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 of March 9 Meeting
Open Meeting with Welcoming Remarks - President Pam Cohen
  • Dick Myren offered the invocation.
  • Ted Williams suggested members and guests Google The Star Spangled Banner and read the words to the other verses - especially the third verse.  He also suggested that when reciting the pledge, a comma not be placed between "One nation" and "under God" before leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Pam thanked Steve Ross for serving as Greeter welcoming everyone as they arrived for the meeting.
Introduction of Guests
  • Dave Brauchler introduced Kassandra and Natlie as the Emporer and Vice Emporer of the Westwood High School Interact Club.  They came to the meeting with cookies, which they were exchanging for donations to support the Africa trip both girls will be participating in this coming summer.
  • Kassandra provided some information.  Interact Clubs throughout the District collect mobility devices to be placed in containers and shipped to Africa as well as to Mexico.  The Ambassadors selected to go to Africa and Mexico will have the opportunity to deliver the devices to individuals needing them.  Two other Westwood High School Interact Club members have been selected to go on the C4A mission to Mexico.
  • Chuck Flint introduced his guests - visiting Rotarian Konrad Milde and his wife, Idilko Milde.  Chuck and Konrad are both pilots.  They met through a mutual friend, Mike Wiggins.  Mike is also a Rotarian from Canada. 
  • Konrad shared a little information.  He is Youth Exchange Chairman in his country.  He is originally from Switzerland.  He now lives in Dubai.  He and Idilko were married last year.  His Dubai club has 65 members.  They sponsor 2 Interact Clubs, and 6 Rotaract Clubs.
  • Jay Stuckey briefly introduced Tim Holland, who would be presenting the program.
  • Pai Bethea and Debbie Koeneman were attending via Zoom
  • Kassandra provided some information about having been selected to be a C4A Ambassador.  Each Ambassador is required to raise $750 to cover some of their trip expenses.  In addition, they have to get all immunizations required for the trip and get their passports.  
  • Colleen Coons added some additional information about the C4A trips.  For the students going to Africa, their airfare, some of their living expenses, shipping costs for the collected mobility devices.  The total cost for each mission to Africa runs $50,000 to $60,000.  Costs are a bit less for the mission to Mexico.
  • Allan Cady made a $100 donation, challenging others to do the same - to the extent that they could afford to do so.
  • President Pam announced that everything collected during Happy Bucks at the meeting would be designated for the C4A Interact Mobility Device Missions.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck explained that there were two pots available to be won.  The small pot of $40 would automatically be won by the holder of the stub of the ticket drawn.  They would also win the opportunity to try to draw the Ace of Clubs from the cards remaining in the deck.  Should they be so lucky, they would also win the large pot which is up to $210.00.  Chuck asked his guest Idilko Milde to draw the winning ticket, the stub of which was held by Shelly Romine.  When Shelly tried to draw the Ace of Clubs, she instead drew the Four of Hearts.
Happy Bucks - Ron Thompson
  • Before Ron started around the room with the bucket, he put in $40, and Shelly Romine did the same with the $40 she had just won.  Polly Cady put in $1.  She was happy to have received an email from Anita Kegler explaining why we'd not seen her recently.  Anita has been busy traveling back and forth to Albuquerque to help her mother who lives there.  She hopes to be able to get back to attending our meetings soon.  Allan Cady had some good things to say about a movie for which they had the privilege to attend the opening.  The name of the movie is "Jesus Revolution."  Allan understands it is based on a true story, and said it was very well done.
  • John Pennypacker was happy to have booked his travel for his round-the-world trip following the RI Convention ibn Australia.  
  • Colleen Coons was happy to have the opportunity to go with Pam to visit the McKinney-'Vento department in the Mesa Public Schools.  The goal of the McKinney Vento Act is to enable homeless youth to graduate.  They learned 950 families in the Mesa school system qualify as "homeless."
  • Warren Williamson, who had attended the last couple of meetings via Zoom, said he was happy to be alive.  He also reported their washing machine was out.  He was thankful to have an industrious wife who made it possible for him to be wearing clean underwear.
  • Ed Koeneman made a $50 C4A pledge for Debbie Koeneman.
  • Pam Cohen contributed and thanked hte Ambassadors for attending our meeting.
  • Jim McGown  contributed.  He was happy to pick up food for a food bank.  He picked up enough to fill his truck.  The food bank was operated by St. Ann's Catholic Charity work operating out of their facility on Elliot Rd.
  • Dick Myren contributed his customary $2 celebrating the fact that he and honorary member Rod Daniels are both associated with the Ace of Clubs.  He went on to pledge $100 to celebrate his 87th birthday coming up on March 12.  He spoke with Rod recently.  He is doing much better.  They removed 5 gallons of water from his system.
  • John Benedict and Jack Rosenberg emptied their wallets to contribute a combined total of $16.
  • Colleen Coons pledged $100 for C4A with the understanding we could bill her, but Dan has to pay.
  • Polo Santiago contributed $10.
Announcements - President Pam
Pam said that with PDG John Pennypacker's round-the-world trip, he would be gone nearly two months.  She asked for others to fill the gap and step up to arrive early for each meeting to put up the banners, and stay following the meetings to take them down and put them away.
She also reminded members that she had a box of children's books she wants to donate to Phoenix Children's hospital, but wanted members to write encouraging notes to the children who would be recipients of the books during their hospital visits.  She said if some members want to take a few and bring them back next week, it would be fine.
She reminded members to get photos to Ed for the 50th Aniversary Celebration slide show..  The photos can be photos taken in 1973 or photos of memorable Rotary occasions since that time.
If members still want to donate for the New Life Center, they need to get in touch with Dave Brauchler or Don LaBarge if they need help getting them to the Mesa Sunrise meeting Wednesday, March 15. 
To add some momentum to the sponsor campaign, Colleen (and possibly some others) will bring in desserts for tables to bid on at our March 16 meeting.  Members should be seated with their Sponsor Program teams and bid together to try to get the dessert they want.  Members should know by the time they arrive for the meeting whose team they are on.
Program - Tim Holland - Solely for Kids Shoe Drive Charity for Children
Jay Stuckey introduced the speaker, Tim Holland, who was standing in for the scheduled speaker, Tim's wife Tawnya.  Tim said that we were getting the short end of the deal as she is much more fun to listen to than he is, but he would give it his best shot.
Solely for Kids is a fairly young 501(c)(3). The idea was born a few years ago when they participated in a Christmas toy drive for impoverished children in Mexico in a community near the border.  They found that many of the children receiving toys had no shoes.  No shoes is a serious problem, but it creates a bigger concern.  Children cannot attend school if they are not wearing shoes.  They were determined to collect shoes and hygiene and school supplies and go back.   18 months ago, they received their 501(c)(3) status. 
They tried to get advance information about end of season shoe clearance pricing and were told that was not possible.  Tawnya is apparently very resourceful.  She contacted WalMart's corporate headquarters in Arkansas and got more favorable information.
They have no overhead.  All donations received are used to purchase shoes and socks.  There are no employees, no administrative costs, no money for travel, and no donated funds are spent on the volunteer shirts.
Collecting the shoes had many logistical challenges.
  • They needed boys shoes and girls shoes in sizes baby-children's 13 and adult male and female sizes 1-10.
  • All of the stuffing and tags had to be removed.  There would be no ability to deal with that much trash at the eventual delivery site.
  • The shoes had to be sorted by gender and size.
  • To streamline processing at the delivery site, the sorted shoes were put into labeled bins in trailers to be taken to the border.
  • The sorting and packaging process really took over a good part of their neighborhood for several hours.
  • Getting across the border with that much "merchandise" would be a challenge.  They were able to get some help from Mexican officials.
  • Thousands were in line to receive the shoes.  They arranged to have chairs available so that recipients could be sized and given tickets.  
  • Parking was challenging.
  • There were five armed police officers at the site.  There were no incidents that required their presence, but that may be a benefit of their presence.
  • Many adult volunteers were utilized on both sides of the border.
  • The mayor showed up and made a speech.  It was speculated he may have taken credit for it - and he had been of some help with getting them through the border.
  • Kids had already arrived and started forming lines before they arrived with the shoes
  • Each child received a pair of shoes, a pair of socks and a sticker to wear showing the size they needed.
  • One little girl was so excited, she was still flapping her arms excitedly as she walked away.
  • They did not run out of shoes, but they did run out of some sizes, which was heartbreaking for those few.
  • It's fairly short work in Mexico.  They were only there for a day.  They handled 1,000 kids per hour.
  • On this side of the border, volunteers are needed for sorting, packing and labeling and for the trip to deliver.
CLICK HERE to see the photos and slides used in the presentation.  The QR codes below can take you to PayPal or Venmo donation sites:
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:
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

