President Allan Cady opened the meeting asking Ed Koeneman to offer the invocation, which he did using the Boy Scout prayer.  Jeanie Morgan led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The large pot for the weekly raffle had grown to $1,454.  Christy Citterman's raffle ticket was drawn, making her the automatic winner of the smaller $54 prize.  The three of diamonds, which she drew, disappointed her, but others in the room celebrated the fact that the large pot will continue to grow and the odds of winning get better each week.
Dr. Ron Thompson, serving as the Sgt. at Arms collected happy bucks.  Ed Koeneman happily contributed as his school year has ended and he will be able to attend more of our Mesa West meetings and enjoy other activities. 
John Pennypacker paid for the privilege of  recently serving as was the starter on the 1st Tee for the first 2 days of the Junior College Women’s JCNCAA National Championship held at Longbow Golf Course in Mesa.   He said, "Learning to pronounce some of the Thai, Spanish and Greek names, along with a few others was a beautiful learning experience.  Not only did some of these very petite young ladies drive the golf ball well off the tee, they were all very polite and a pleasure to be around.  They did their schools proud."
Bob Jensen paid celebrating 37 wonderful years married to Nancy.  Daryl Bethea was thankful for mothers and all that they contribute to make each of our lives much more wonderful than our lives would be without them.  Darl Andersen paid sad bucks because he was sitting at a table of losers, many of whom had not purchased raffle tickets when they arrived at the meeting.  He reminded them and any others present that were also guilty of being losers - "If you don't play, you can't win!"  Jim Crutcher was happy to be happy.  Chuck Flint was happy that his list of members who have not yet contributed to The Rotary Foundation this year is now down to 14 and continuing to shrink.  He reminded all present of the club's commitment to "Every Rotarian Every Year - EREY," and that meeting that commitment is a requirement  for Mesa West to receive the District Five Avenues of Service Award.
  • President Allan read a thank you letter from the GCU Rotaract thanking Mesa West for our continuing support during their first "trial" year.  The letter stated the club is starting to really take off, and thanked Mesa West Rotarians for showing an example of what true Service Above Self looks like.
  • The collection for Colton Cagle's travel fund for his "Crutches for Africa" delivery trip this summer is now more than half way to our goal.  The envelope was circulated again during the meeting.  Members have the option of listing their donation to Colton's fund as a donation to the Mesa West Rotary Foundation so that their donation will be tax deductible.
  • Members were reminded that the club would be dark (no regular meeting) on June 14 and July 5.
  • The June 16 installation event will be held at the home of Don LaBarge.  Members were reminded that the patio there does have a misting system which will keep those who attend cool and comfortable.


Ray Smith talked about Bob Jensen's vision which became reality with the Gift of Hearing annual mission in Guaymas, Mexico.  Bob started doing the project over 25 years ago, gathering resources, manpower, and skilled audiologists.  He did this on his own before he was a Rotarian.  Becoming a Mesa Baseline Rotarian made his dream more sustainable, and when Mesa Baseline merged into Mesa West, the project became the point of pride supported enthusiastically by the combined club.
Bob Jensen has made presentations about the mission many times over the years.  He wanted to come up with a new approach to telling the story this year.  To prepare, he re-read The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.  The story was about a pilgrimage where several would travel together and to make the time pass more quickly, each traveler had to share a story.  The meeting program provided an abbreviated version of The Guaymas Tales, where travelers gathered in Mesa for an early Wednesday morning breakfast arranged by Don LaBarge.  The Guaymas Rotarians hosted a dinner that evening to welcome the travelers.
Thursday morning, November 9, when the team arrived at the clinic, they were greeted by a large crowd already there, awaiting their arrival.  A triage area was set up to take some case history information and do some initial testing.  Over the next two days, the volunteers saw a large number of patients.   The hours donated by volunteer doctors and students are what make the program successful. 
On the final day, some traveled to Alamos to meet with Dr. Elizabeth Petit and her team at her medical clinic.  Dr. Barbara Kiernan and Dr. Ted Gladke were in attendance also.  Barb is from Tucson and is working on a global grant to which Mesa West has pledged $1,000.
2017 was the first year, the team did not run out of hearing aids.  Since the mission's inception, over 5,000 patients have been seen, and more than 4,000 hearing aids dispensed.  In 2017, Bob admitted overspending his budget.  $21,900 was received and $22,937 was spent.  The Mesa Baseline Foundation and Mesa West Foundation each contributed half of the shortfall.  
Statistics from the 2017 Mission:
  • 333 patients seen
  • 165 hearing aids fitted
  • 185 earmolds made
  • 45 volunteers went to Guaymas
    • 13 Mesa West Rotarians 
    • 16 doctors (ENTs and Audiologists)
    • 15 doctor of audiology students
Each volunteer who travels contributes $200 to cover their expenses.  Bob explained that he would be able to reduce the cost of the mission to around $15,000 to $17,000 in 2018.  Ten students will be going rather than 15.  The Guaymas Rotary Club will again pay for the bus.  Bob said it is really nice to have a lot of Rotarian involvement. as the Guaymas Club is small.
Erica Williams' Tale
Erica's area of expertise involves how hearing impacts speech and language development in children.  Without being able to hear, understanding plurals and tenses is minimized impacting the ability to differentiate understanding of simple tasks.  Without the ability to hear, it is impossible to have auditory memory or verbally reproduce sounds.  Special ed is essential for hearing impaired students, who often have psycho-social-emotional difficulties.  These youth experience social isolation, annoyance, confusion, and lack of independence.  Consequently they are generally immature and have poor self image.
Kaylee Easter's Tale
Kaylee was glad to have been on the mission.  She has always had an interest in this type of humanitarian work.
Sara Jensen's Tale
Sara understands that hearing health care is rarely sustainable in impoverished areas.  She has enjoyed what she has been able to learn from the professionals participating in the Guaymas mission.
Taylor Benson's Tale
Taylor went into audiology for the service opportunity more than the money he would earn in the field.  He said he was raised with a foundation of service.
To see a video showing highlights from the mission, CLICK HERE