At its Annual Meeting held Saturday, July 20 in Casa Grande, the TRVFA board re-elected Dan Messersmith as President, and Dennis Haberer as Chairman of the Board.  Newly elected were Steve DeMar, Treasurer, and Marc Snow, Secretary.
At the immediately following quarterly board meeting, the board discussed some key challenges:
There are three vacancies on the board - two needing to be filled by Rotary District 5495 Rotarians, and one to be filled by a Rotarian from District 5500.
Although donations were significantly higher in 2018-19 than in prior years,  TRVFA is forced to temporarily cease accepting new grant applications for programs starting prior to January 1.  This decision will be re-evaluated at the October board meeting.
 Demand for grants is exceeding any prior period because the booming economy is creating a demand for certified vocational employees.   
Everyone present at the board meeting fully understood that expectations for board members going forward will be that all will need to be highly engaged in marketing to Rotarians, Rotary Clubs, and external funding sources. 
It was noted there is lots of room to grow TRVFA funding resources.  In 2018-19 only 8.8% of Rotarians in Arizona supported TRVFA with a donation.  It is clear there is room within  easy reach of meeting and exceeding our current funding challenge if we get the word out. 
The increase in demand for grants is creating an additional challenge.  There is a need to identify a Rotarian - preferably with student aid experience -  who would either join or be willing to help the board with grant application processing.  Currently only one person is doing that task and it is becoming overwhelming. 
All board members are optimistic that the gap between funding and demand for grants can be bridged with focussed and concentrated effort.
Board members expressed their appreciation for the years of service Eileen Klecka has given as a board member and board Treasurer.  She had to resign that position because of a deteriorating vision challenge she is experiencing.  There is no deterioration in her passion for the life-changing work of TRVFA.  She will be staying on as an Advisor to the board.
For readers motivated to donate, we've made it easy. CLICK HERE to donate on-line or CLICK HERE to download a mail-in donation form.
TRVFA Board Elects 2019-20 Officers 2019-07-22 07:00:00Z 0
Rotarians attending the District 5495 Conference June 22, 2019 had an opportunity to hear from vocational education grant recipients telling about the profound difference their TRVFA support has made in their lives.  CLICK HERE or on the image to watch a video of their presentation.
Sofia Ibarra, seated closest to the podium, was sponsored by the Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Club to study phlebotomy at East Valley Medical College during the 2016-17 academic year.  She was hired immediately after graduating, but has since completed other studies and advanced in her medical profession.  She has enjoyed many positive transitions in her personal life as a result of the beginning her TRVFA grant provided for her.
Jocelyn Castillo, seated in the middle was recently sponsored by the Peoria Rotary Club to begin a Surgical Technology program July 12, 2019 at East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa, Arizona.  The grant will enable her to enter a career where she will earn a livable wage while she seeks to achieve her real goal of becoming a surgeon.
Cayanne Nelson, seated on the left, was sponsored by the Paradise Valley Rotary Club in March of this year to study phlebotomy at the East Valley Medical College in Mesa.  She interned at the VA medical facility, and was so touched by what they have given for all of us, that she plans to continue to volunteer there even though her permanent paid position will be with another employer. 
Grant Recipients Featured at District 5495 Conference 2019-06-30 07:00:00Z 0
One of the signs of progress in a small town used to be the necessity of putting up a stop sign because traffic was getting out of control.  The traffic sign was actually a sign that the town was thriving and progressing.
The board of directors of The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona has faced a similar challenge in the traffic of grant applications this fiscal  year.  We have faced a steady flow of new grant applications.  The board is happy to report that donations to date this fiscal year are 125% of the same period a year ago.  The board had to look at where we were and decide how we could ensure doing the most good while causing the least harm. 
We took a look at grants already funded in the 2018-19 fiscal year.  We combined that number with grants already approved, but not yet funded.  To that combined total, we added grants already in process and likely to be approved for programs starting before July 1.  It became clear we will meet, and very likely exceed, our recently increased grant funding budget for this fiscal year.  
Our stop sign has been installed.  Effective April 16, we will not accept new grant applications for programs starting before July 1, 2019.  We will continue to accept new applications for programs with a start date of July 1 or later.  If we receive a new grant application for a program starting before July 1, the applicant will be given the option of requesting funds for a program with a later start date.
Traffic Control in the Vocational Grant Business 2019-04-16 07:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona was recently recognized for our transparency with a 2019 Gold Seal on our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile! GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. More than 8 million visitors per year and a network of 200+ partners use GuideStar data to grow support for nonprofits. In order to get the 2019 Gold Seal, TRVFA shared important information with the public using our profile on Now our community members and potential donors can find in-depth information about our goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress. We’re shining a spotlight on the difference we help make in the world.  CLICK HERE  or on the image to check out our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile.
