  (Walt Disney is the original source of that bit of wisdom.)
The way Ron got involved with Rotary was when Lucinda was his patient, she invited him.  Ron has a lot of admiration for his mother.  He says she is a fantastic woman.  He has just recently sold his Scottsdale practice.  
Ron and Toni love to travel.  He is very proud of his sons, saying "Family is everything."
It might not have been the program we thought we were going to hear, but it was one those who were present will not forget.  
Fanny Leinard announced she was involved in a fundraiser selling gourmet popcorn at her school to raise funds for a dance recital she has earned her way to be performing in. It is too late to order the popcorn, but tickets will be sold at the door for the performances which will be April 12, 13, and 14.
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
What is the test of good manners?  
It is being able to put up pleasantly with bad ones
--original source unknown
Today's Chuckle

Old German Shepherd

An old German Shepherd starts chasing rabbits and before long, discovers that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a panther heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old German Shepherd thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep trouble now!" 

Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat.  Just as the panther is about to leap, the old German Shepherd exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious panther!  I wonder, if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. 

"Whew!" says the panther, "That was close! That old German Shepherd nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther.  So, off he goes.

The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the panther.

The young panther is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, squirrel, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

Now, the old German Shepherd sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?" but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old German Shepherd says ... "Where's that squirrel?  I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!"

Moral of this story:

Don't mess with the old dogs... Age and skill will always overcome youth and treachery!

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 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
Mar 21, 2023 5:30 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Apr 18, 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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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?