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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Revival of Mesa West Spring Olympics
Who will be receiving medals this year?  The photo shown was taken five years ago...
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.  CLICK HERE for more information and to register.
Highlights of March 23 Meeting
Opening of Meeting - President Pam
President Pam asked Jim McGown to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.   Mike Whalen then offered the invocation.  Pam thanked Diane Ware for reporting for Greener duty early enough to welcome members and guests as they arrived.  Pam welcomed Debbie Koeneman, Donna Goetzenberger and Melodie Jackson who were attending via Zoom.
Introduction of Guests 
Alexandra Gutierrez, a former Rotarian - a member of two District 5495 clubs both of which disbanded.  She is currently a teacher and would have difficulty attending club meets regularly.  Whe actually was responsible for arranging for the speaker for the March 23 program, working with Jay Stuckey and Don LaBarge.  Amanda Rosenberg is a member, but was welcomed like a guest since she rarely is able to attend meetings in person.  Frank Rosenberg was very obviously happy to have Amanda attending with him.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint

Chuck asked speaker, Richard Gonzales, to draw the winning raffle ticket.  When no-one claimed to be the winner, Chuck checked his own ticket and found that he personally held the stub of the ticket drawn making him the lucky winner of the small pot.  Chuck then asked Allan Cady to shuffle the cards.  When Chuck then attempted to draw the Ace of Clubs, he instead drew the Nine of Clubs.
Happy Bucks - Ron Thompson
  • At Ron's urging, Allan Cady explained how he invested $25 in five $5 bets when in Las Vegas during March Madness, and won back his original investment of $25 plus a quarter more, so he came out twenty-five cents to the good.  Allan went on to explain that he had passed up an opportunity to be the Grand Marshall in the Annual Han's Day Parade,  A Yuma Foothills Club Member Allan has gotten to know through TRVFA is very involved with the parade.  This year they had over 70 entries in the parade which was followed by a barbeque with a live band providing entertainment.  Allan said if the opportunity came up again next year, he would want our club's support.  If he goes, we all go!
  • Polly Cady was happy be assured she was Allen's true love when he gave her his March Madness winnings.  
  • Colleen Coons contributed $5 for the club.
  • Dave Brauchler contributed.  He was happy he remembered to bring flyers to put out on the table about the choir concert he would be a part of on March 31 at Redeemer Bible Church.
  • Bob Zarling contributed.  He was happy to be part of an organization that provides very basic needs for people in other parts of the world.  He was happy to see the recent update when the Aqua Africa project we helped fund posted a photo of a well producing clean water for a community.  He also reminded members of the EnviraLoo sanitation solution we helped fund for the Blessman organization in South Africa.
  • AG Dan Coons contributed the rest of his change, saying he misses being in Mesa West Rotary.
  • Don LaBarge was happy to have met our guest - Alexandra - at the Mexican-American Friendship Conference when it was held at the Grand Canyon.  Since then, she has rung the Salvation Army bell for us at our Bass Pro station during the holiday season.
  • Chuck Flint contributed some of his raffle winnings.
  • Warren Williamson was happy to share a story about a traveler who stopped for gas at a remote general store/gas station.  He noticed a sign offering a talking dog for sale for $25.  He had to ask, "Really?  A talking dog?" He was invited to go out back and meet the dog for himself.  He asked the dog how long he'd been talking.  The dog explained that he'd learned to talk listening to humans talk from the time he was a pup.  He got good at listening and then telling his handlers what he'd learned.  With that skill, he was offered as an asset for the CIA.  He worked at several different embassy locations providing some very useful intelligence.  He had just recently been retired from a stint with TSA.  The customer went back inside, and asked, "Why would you sell a valuable animal like that for only $25?"  The proprietor responded, "Because he's a liar - he hasn't been out of our back yard a day in his life!"
