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Welcome to the Rotary Club of Marana in Marana, AZ


Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 7:00 AM
Nana's Kitchen
8225 N. Courtney Page Way
Marana, AZ  85741
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Current Events
Renovations remain ongoing at our Rotary home, Nana’s Kitchen, and things are looking great! Owner and fellow Rotarian Javier Teran is slowly unfolding from the fetal position. (If you could see Javier you’d realize how funny that is. Really.)
Our song today was chosen by Lynne Himmer, our Treasurer. You’d think it would be “We’re in the Money” or something like that, but she went with “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in honor of the Wildcats. We nailed it, as usual.
John Dooling told a joke before giving the invocation: “Make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Go ahead and do that, just don’t share your recipe for squirrel gravy.
Calendar Update
Tues June 21
Club Assembly:  we’ll be talking about Projects!
Fri July 1
The new Rotary Year begins, welcoming Mary Straus to her full-term year as Club President!
Breaking News
Clint Kuntz reported that he and Kendra have been awarded custody of Arianna, a 2 year old. Arianna is still in Ohio, but will be coming to her new home soon. Wonderful news!!
Strange but True: Happy Bucks
Happy Bucks is a solomn ocassion which gives everyone the opportunity to say a little something about anything. That is, should they be willing to put a dollar or two in the pot. John Dooling reports that our former exchange student, Matus Bogar, arrived home safely. His Dad, showing him true tough love, apparently “destroyed” Matus in ping pong. Slovakia may never be the same. Randy Brooks has decided to stop and smell the roses! He has resigned a number of Rotary committees and zone positions just to take life a little easier. And Sulee Edwards, who volunteers for More Than a Bed, remarked that they really desperately need a building!
Guest Speaker
No guest speaker today, but President Mary Straus gave a wonderful slide show on the recent International Convention in Seoul. That was followed by a short discussion on Projects, to be continued on June 28!

Ah, we were back home at Nana’s today. Renovations are ongoing, but we’re all good! The new interior changes are looking great, and owner and Rotarian Javier Teran is pleased (also traumatized by the whole experience, but we try to remain positive here).
Today was Bring a Friend Day, and as soon as President Mary Straus opened the meeting, and we sang “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” to our departing exchange student (see below), everyone got to introduce their special guest. Tony Hunter brought Christopher Saunders, Denise West brought Susan Jacobson, Randy Brooks brought Della Grove, and Maeve Johnson brought Dave Hindman. Jo Holt claimed some joint ownership of Maeve’s guest, but no one was buying it.
Calendar Update
Mon June 20
Board meeting at 5:30 pm at Mary’s home.
Tues June 21
Club Assembly:  we’ll be talking about Projects!
Breaking News
Dan Contorno’s wife, Heather, returned safely from Ethiopia, and Dan noticed!
Strange but True: Happy Bucks
Happy Bucks is a solomn ocassion which gives everyone the opportunity to say a little something about anything. That is, should they be willing to put a dollar or two in the pot. Don Jorgensen has recently heard from Bryson in Zimbabwe, who had good news. The government provided a teacher for the school, which is now up and running! The odd thing is that Bryson, who conducts safari tours, had a couple from Marana on a recent trip… Now that makes it a very small world indeed.
Guest Speaker
Our very special exchange student, Matus Bogar, gave us an overview of his experiences here with us over the last year. He leaves tomorrow for home in Slovakia. There were a total of 9 exchange students in southern AZ, and Matus reported that they all got to know one another and will be seeing each other in the future in Europe and Las Vegas (?). He took us down memory lane, with his trips to the Grand Canyon, to RYLA, and Los Angeles. Matus played on the Marana High soccer team, although they won not one game, and then played on the tennis team, which was undefeated! He was the tennis MVP as well! This is particularly ironic for Matus, in that he was an experienced and very good soccer player, but had never played tennis before. He recalled “the longest 6 hours of my life” in the El Tour de Tucson, in which he covered 104 miles. And then there were the fish stories. With Dan Contorno and John Dooling. Hmmm. Matus got to experience an ice hockey game, a baseball game (“better than I expected”), and Copa America, a big soccer tournament in Glendale. He recounted his visits to numerous museums and holiday events.
We want to acknowledge Matus’s host families:  Randy Brooks & Deb Hume, John & Cindy Dooling, and Dan & Heather Contorno. We presented Matus with a keepsake box with a scorpion decoration, and an AZ flag! We wish him the very best, and we will miss him so much!

