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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Westwood HS Interact Made us Proud at IDC
Saturday, February 25, 2023, the Interact District 5495 held their District Conference at Barry Goldwater High School.  Westwood High School Interact Club (which is sponsored by Mesa West Rotary Club) made a good showing at the conference.  
Interact clubs in the district had been challenged to create a video utilizing Rotary's public image guidelines to enter in a competition.  The Westwood club's video was the contest winner..  CLICK HERE to watch the video.
Westwood HS Interact Club also received a Club of Distinction award. 
Kassandra and Natalie were named as Crutches for Africa Ambassadors to Kenya in the summer of 2023, and Jo and Adrian were named as Ambassadors in a like mission to Mexico!
Polio Eradication Update
EPN-logo-primary2022 in review.
For polio eradication efforts, 2022 brought good news. Fewer genetic strains of the virus are circulating than ever before. Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only two countries where polio remains endemic. And support from political, medical, and community leaders in those areas has strengthened vaccination efforts during the past year. Global support for polio eradication also reached new heights, as was proven at the World Health Summit in October, when Rotary and international partners and donors pledged a combined US$2.6 billion to eradicate the disease.
There were challenges in 2022 as well. The poliovirus appeared in places it hasn’t been for a long time: Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States, to name a few. Wild poliovirus cases were reported in Mozambique, related to the 2021 case in Malawi caused by wild poliovirus imported from Pakistan. News of these cases didn’t slow our eradication efforts, however. If anything, it made us even more determined. Now is our best chance to finish the fight against polio.
In 2023, we need everyone’s help. We invite you to use the call to action “Together, we end polio” to express our collective will to finish the job.  Explore the shareable images, ads, and other materials on Rotary’s Brand Center, and check again throughout the year, because we’ll add even more content. Let’s work together to end this disease forever.
John Pennypacker
District Governor 2014 - 2015
Rotary International District 5510
Highlights of February 23 Meeting
Welcome and Opening of Meeting - President Pam Cohen
  • Thought for the day - John Pennypacker
  • The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Brian Harvey
  • President Pam thanked the Greeters - Mike and Gina Schroeder - for welcoming members and guests as they arrived.
Introduction of Guests
  • Colleen Coons introduced Mike Flores, past President of the Gilbert Club, who moved from there to the Queen Creek Satellite Club, and now may be looking for another club to call his home club.  Mike serves as the District Membership Chair.  He gave a brief Membership pitch about making it easier to grow membership if clubs work on their ability to engage and retain members.
  • John Pennypacker introduced Curt Ward and Steve Faust who were visiting from the Gilbert Rotary Club.  He also introduced Joel and Sue Mobley of the Clackamas Rotary Club in Clackamas, Oregon as well as PDG Tim Mobley (who was a DG Classmate of John's) and our speaker for the day, LeAnn Mobley.
  • President Pam noted that Pai Bethea, Lucinda General, Bob Jensen and Warren Williamson were all attending the meeting via Zoom.
Ace of Clubs Raffle - Chuck Flint
Chuck briefly explained that each week 1/3 of the proceeds of raffle ticket sales goes to the club operating fund, 1/3 goes to the holder of the stub of the ticket drawn.  That same individual also wins 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 accumulating "big pot," which is where the other 1/3 goes.  At the February 23 meeting, the small pot was $40 and the large pot was $120.  Chuck asked visitor Sue Mobley to draw the winning ticket.  The ticket she drew belonged to Allan Cady.
The card Allan drew was the King of Diamonds.
Happy Bucks - Ron Thompson
  • John Pennypacker contributed $118 to the Mesa West Rotary Foundation to support our sponsor campaign and celebrate the 118th anniversary of the formation of Rotary.  President Pam was ready for this celebration and had some members ready and waiting to serve some sparkling cider and other bubbly for members and guests to enjoy.
  • Allan Cady was very happy.  He and Jeanie Morgan had attended the Four Peaks Rotary Club meeting at 7:00 AM in Fountain Hills where they were presented with a $15,000 check from the Four Peaks Rotary Foundation.
  • Bert Millett contributed $20 to make a plea for help from the Mesa West membership in finding an Administrative Assistant for his office.  If his search is successful and a Mesa West Rotarian is responsible for steering the successful candidate his direction, Bert pledged he would contribute $200 to the sponsor campaign.  CLICK HERE for the details of Bert's ideal Administrative Assistant.  Bert also pledged to attend more regularly once this person is hired and trained.
  • Brian Harvey announced that over COVID he became an American Citizen.  He went on to say that he found Ron Thompson's presentation at the February 16 meeting immensely moving.  In the coaching Brian does, he is very aware that people fear snakes less than they fear public speaking.  Brian pledged $100 to the charity of Ron's choice, which was TRVFA.
  • Joel Mobley contributed $20.  As a Past President of the Clackamas OR club, he was proud to have the opportunity to hear his sister-in-law speak about international grants.
  • Curt Ward contributed - happy to have enjoyed two of his favorite things - macaroni and cheese and chocolate cake.
  • Don LaBarge fined himself for leaving the cold meeting room on February 16 and missing Ron's presentation.  Maybe in five years or so Ron will do it again and Don will stay to hear it.  Don went on to say that a company rep had invited Don to attend a convention in Jamaica.  The last time Don was in Jamaica was in 1966.
  • Dick Myren made his traditional $2 contribution, thankful that he and honorary member Rod Daniels are associated with the Ace of Clubs.