TRVFA Earns GuideStar 2019 Gold Seal  2019-03-17 07:00:00Z 0
In Arizona, Rotarians have a unique way to do great Vocational Service in our local communities through The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona.  Individual members can support vocational education grants for the working poor and get a dollar for dollar credit for their donation as a deduction from their state income tax obligation.  Individual donors have until April 15 to make their tax credit donation for the 2018 tax year.  They can make their donations on line at  
Clubs also support TRVFA when they are approached by students who have applied for grants for club sponsorship of their application.  Clubs are urged to develop relationships with their sponsored scholars and include them in club projects and activities.  Some clubs choose to donate from their project budget to support the work of this fine organization. 
TRVFA  was incorporated by Rotarians as a 501(c)(3) public charity which is managed by a board made up entirely of Rotarian leaders.  It is an on-going multi-district project which was "blessed" by Rotary International in 1993.  For over 25 years, this organization was been a model of vocational service enabling the benefitting vocational scholars to move into well paying professions.  The Rotary equivalent of choosing to "teach a man to fish so he will be fed for a lifetime as opposed to giving a man a fish and feeding him for a day."
Even though TRVFA is a Rotary-organized, Rotarian managed charity, supporting TRVFA is not limited to Rotarians.  The tax credit donation opportunity is open to all Arizona residents who will have a state income tax obligation for 2018.  Share this opportunity with your family, friends, and associates.
In Rotary, January is Vocational Service Month 2019-01-23 08:00:00Z 0
Check out our video to learn more about us... 2018-11-02 07:00:00Z 0
Hi! My name is Sarah and you all helped me get my Certified Nursing Assistant license and my Patient Care Technician certification.  I really appreciate everything you all have done for me.
I got a job as soon as I graduated.  I have now been working in the hospital for three and a half years.
I will be going back to school soon to get my RN. 
Sarah is a 2014/15 graduate of East Valley Medical College in their Certified Nursing Assistant/Patient Care Technician program. Gilbert Rotary Club sponsored her TRVFA grant application.
Sarah sent TRVFA an appreciative update 2018-10-31 07:00:00Z 0
In Arizona, we are able to actually direct some of our state income tax obligation to qualifying charitable organizations.  To people from out of state this seems difficult to believe.  We can make a donation and reduce our state income tax by the amount we give - up to $400 for individuals or $800 for a couple filing jointly.  In other words, we can donate without it costing a cent.  
The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA) is such a qualifying charitable organization.  It was founded by Rotarians and received its 501(c)(3) charitable status in 1990.  TRVFA is still operated by a board of directors made up of Arizona Rotarians.
Vocational Service is one of the five avenues of service of Rotary International.  Many clubs struggle with how to identify and fulfill good vocational service goals.  Support of TRVFA not only supports the vocational service ambitions of Rotary, it also supports community service.  Recipients of our vocational education grants have to qualify by meeting established low-income guidelines.  The grants enable them to acquire the necessary skills and certifications to enter well-paying vocations and thus contribute to the Arizona economy.
Even if you've already exhausted your tax credit donations for the year by donating to other charities, this charity is worthy of your support.  We hope you will help us "Unite, take action to create lasting change.  Help us provide vocational education grants."
AZ Rotary's Own Tax Credit Charity 2018-10-24 07:00:00Z 0
At the August 20, 2018 meeting of the Laughlin Rotary Club, PDG Danny Messersmith, TRVFA Board President was presented with a check for $1,000 to help support Vocational Grants through The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA).  These funds along with other donations from Rotarians and Rotary Clubs across Arizona will help provide “A Hand Up/Not A Hand Out” for eligible students in need of a vocational education. 
TRVFA grants change lives every day with graduates obtaining a vocational education which allows them to be employed in well-paying jobs which raise their standard of living for themselves and their families. Their success now, many times, will lead to additional education on their part. Time and time again, we hear how a TRVFA grant gave them the "Step Up" to allow them to go on to more education. We also hear about how the parent's success helps their children understand the value of education.
TRVFA thanks the Laughlin Rotary Club for their generosity and their commitment to help provide funding for TRVFA.  Shown in the photo (L – R) Meg McDaniel, Past President; TRVFA Board President PDG Danny Messersmith; Mike Conner, Treasurer, AG Area 1; Vince Ruefer, Club Services Director.
Rotary Club of Laughlin Donates $1,000 to TRVFA 2018-09-03 07:00:00Z 0
Posted by Arthur R. Harrington, E.A., Ph.D.
IRS issued Proposed Regulations on August 23 that will impact charitable donations, if enacted.  In researching the matter, I found a couple of articles that will help to clarify what IRS is proposing and why.  The two articles have been consolidated into a single document which can be downloaded by CLICKING HERE.  I personally believe they are going to get a lot of push-back from this proposal, and that it is far from being a done deal.  The Vocational Fund's donors need to be made aware that IRS is proposing such a limitation on their charitable donations, and they need to be contacting their Congressmen to ask for their support in opposing the proposed IRS changes.