Today we had a change in venue while Nana’s Kitchen was undergoing remodeling. Owner Javier Teran apologized for the inconvenience, but our Club members are more than happy to assist in any way we can.
Relocating to the local IHOP, President Mary Straus gave us a description of her trip (along with Randy Brooks and Don Jorgensen) to the International Conference in Korea. She reports that Seoul is a huge metropolis, with lots of money, lots of smog, but no graffiti or beggars to speak of. Mary was impressed with Japanese-like gardens “everywhere” and a mix of old and new. For example, a palace built in 1389 is still standing right in the middle of the city. Randy added that the infrastructure in Seoul is better than ours, particularly the roads and bridges.
Our good friend Jim Nook of the Rotary Club of Dove Mountain visited us again! He said it was just for the pancakes, but he also presented us with a check from Dove Mtn for our special needs playground project. Thank you to our sister Club for their support!
Harold Burtzloff reported that the 5th Tuesday social, held on May 31 at Bianchi’s, was a success, with 17 folks in attendance. The next 5th Tuesday is Aug 30, venue to be announced. Great job, Harold!
Calendar Update
Mon June 20
Board meeting at 5:30 pm at Mary’s home.
Breaking News
Randy will be playing music at Café Tremolo Fri June 10 along with Cheri from Picture Rocks. 6pm, bring a friend!
Strange but True: Happy Bucks
Happy Bucks is a solomn ocassion which gives everyone the opportunity to say a little something about anything. That is, should they be willing to put a dollar or two in the pot. Since we were at IHOP we didn’t really do HB today, but we did “share”. John Dooling reported that Dan Contorno had caught 50 fish on a recent adventure. Or was it a single fish the size of 50? Or, as Randy pointed out, since Dan catches and releases, perhaps it was the same poor fish getting caught time after time.
Guest Speaker
We did not have a guest speaker this week, but we did have a wonderful meeting! Thanks, everyone!

Sometimes things don’t work out the way we planned. Sometimes things change at the very last minute. Even to the stalwart Marana Rotarians, life itself can sometimes be a mystery, but that neither disheartens nor deters us from our goals. President Mary Straus was under the weather today, and so President-Elect Jo Holt conducted our meeting. Songmeister of the month Tony Hunter was running a little late this morning (like maybe 60 seconds late), and when he entered the door of Nana’s Kitchen we were already standing waiting to sing. Tony was somewhat surprised at this and, quick thinker that he is, came up with “Row Your Boat.” We did a single stanza, and were quite pleased with ourselves so everyone sat down. It was fun to surprise Tony.
Very pleased to be joined today by Jim Nook of the Rotary Club of Dove Mountain!
Anniversaries were announced:  Clint Kuntz’s wedding on the 25th, Dan Contorno’s wedding on the 27th (Dan was a bit surprised, initially), and Don Jorgensen’s 9th year in our Club.
There was a special announcement for all Club members under 40. The 2016 AZ Emerging Leader Summit will be held Sept 9 and 10 at the Phoenix Public Library. Jo gave copies of the details to Tony and Vanessa Ruiz. A few other members claimed to need a handout, but they were ignored.
Calendar Update
Sun May 28 – Jun 1
The Rotary International Convention in Seoul, Korea. Members Don Jorgensen, Randy Brooks, and Mary Straus will be attending.
Tues May 31
In honor of the 5th Tues of the month, our breakfast meeting will NOT be held. Instead, we’ll meet for an evening social, at Bianchi’s on Tangerine at Thornydale. See you there around 5:30pm!
Breaking News
Mark Murray’s membership has received final approval from the Board, and the date of his induction will be set soon. Eric Miller’s membership will be finalized right after Memorial Day. We’re excited to welcome both gentlemen!
Strange but True: Happy Bucks
Our Happy Bucks schtick gives everyone the opportunity to say a little something about anything should they be willing to put a dollar or two in the pot. That is, of course, if one remembers to bring a dollar. Or four quarters. Or ten dimes. Not to put anyone on the spot or anything, but today John Dooling had no money (he said), Tony was broke, and even astrophysicist Peter Mack couldn’t find a buck in all of spacetime. Gotta love ‘em anyway!
Guest Speaker
In lieu of a guest speaker, Jo gave an update on our Interact Club, the ceremony inducting our President and Officers for 2016-2017 was reviewed, and we then had a general discussion about the history of our Club presidents. Those who attended the induction at Mary’s home last Saturday were very pleased with what was a beautiful ceremony. We teased Treasurer Lynne Himmer about her efforts to throw President Mary Straus into the pool, with aid from Maeve Johnson. Former Club Presidents present today were John Dooling, Dan Contorno, Harold Burtzloff, John Zwick, and Randy Brooks. Our Club has a very long history, and it was really interesting to hear from those who have helped build and maintain it and are still with us today. Thank you, Former Pres’s!