  • Dick Myren contributed his traditional $2, thankful that he and Honorary Member Rod Daniels were part of the Ace of Clubs.  He went on to say that Rod's recent health challenges had been serious enough that Rod decided it was time he quit working for Don LaBarge, and asked that members keep Rod in their prayers.
  • Ed Koeneman was happy to have been part of a Westwood High School Interact service project.  He, John Pennypacker and Pam Cohen had been chauffeurs for 11 Interact Members and participated with them packing meals at Feed My Starving Children.  Ed was also happy to report it was 1,000 days until the release of the next Star Wars movie.
  • John Pennypacker contributed $20 to the Mesa West Rotary Foundation to celebrate an important day in history - when - at the Virginia Provincial Convention, the declaration "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" was adopted.,
  • Donna Goetzenberger pledged $26.  This year our district has four inbound and four outbound youth exchange students.  Next year, that number will grow to 26 with 11 outbound (one of which will be Sammi Rosenberg) and 15 inbound.
  • Ted Williams said he would long remember Warren's story.  His wife Susan's first husband was a CIA agent for a long time.  "He was a dog."
  • Pam Cohen fined herself for again forgetting to introduce Dan Coons as a guest.  Pam also reminded everyone it was National Math Day.  
  • Community Service Chair Dave Brauchler reported 
    • He is applying for a District Grant for a project to provide playground equipment at the intake center at Sunshine Acres.
    • In April, our Rotary Week of Service project will be to participate in another Sleep in Heavenly Peace bed build project
    • So far this year, he has logged over 190 hours of community service for our club.  That number does not include the hours spent ringing the bell for Salvation Army or the Guaynas Gift of Hearing Mission.
  • Club Service Chair, Shelly Romine 
    • Reminded members to sign up for Spring Olympics to be held at the Koeneman's home.   Ed keepd announcing new events, one of the newest of which is a chicken chase, trying to herd six chickens at a time.  Mexican Food will be catered by A Perfect Saiz Taco.
    • June 29 needs to be reserved on all our calendars to celebrate our club's 50th Anniversary.  A special part of the event will be the recognition of a member of the community who exemplifies "Service Above Self."
  • Polly Coons presented an update from Donna Goetzenberger.  The Youth Exchange Enriches Coalition is trying to make youth exchange available for 2 youth from Ukraine.  Donna is looking for host families.  Their costs will be covered.  Donna is lookng for host families.
Progran - Barrio Bookmobile - Richard Gonzales
Dan Coons introduced Richard Gonzales, founder and President of Barrio Bookmobile a 501(c)(3) nonprofit promoting literacy and education in underserved areas.  They provide free books.  Richard himself has a life-long love of reading which began when he was a child and a bookmobile would visit his neighborhood.  Richard has dreamed of doing something like this for a long time and made it official six years ago.  He said forty-five years ago, when he was a kid, the arrival of the bookmobile at Summer Parks and Recreation was equally as exciting as the arrival of an ice cream truck,  Kids would line up and wait for their opportunity to go inside.  There were books everywhere.  The had thig was deciding which one.  Once he had his book, he would run off, find a quiet place and be transported to another place.  He never forgot the excitement!
As an adult, he would dream of winning the lottery so he could start a bookmobile service.  With his winnings, he could retire, buy a bus, fill it with books.  He's not retired, and he never won the lottery, but he decided there was no reason to wait.  There were lots of people with books who would be willing to donate them.
He wants to get kids excited about reading.  Reading is fundamentally important to learning.  In the lower grades, kids are learning to read.  In the higher grades, they are reading to learn.  He wants to improve educational outcomes in Title I communities throughout the Phoenix area.
When they first started, they would do school visits, holding classroom book parties, handing out goody bas.  He would wear his "Cat in the Hat" hat and read to kids.  They only got their bookmobile last year.  Now the can do all-day book fairs, where all students get to visit.
CLICK HERE to view the slide show Richard used during his presentation.  His personal passion was obvious.  Book and financial donations are very much appreciated.