… Levi’s people (are told) that, “You don’t work for Levi’s, you work for yourselves, you just happen to work at Levi’s.”  The admonition is part of (the) struggle to put the needs of individuals on the same level as the needs of the organization – in other words, to help make life more meaningful for everyone who works there.  Contrast that with what I was repeatedly told in my salad days with a former employer.  “Your client comes first, then the company, and finally your family.”  If I’d really taken that advice to heart, I’m reasonably sure that I’d have lost what I treasure most in life, my close relationship with my wife and children

            -- Robert H. Waterman, Jr., What America Does Right: Lessons from Today’s Most Admired Corporate Role Models (NY  Penguin, 1995), p. 142                  


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.
Mar 16, 2023
Ross Farnsworth-East Valley YMCA
Mar 23, 2023
Barrio Mobil
Mar 30, 2023
We are dark on the 5th Thursday of any month with 5 Thursdays
Apr 06, 2023
Inspire Sleep
Apr 13, 2023
Microcredit Program Update
Apr 20, 2023
Arizona Chiropractic Neurology
Apr 27, 2023
Efforts in Ukraine
May 04, 2023
May 11, 2023
Tour of Ross Farnsworth YMCA
View entire list
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
Traditional Homemade Mexican Dinner with Tere
Dan & Colleen Coon's Home
Apr 01, 2023
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
MESA WEST Spring Olympics
Ed and Deb Koeneman's Home
Apr 08, 2023
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Apr 18, 2023 5:30 PM
TRVFA Dinner
May 04, 2023
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
District 5495 Conference
Renaissance Hotel
May 05, 2023 10:00 AM –
May 06, 2023 10:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Dick Myren
March 12
Erica Williams
March 31
Spouse Birthdays
Angie Troy
March 6
John Yost
March 25
Erika Yost
John Yost
March 3
Join Date
Wendell Jones
March 1, 1989
34 years
Mike Whalen
March 9, 1995
28 years
Dan Lamborn
March 12, 2021
2 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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