The Rotary Club of Marana installed its President and Officers for 2016-2017 on Sat May 21, 2016 at 10am at the home of Mary Straus.
***Photos can be found under the Photo Album tab on the Home Page***
Past District 5500 Governor Randy Brooks acted as Master of Ceremonies. Music was provided by Nick Coventry and Matt Mitchell.
The ceremony was held on the back porch, and the tables were beautifully set. Randy asked Maeve Johnson to lead us in the pledge, and Jo Holt followed with the following invocation:
Today we begin a new year and a new leadership cycle. But what is true leadership?
It is often said that a good leader can translate vision into reality. Not by telling you what to do, but by showing you how it’s done.
It’s the great leader that is both humble and bold. She will go out of her way to listen to her members, but she knows better than to try to please everyone.
But it’s the outstanding leader who harbors a winning perspective, who isn’t fearful when challenges and difficulties arise, because it’s within those difficulties that opportunity lies.
We’re excited and ready to begin a new chapter and a new year in Rotary, and offer our support and best wishes to our wonderful leader, Mary.
Randy then introduced Guests, which included spouses and prospective members, and then brunch was served.
Mary then presented each outgoing officer with a gift and her appreciation. Randy shared his thoughts with "Leadership: You Are Up to the Task." He then inducted Mary as President for 2016-2017. Randy and Mary then inducted the Board of Directors:  Jo Holt, President-Elect; Lynne Himmer, Treasurer; Vanessa Ruiz, Secretary; Harold Burtzloff, Member-at-Large. Tony Hunter, President-Nominee and Member-at-Large, was inducted in absentia. 
Mary then shared her thoughts about the upcoming year, and Past President Dan Contorno led everyone in the four way test. Randy adjourned the proceedings.
It was a lovely day and a very nice formal installation ceremony.
This, however, is the Rotary Club of Marana, and some tomfoolery at the pool ensued afterward.

