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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Special Meeting July 20 - 2023-24 Officers to be Installed
Highlights of July 13 Meeting
Prior to the meeting, Steve Ross sold raffle tickets, filling in for Chuck Flint, who was away on a flying adventure.  Allan Cady was back from some summer travel involving a wedding and family reunion.  Treasurer Diane Ware and President Colleen Coons were both doing a great job of getting their recently acquired responsibilities handled.
President Colleen Coons opened the meeting reminding members of 
The Rotary International 2023-24 President's Theme:
Create Hope in the World
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
and the Mesa West Rotary Club Motto:
Transforming Communities,
Creating Opportunities,
Impacting Youth
  • Invocation was offered by Dick Myren.
  • Ray Smith led the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • President Colleen thanked John Pennypacker for filling in as greeter.  She also thanked Jack Rosenberg for taking on a Club Service task of staying in touch with club members who are unable to attend club meetings.
Introduction of Guests
  • John Pennypacker introduced visiting Rotarian from the Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club - Commander Bill Peters.
  • Ray Smith introduced his neighbor and friend, Justin Lyons.
  • Pam Cohen introduced visiting Rotarian from the Sedona Village Club, Harry Grossman.
  • Polly Cady introduced Angelia Mudge-Long, the mother of member Kayla Mudge.  Angelia travelled to Arizona from Illinois to care for Kayla's dog while Kayla is traveling with the Interact Ambassadors on their Crutches for Africa mission.
  • Polly Cady also introduced Ryan Thomson and asked him to tell members a little bit about himself.  He found our club through searching on the internet for ways to give back.  He is originally from southern California, and has resided in Montana and Massachusetts, before landing in Arizona.  He is in the investment business - now with Edward Jones.
  • Member Bob Jensen was attending via Zoom.
Induction of New Member - Machel Considine
Polly Cady briefly introduced Machel Considine as a trnsferring Rotarian - most recently a membery of the Kyrene Rotary Club.. Polly has had cause to interact with Machel many times over the years.  Machel was Youth Exchange Chair for District 5500 before the merger with District 5490.  She currently serves with Donna Goetzenberger on the District 5495 Youth Exchange Committee, as the Inbound Coordinator.  Polly was thrilled when she learned Machel wanted to transfer to Mesa West.
Machel's induction was handled by Pam Cohen.  Pam asked Machel to tell the club about herself.  Machel's connection with Rotary has been solid nearly all her life.  Her father was a Rotarian in Oklahoma.  He joined Rotary at age 27.  He owned a Flower Shop and eight greenhouses.  He was also in the Army Reserve.  He wore his Reserve Khaki's to work at the flower shop.  To avoid being late or being counted absent - back when that was a really big deal - he would run to Rotary.  He lived the motto of "Service Above Self."  As a teen, Machel was student of the month and met an inbound exchange student from South Africa who made a great impression on her.  She told her dad she wanted to go on an exchange.  He told her to go for it because he secretly thought Rotary would turn her down since she was the daughter of a Rotarian.  The rules did allow her to be an exchange student.  Machel had always admired Jeeps and wanted to have one someday.  When she was leaving on her exchange, her dad told her he would get her a jeep if she wouldn't get on that plane.  She went anyway and hoped she would get the Jeep when she got home.  Rotary Youth Exchange is still a passion for her - after her husband, kids, and grandchildren.  She said her exchange opened her eyes about so many things and made her who she is today.  She said she was very grateful to have been accepted as a transferring member.  She was pinned and given her welcome package.
Pam discovered that President Colleen - though a dues-paying member since June of 2018 - had never been formally inducted into Mesa West Rotary.  Pam gave her a certificate and pin to make her membership official before her induction as Club President at the July 20 meeting.  Colleen thanked Pam and the membership.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Steve Ross
Steve asked speaker Sommer Knight to draw the winning raffle ticket, which was held by Don LaBarge.  Don automatically won the small pot and the right to try to draw the Ace of Clubs which would have made him the winner of the large pot.  Unfortunately (for Don) the card he drew was NOT the Ace of Clubs.
Happy Bucks - Sgt at Arms - Ron Thompson
  • Dr. Ron contributed because he enjoyed Machel's introduction of herself.
  • Ray Smith contributed.  He is happy that his wife has graduated from physical therapy to pool therapy.  It's making that happy day seem closer when Ray will no longer need to be her "go to" person doing the things that her broken leg kept her from doing around their home.