CLICK HERE to visit their website and/or donate online.
Successful April 1 District Fundraising Event
Earlier this year, President-Elect Colleen Coons had the opportunity to travel to Hermosillo Mexico with several others from District 5495 and at least one Rotarian from District 5500.  The purpose of her trip was to learn more about the Microcredit Project Mesa West Rotary is involved in in that community,  While there, she became acquainted with Teresa Ruiz Mendoza, of the Club Rotario, Hermosillo, Milenio.  Through that acquaintance, she learned about a project the Hermosillo club was seeking help from Arizona Rotarians to make happen in the relative near future.  Teresa was willing to provide a traditional Mexican meal for those who would take time to hear about the project, but needed a place to do so.  Colleen offered their home and the event took place Saturday April 1.  Teresa brought her brother and her cousin to help get the meal put together.  They are shown with her (in l-r order) and Colleen and Dan Coons in the photo on the left.  In the photo on the right, Teresa is shown with Craig Henry of Mesa Rotary Club and his wife.
The project Teresa was so passionate about is a project to build a school for children of the indigenous tribe of the Triqui in Miguel "Aleman, Sonora, Mexico.  Until relatively recently, 650 children were "unfaced" meaning their births had never been recorded and they did not exist and no government resources were available to be provided for their education.  With the help of Teresa and the Hermosillo club, the children today do have birth certificates, and the Mexican government is providing some building materials.
A school building had been started, but was without a roof, doors, windows and flooring.  Consequently, the materials to finish the building were at risk of being stolen.  The goal of the dinner was to raise $7,000 to finish the building to the point of making it secure. 
Seven district clubs were represented at the dinner.  They raised $9,080.52 at the dinner.  With club pledges, the total is up to $13,500.  The entire balance to finish the school is estimated at $19,000.  It appears it will be possible to complete buildout of the school this year and there may be an opportunity for Arizona Rotarians to travel to Mexico to help with final painting, etc.  
Donated funds are being handled by the Tempe South Rotary Foundation, and disbursements will be managed through that foundation on receipt of required documentation.
Rotary District Conference 1st Weekend in May
CLICK HERE or on the image to go to the online registration form.
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
The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity”
– Amelia Earhart
Today's Chuckle
This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis
to come forward and lay an egg on the alter.
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
--From actual church bulletins
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.
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
May 25, 2023
Youth Services Day
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 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
Mesa West Rotary: Blood Donation Opportunity
Ross Farnsworth EV YMCA
May 11, 2023
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Mesa West Rotary Board Meeting
Via Zoom
May 16, 2023 5:30 PM
Rotary Leadership Institute
May 20, 2023
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
John Bethea
April 1
Lu General
April 2
Wayne General
April 3
Anita Kegler
April 4
Polly Cady
April 5
John Pennypacker
April 10
Tim Troy
April 11
Stephen West
April 26
Debbie Koeneman
April 27
Spouse Birthdays
Wayne General
April 3
Polly Cady
April 5
Kim Deering
April 12
Randy Jackson
April 18
Debbie Koeneman
April 29
Jack Rosenberg
Cindy Rosenberg
April 4
Bert Millett
Kelli Millett
April 5
Debbie Koeneman
Ed Koeneman
April 5
Ed Koeneman
Debbie Koeneman
April 5
Lu General
Wayne General
April 11
Wayne General
Lu General
April 11
Ron Thompson
Toni Farmer-Thompson
April 15
Bryan Goetzenberger
Donna Goetzenberger
April 29
Donna Goetzenberger
Bryan Goetzenberger
April 29
Gina Schroeder
Mike Schroeder
April 29
Mike Schroeder
Gina Schroeder
April 29
Melodie Jackson
Randy Jackson
April 30
Join Date
Jim Erickson
April 1, 1977
46 years
Keith Deering
April 1, 1992
31 years
John Pennypacker
April 5, 2001
22 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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