The sun wakes up early in southern Arizona these days, and that makes it easier to pop out of bed, get all gussied up and get to Rotary on time. So much easier. What? Not really?
President Mary Straus was definitely awake and got us started promptly at 7am. Or 7:05am. Anyway, Tony Hunter chose a wonderful song to sing, “Stand by Me.” We did our best with it and cheered for ourselves when we finished. This was either a case of wishful thinking or a demonstration of group delusion. But it really didn’t matter, we were happy in the end and that’s what counts.
Nana’s Kitchen owner and Rotarian Javier Teran explained the upcoming renovations to the restaurant. We’ll be careful.
Our Club has a Foundation which is useful for holding funds for projects. Rotary International also has a Foundation, and it’s important to understand the difference. As carefully pointed out again today, Maeve Johnson is President of the Club Foundation and Randy Brooks is in charge of our contributions to the RI Foundation. Maeve and Randy are not the same person, as it turns out. Good to know. Maeve announced that she and Harold Burtzloff have been updating the Foundation bylaws, which is quite a big job.
Calendar Update
Sat May 21
Installation of our new President, Mary Straus (her full term year) and new board members, 10am at Mary’s house.
Sun May 28 – Jun 1
The Rotary International Convention in Seoul, Korea. Members Don Jorgensen, Randy Brooks, and Mary Straus will be attending.
Tues May 31
In honor of the 5th Tues of the month, our breakfast meeting will NOT be held. Instead, we'll meet for an evening social, at Bianchi’s on Tangerine at Thornydale. See you there around 5:30pm.
Breaking News
Randy Brooks announced that our very own Matus Bogar, amazing exchange student from Slovakia, was named the Marana High School most valuable player in tennis. This is doubly amazing since Matus had never before played tennis. Wow, what will he do next?
Dan Contorno pointed out that today’s election included a ballot proposition regarding school funding or something. He took a position on said proposition and made his case. Mary then gave a somewhat different perspective. Now, you might think at this point that some sort of loud argument or physical melee ensued. After all, it’s politics. But, everyone remained polite, thoughtful, and respectful. Weird, huh?
Strange but True: Happy Bucks
John Dooling missed our meeting last week, which is quite unusual. Was it hunting season of some sort? No. Was it a bad batch of squirrel gravy? Not at all. John and wife Cindy have several dozen grandchildren, who all came down with the flu. The Club Secretary forgets whether John himself was sick or not.
Tony Hunter shared a story about his girlfriend and his parents. Since we wouldn’t want to do any additional damage to an already delicate situation, we won’t go into further detail here. In fact, we probably shouldn’t mention it at all. But it was good that Tony wanted to share with the rest of us, wasn’t it?
Guest Speaker
A few weeks ago we heard from our very own longtime Rotarian John Zwick, who left us on the edge of our seats with an unfinished story. So today Mary asked him to tell us the rest of his story, which spans several decades and two or three countries. After many years in Canada, and a few in Australia, John finally came to Tucson (after first thinking about Phoenix), and opened a storefront at Oracle & Orange Grove selling fireplaces, woodburning stoves, and spas. There was a nearby patio furniture store run by an elderly couple who were ready to sell, and John jumped at the chance. It was after that that they decided to build a new store on Costco Drive. His granddaughter Erica now runs the store. What a great story! Thanks, John.

Our Student of the Month from MCAT was Tiffani Helsel, shown here with President Mary Straus.   
Our Guest Speaker was Carrie Moran with the Blake Foundation, part of the Easter Seals that serves 19,000 individuals in southern AZ. Sadly, 80% are only five years old or younger, many of whom were born addicted to drugs. Programs conducted through the Foundation help make a connection to a child who's hurting, helping to restore normalcy back into their lives.

At today's meeting we honored MCAT student Desirae Skalsky!   Here's Desirae with MCAT Principal Denise Coronado and Chuck Erskin, MCAT student support coach.
Congrats Desirae, we're so proud of you!
     And our special guest speaker was with the Northwest Fire Department.  

When she's in town, John Zwick's daughter visits our Club. Earlier this year she spoke to us about the Rotary group that makes an annual pilgrimage, driving from Alberta to Mexico to deliver some combination of ambulance, fire truck, or other emergency vehicles.  The group, Los Amigos Project Convoy, has 16 members, and passed through Tucson on April 24th. We met them at El Charro for dinner and heard some amazing stories of present and past adventures. A great group of Rotarians, thanks for all you do! 