  • Pam Cohen pledged $100.  On February 23, 1954, a group of children from Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received the first injections of the new polio vaccine developed by Dr Jonas Salk.  Thanks to the vaccine, by the 21st century, polio cases were reduced by 99 percent worldwide.  It was in celebration of that event that Pam was wearing her Polio Plus scarf and shoes.
  • Don LaBarge is partnering with Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club.  The vision is to help small struggling clubs grow.  Mesa Sunrise only has about five members at most of their meetings, but they do lots of projects.  They are currently collecting items for a shelter.  He asked that we bring stuff.
  • Dave Brauchler pointed out that there were flyers on the tables with the list of items needed which Don just spoke about.  CLICK HERE to download the New Life Shelter Wish List if you were not at the meeting in person or failed to take a flyer when you left.  Dave said if items were brought to our meeting, he would see that they were delivered where they needed to go.  New Life runs an emergency for those who are displaced as a result of domestic violence.
  • President Pam reminded members that Shelly Romine is working on the 50th Anniversary Gala to be held June 29.  All members are on her committee.  At the event, two individuals will be recognized as People of Action.  One Rotarian and one non-Rotarian will be recognized.  Shelly recently sent an invitation to nominate a non-Rotarian to receive the award.  If any member is aware of a volunteer who should be recognized for their efforts, please make sure a nomination form is completed about their work. 
  • Ed Koeneman announced he is working on a pictorial slide show.  He would like members to send photos of themselves taken in 1973, when they were Club President, When they were District Governor, when they were participating in a favorite Rotary Event.  If anyone has photos, but not in digital format, they can give them to Ed in a clearly marked envelope.  He will scan the photos and return them to the member.
  • Ed also reminded members that Spring Olympics will be held at his and Debbie's home April 8.  There will be some new games added.  A planning committee will be held soon.  Possibly one evening next week.
Program - LeAnn Mobley - The Rotary Foundation - District and Global Grants
John Pennypacker introduced LeAnn Mobley.  LeAnn has over 10 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 million in funding since 2013. LeAnn has served in various Zone and District positions, including Assistant Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator, GETS and GNATS faculty, PETS Curriculum Development Team, Grants Sub-committee Chair, and Fund Development Chair.
LeAnn has an interesting and challenging background.  She studied micro biology at Oregon State.  She has been in Rotary 25 years.  Her first experience in Rotary service outside the US was with a mobile vision clinic.  She has been involved n projects to address food scarcity.  With her club, she has been involved in implementation of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in her own community.  
As a young woman, working in a hospital, LeAnn kept feeling something was missing.  She would hear others in the medical staff come back excitedly talking about their experiences in projects like "Doctors Without Borders," and knew she wanted to be involved in something like that.
She joined Rotary in the mid 90's.  Two years later, her husband joined.  In 2000, they had an opportunity to do a mobile vision clinic in Mexico and they jumped at the chance.  They knew a need was there to be met.  There were 12-14 on the team with no clue what they were doing.  The first year, they saw 760 patients.  They are now up to 2,000 patients each year.  At the end of the day the first year, the team was recapping their day.  A waitress handed LeAnn a napkin on which she had drawn the letter "I", a heart, and the Rotary Wheel.  LeAnn still has - and cherishes - the napkin.  That first year started LeAnn on her journey with international Rotary volunteer work.
Circumstances have been such that LeAnn has become a resource for writing and implementing disaster relief grants.  February 24 marks the 1st anniversary of the war in Ukraine.  Rotary International responded very quickly with creating a disaster relief fund and received $15,000,000 in donations to support the needs there.  Those funds were spent by December, 2022.  Our Zone (LeAnn is in the same Rotary Zone as we are) has committed $1,000,000 for ongoing work there.  She has made more connections in Ukraine, Poland, and Italy - with lines crossing.  Meeting medical needs has become challenging - not just for war injuries, but for everyday emergency health care needs.
As a result of productive meetings held via Zoom, they have come up some conclusions:
  • Healthcare system is destroyed where people are dying from small untreated injuries and infections.
  • Medical treatment is done in dirty basements without medicaments and qualified doctors.
  • There is no direct help to get in the war zones.
  • No communication to medical care, people must search own help.
  • Water is contaminated, no clean drinking water.
They were able to come up with a prototype of a mobile unit that could be replicated and deployed in multiple locations.
A mobile unit deployed in the northeast corner is seeing 100 patients/day with problems ranging from dental, heart, COPD, diabetes.  85% of the needs can be provided in the mobile units.  One lesson learned.  The slick ramp on the first unit has been replaced with a grated ramp.  With the nature of their soil and their weather, the unit might be in an area where the mud is 3" deep making the slick ramp nearly impossible to negotiate.
The cost for each unit is $37,000 USD
The total value is $1,125,000
30 Units are needed
Goal is to complete in the first six months of 2023
To date 14 International sponsor districts and clubs have committed
TEMPLATE - 15 minutes to copy and paste
Host Club will be provided
A Memorandum of Understanding with a regional hospital will be provided
All support documents will be provided
They are pre-vetted - the first one was approved in 15 days
Identify funding and three contacts
Your Rotary logo (to be placed on the unit)
When the war is over, the mobile clinics will become permanent neighborhood clinics.  The stated cost is for a fully stocked unit.  Training will occur to get.  With global grants, communication with the host club can be difficult.  The Rotarians in Ukraine are very capable and motivated.  They are on top of things.  Medical services are currently being provided free of charge.  Many patients have never seen a dentist or doctor.  
Something to Ponder
Today's Chuckle
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!
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 02, 2023
Midwest Food Bank - Arizona Division
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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
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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