  • Ted Williams was happy - he and Susan were going to be departing for Vancouver where they would be meeting Mesa West's first youth exchange student and spouse to travel together on a train tour across southern Canada.
  • Dick Myren contributed his traditional $2 because Mesa West IS the Ace of Clubs. 
  • John Pennypacker contributed.  He kept a diary while on his trip around the world.  He is on page 110.  He said it was an excellent trip.  He has 943 pictures.  He is happy to be home.  Dr. Ron suggested Program Chair - Jay Stuckey - should get John on the speaker's agenda to tell about his trip.
  • Ed Koeneman was happy Machel is in our club.  He and Debbie will be enjoying their first experience as a host family for an inbound exchange student.  Our club will be hosting two inbound and two outbound students.  Five families in the club will be serving as host families this year with one family hosting another club's student.
  • Colleen Coons was happy to welcome Machel.  Her youngest son had surprised her by getting married July 12.  She said it takes a village to put on a party.  She was very appreciative that all of Fannie's host families - the Lamborns, Andersens, and Rosenbergs participated in her farewell.  There were tearful goodbyes.
  • PollyCady shared some sad news.  Her sister had passed Friday, July 7.  She had had a stroke.  For years, she had suffered with breathing problems.  She was the mother of two sons and spent 48 years with the love of her life.  She is not at peace.
  • Allan Cady said it was a bright light in his life to see the deep love Pat had for Polly's sister, Cindy.  He made a wise decision to wait until fall to hold her memorial service.  He was glad Polly was able to feel peaceful about Cindy's passing.
  • Pam Cohen contributed.  She thanked Justin for being at our meeting and for being Ray's friend.  She was glad Ryan was seriously looking at our club and glad that Machel and Colleen are both officially indicted.
  • Harry Grossman was happy to be at our meeting and told everyone they would see lots of him - "So get used to it!"
  • Jim Schmidt pledged $10.  His brother-in-law retired as a general from the Army.   He has been diagnosed with cancer with a life expectancy of a year.  Jim has a deep appreciation for those who serve in the military.
  • Jack Rosenberg's brother-in-law recently passed away.  Jack's sister had passed several months ago, and no memorial service had been conducted.  Jack will be handling both memorials.
  • Via Zoom, Bob Jensen voiced his appreciation of the 50th Anniversary celebration and the presentation of the bell which was to be delivered to him Tuesday, July 18.
  • Angelia Mudge-Long complimented Colleen on her participation in the Ambassador trip to Mexico.  She is very thankful for Allan and Polly Cady's friendship and the welcome Kayla has received from Mesa West Rotarians.  She said when she was a teen, she made a trip to Austria by herself.  She said Kayla was very organized about her preparations for her trip with the Ambassador team to Kenya.  Kayla's dog, Jasper, was declared cancer-free during a trip to the vet on July 11.  She thanked everyone for their hospitality.
  • Bill Peters spoke about the partnership of Law Enforcement with Special Olympics, with Law Enforcement doing major fundraising to support the 21,000 special athletes in Arizona.  He said the events are real love fests.  The next one will be August 17.  He is hoping to collect $500 from several Rotary Club foundations by August 4 to support the event..
  • Don LaBarge was happy.  When John Pennypacker was recently in Scotland, he met with GSE team members from Scotland who had visited District 5500.  They remembered and spoke to John inquiring about Don.
  • Don Boucher was happy to be at the meeting.
Program - Sommer Knight and Elena Reid Steinbess - Foster 360
Jay Stuckey introduced our speakers.  They are both coordinators with Foster 360.  Their goal is to break the cycle of homelessness and adversity that exists for those graduating out of the state's foster-care system.  They said that in Arizona, about 900 youth age out of the foster care system each year.  It is estimated that 50 of them will be homeless within two years.  Psychologically, they are in "fight or flight" mode, which contributes to their likelihood of ending up homeless.  There is a great deal of trauma heard at their trauma centers where they can share stories.  A third are likely to have been sex-trafficked.  25% end up in the criminal justice system.  71% of the young women are pregnant by age 21.  At their center they work to help them reprogram their brains to better be able to cope with the many challenges they are facing.
They remember one young person who went through their program saying "This is the first birthday I feel I deserve to be alive."  Their goal is for the individuals they serve to never be homeless again.  They try to find homeless youth who are willing to work on themselves.  It takes time and space for the nervous system to repair itself.  
Each person's plan is individualized.  It is not uniform when they will be ready to graduate and move on.  Each person's plan needs to be relevant in order for it to work.