As yet another beautiful southern Arizona morning greeted residents of the pastoral town of Marana, stalwart Rotarians were assembling at Nana’s Kitchen. At this time of the year, it’s not possible to claim that they had arisen at the crack of dawn, because the sun rises so early now. Let’s just say they got up really, really early. President Mary Straus opened the meeting and introduced two guests, Carla and Tom. Carla drove today’s speaker to the meeting, and Tom Halazon is a long-time Rotarian who has been visiting us from the Tri-Cities somewhere in the Northwest (just kidding, it’s Washington. Or Oregon). Tom and Mary exchanged banners – a nice touch!
A group of Rotarians in Alberta is driving to Mexico to deliver a donated emergency vehicle. The Los Amigos Project Convoy consists of 16 members, and will be in Tucson on April 24 where we’ll meet them for dinner at El Charro downtown, one of their favorite places. No doubt we’ll hear some interesting stories…
Further work was done on the tortoise habitat at Coyote Trail Elementary School, as the playground for special-needs students progresses. Mary was joined by Sulee and Jim Edwards and Peter Mack. And the wheelchair swing has been ordered! There were several times in the development of this project that we thought the swing would not be possible, due to cost and safety concerns, but here we are!
Calendar Update
Sat Apr 23
Memory screening project in Nogales.
Sun Apr 24
Dinner with the Los Amigos Project Convoy at El Charro downtown at 6:30pm.
Wed May 4
Exchange students Matus Bogar and Tori Johnson speak to our Interact Club at Tortolita Middle School, 4:15 pm.
Fri May 13
Randy, Bert & Cheri will play music at Nana’s Kitchen, 6-8 pm. Tips will be donated to the Marana Rotary Foundation.
Mon May 16
Marana Rotary Board meeting at 5:30pm at Mary’s house. All are welcome to attend.
Sat May 28 – June 1
Rotary International Convention in Seoul, Korea
Breaking News
Mary reported receiving fan mail from a rider in the Tour de Cookie who praised the event and is looking forward to next year! We signed thank-you cards to all of our hosts of the Cookie Stations, including Maeve Johnson, who had a really special booth (with circus music). It was such a fun, delicious event!
Strange but True: Happy Bucks
Tax season is over, the bedlam has subsided, and CPA Lynne Himmer did a little dance and sang a little song to celebrate! Yes, I said that was Lynne. Saw it with my own eyes.
Guest Speaker
Monalisa Teves, a Global Grant Scholar of Rotary International, spoke to us today about her work in her country, The Philippines, and her experience as a Global Grant Scholar this year. She gave us a look into life in her country with a beautiful slide show, then told us that there was another side to the Philippines – a poverty rate of almost 35%. Her scholarship centers around the question “What are you going to do with your project from the U.S.?” Her answer is to work in the village of Miagao to understand the complexity of problems brought on by a destructive typhoon and a separate fire disaster. When typhoons hit, the “fisher folks” can’t fish. This is critical, because the people of Miagao live day-to-day. It’s for reasons like this that Monalee chose commercial and economic development out of Rotary’s six areas of focus. We want to thank her for sharing her experiences with us, and wish Monalee the very best when she returns to work in her native land.

Every time there are 5 Tuesdays in a month we take the 5th Tuesday off! Instead of a morning meeting, we have an evening social, and March 29 provided just such an opportunity. Harold Burtzloff organized a great social at Taste of Texas, and we had a nice turnout.

Wow, and here we begin another month! How on earth could it possibly be April already? Are you sure?
Our esteemed President Mary Straus is certainly sure, and opened today’s meeting by greeting for our guests, Tom Halazon from the Rotary Club of Columbia Center, and Mike Alderson, a guest of Maeve Johnson who came to witness our wonderful Club in action.
Guest Speaker:
Our very own Harold Burtzloff introduced our very own John Zwick as our speaker today. John gave us a rundown of his US/Canadian life with wonderful stories about gowing up in a LARGE family and the many occupations he held over the years. There is more to hear about, and we look forward to that! Thank you, John, for being a special part of our Rotary Club.


Boxing For Troops


Aug 02, 2016
Steve Miller
What is happening at the Marana Airport
Aug 09, 2016
Linda Hampton
Foodbank update
Aug 16, 2016
Kathy Reilly
Carnio Sacral Therapy - What does that mean - come to the meeting and find out!
Aug 30, 2016
Sep 13, 2016
Kirti Khalsa
Alzheimer Reserch & Prevention Foundation

MCAT Student Of The Month 

MCAT - Marana Career & Technical High School is an optional opportunity for Marana High School and Mountain View High School students to learn and earn academic credit in a non-traditional educational setting. 

The Marana Rotary Club has been honoring students from MCAT for over 17 years. 

Below are Students for Rotary Year July 1,2015 to June 30,2016

Sema Lerma-Hernandez    Oct

Elizabeth Rodriguez Cuenca Nov

​Chris Trimble              Nov

Breezy Borseth           Dec

​Melody Greer               Feb

Danielle Barrickman   March

Desirae Skalsky          April

Tiffani Helsel               May

Meeting Responsibilities
Johnson, Maeve
West, Denise
Contorno, Dan
Edwards, Sulee
Teran, Javier
Holt Ph.D., Jo
Edwards, Sulee
Set up
Kuntz, Clint
Tear Down
Dooling, John
Tear Down
Hunter, Tony
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John Germ: Champion of Chattanooga
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