What they have learned it that for many, it is assumed they have experienced traumatic brain injury of a physical nature.  What our speakers tried to convey is that emotional trauma can look very much the same, but needs to be treated very differently.
Most of their funding comes from grants and donations..
Day 5 - Interact Ambassadors to Mexico
Words cannot describe the experience but we can hear from Adrian Bojorquez, our Westwood HS Interactor that our Club sponsored.  Each Ambassador takes turns being the Capitan for the Day.  Day 5 is Adrian and Day 6 is Josephine Sili, the other Westwood HS Interactor our Club sponsored.  These students were certainly given a gift from us – as the likelihood of this experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity. 
Our team travelled last night to Iguala, Guerrero.  Did you know, On 24 August 1821, Iturbide and Spanish Viceroy Juan O'Donojú signed the Treaty of Córdoba in Córdoba, Veracruz, ratifying the Plan of Iguala, and thus confirming Mexico's independence.
On Day 5, 6/27:  We went to the site, where ALEM set up their workshop.  It was in a park – where everyone in the community can come.  In the morning, we met Pancho, who is the President of the Iguala Rotary Club.  We worked and worked and it was amazing.  The work took up the majority of our day and we were proud of the work we had accomplished which was being able to fix wheelchairs. We not only learned how to repair them but we also had an amazing experience hearing stories from the ALEM employees, who were themselves in wheelchairs.
Did you know that 7.2% of Mexico’s population is disabled?  And 42% of the disabled people have a walking disability?  There is no ADA program there and if you are disabled, you are written off.  This is why this program is amazing.  Giving dignity through employment is the story of ALEM and providing an affordable needed service to those in need. 
Three stories that I will always remember:
1.  One person came for a relative of hers. the person had gotten into an accident and injured their head and lost feeling in their legs. It was so sad to hear about how fast things can change in life.
2.  Another moving story was from a Father of an 8 year old girl who was born with no feeling in her legs and has been in a wheel chair her whole life. Her father had come in to have her wheel chair repaired and Mrya (manager of ALEM) seemed very worried about the size of the wheel chair. It seemed very large for an 8 year old girl as it would severely hinder her movement because of the chair was too big. They offered to exchange it for a smaller one. It was just amazing to see that ALEM works to specifically serve needs of their customers.
3.  One last story which was tearful for me, a kind lady named Maria Isabel that was helping us repair wheelchairs had said something very heartfelt. She is from Cuernavaca but went to Cancun for work and repaired a walker for a little girl. She had upgraded this walker from poor conditions to practically brand new. Adding a purse bag to it for the little girl so she could carry her toys. She loved the walker and her mom was especially emotional. Before they had not had anything for her to be able to move around with. That story was a good way for all of us from the US to understand and take away.  We are making a difference through serving others. 
We also thought it was great that those who could not afford to pay a wheelchair repair were not turned away.  This day definitely was eye opening and showed us the difficulties of being disabled, different ways of life, and the good we can do in the world by helping those in need.
Something to Ponder
“You have not lived today until you have done something
for someone who can never repay you.”
― John Bunyan
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.
Jul 20, 2023
Changing of the Guard
Jul 27, 2023
Incoming Leadership
Aug 03, 2023
A New Leaf
Aug 10, 2023
The Mesa House, Inc.
Aug 17, 2023
Sunshine Acres Children's Home, Inc.
Aug 24, 2023
View entire list
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Director '24
Director '24
Director '25
Director '25
Director '25
Mesa West Foundation President
Club Service Chair
Fundraising Chair
Membership Chair
Public Image Chair
Rotary Foundation Chair for Mesa West
Vocational Service Chair
Youth Services Chair
Executive Secretary
Upcoming Events
Midwest Food Bank Service Night
Midwest Food Bank
Jul 25, 2023
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Aug 15, 2023 5:30 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
Sep 19, 2023 5:30 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Don Boucher
July 2
Donna Goetzenberger
July 3
Lola McClane
July 3
Polo Santiago
July 10
Erwin Reimann
July 26
Bob Zarling
July 30
Spouse Birthdays
Donna Goetzenberger
July 3
Kelli Millett
July 13
Sandra Jones
July 14
Erwin Reimann
July 26
Sharon Spane
Ron L Spane
July 2
Steve Ross
Luin Ross
July 4
Colleen Coons
Dan Coons
July 5
Jim Erickson
Maryann Erickson
July 10
Andrea Murphy
David Murphy
July 20
Join Date
David Brauchler
July 1, 1996
27 years
Tim Troy
July 17, 2008
15 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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