Art Harrington is an Advisor to the TRVFA Board of Directors
Proposed IRS Regulation Changes Published August 23, 2018  Arthur R. Harrington, E.A., Ph.D. 2018-08-27 07:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dr. Honora A Norton
For several years, I have been facilitating TRVFA Rotary Club of Scottsdale's sponsored scholarships to low income working poor, especially men and single mothers struggling to survive on multiple low paying part-time jobs with no benefits.    Each applicant that I have met is deserving, eager to learn and ready to make productive career moves after completing his/her TRVFA funded courses at Trade Schools which encompass a wide variety of hands-on education, from HVAC to carpentry to emerging technologies.
A college degree or vocational training beyond high school are necessary tools to obtain a well paying job. The days when a person graduated from high school, entered the workforce, and stayed with the same company until she or he retired are over.  The cost of college tuition and books is prohibitive for many people in low income households who wish to better themselves by furthering their education. TRVFA scholarships give them the leg up to provide for themselves and their families.  TRVFA provides financial aid to those who need it most. I am honored to support TRVFA and its blessed workings.  
Dr. Norton is an advisor to the TRVFA Board of Directors
A TRVFA Testimonial Dr. Honora A Norton 2018-08-26 07:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona Board wants to thank the top giving clubs in each District in our 2017-18 fiscal year.  These two clubs excelled in their understanding of how they could support vocational service and alleviate poverty in our local communities through TRVFA.  Mesa West Rotarians donated a total of $11,825.  Individual Tucson Rotarians donated a total of $11,820, but with their club's additional donation of $2,000, their total contribution was $13,820.  There were only five other clubs in the state with total giving over $5,000.   

TRVFA Needs Club and Donor Support 2018-08-26 07:00:00Z 0
One of our donors, who is a CPA, has advised us that a colleague had shared information about a new regulation which came out August 23.  His peer believed the regulation would impact tax credit donations.  If the information he received is correct, effective August 28, donors will be allowed to either take a tax credit on their state taxes or claim a charitable donation on their IRS return, but will no longer be able to do both.  His information indicated donations made by August 27 could still qualify for both.  To be certain you can verify you made a tax credit donation by the 27th of August, the CPA recommended making any such donations on line.  Please understand, we are passing this on, but do not have ready access to information to verify such a regulatory change has been made.  In case you planned to donate to us this year, and want to be on the safe side, we've made donating on line easy - go to
New IRS Regulation Impacts Tax Credit Donations 2018-08-26 07:00:00Z 0
The TRVFA board met Saturday, August 25 for their annual meeting and election of officers.  Lee Dueringer, who has served the board as President since 2015, will remain on the board and wants to focus his volunteer efforts on fundraising for TRVFA going forward.  The board was enthusiastic in their appreciation of his service as President and his desire to focus his time and talent where our need is greatest at this time.
Dan Messersmith was elected to fill the vacancy.  Dan has been a dedicated TRVFA volunteer since 2010, He has been the responsible party for processing all grant applications since he was instrumental in converting to an on-line grant application process in 2012.  
Steve DeMar, Secretary and Eileen Klecka, Treasurer were each elected to continue in their positions for the 2018-19 year.
Dan Messersmith elected TRVFA President at Annual Meeting 2018-08-26 07:00:00Z 0
Posted by Linda Fulmore
Congratulations again for being the recipient of a Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona Scholarship! You are receiving this newsletter because we want to keep in touch with you and additionally keep you posted on both the Rotary Vocational Fund and other Arizona Rotary happenings.
A Message from the Board Linda Fulmore 2018-08-24 07:00:00Z 0
Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Club made a $5,000 donation to The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (TRVFA) at their July 19, 2018 regular club meeting.
Shown in the photo (l-r) are Bill Adams, of the Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Club Foundation, Lee Dueringer, TRVFA President, and Jake Duffy, Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Club President.
Donation Received from Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Club Foundation 2018-07-19 07:00:00Z 0
Your Donation Can Help Make a Difference 2018-06-13 07:00:00Z 0
The mission of The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona, Inc. (TRVFA) is to partner with Rotary Clubs to provide assistance to Qualified Candidates in obtaining education, training, and skill development so they may, in turn, attain career oriented employment and financial stability and contribute to their communities.
Our vision is for students go on to become productive citizens in our state. The education they obtain will help them earn a living and raise their families. Because of their increased earning potential they help grow the economy of the state of Arizona.
The Essence of Why We Exist 2018-04-25 07:00:00Z 0
As a recipient of the TRVFA scholarship, I would like to express my deepest appreciation for the program and for all those who made it possible.  Considering my financial situation as a single mother of five children, I knew I needed to go back to school to further my education and improve my job skills in order to support them.  
I applied for sponsorship from the Mesa East Rotary and their President invited me to a lunch meeting and interview.
I am pleased to report that I graduated as Valedictorian from the East Valley Institute of Technology's Licensed Practical Nursing program.  I passed the state LPN board exam and am now a licensed LPN.
Robyn 2018-04-18 07:00:00Z 0
As a wife, and mother of two boys, I always wanted to work in the medical field, but never felt I had the educational requirements.  A friend was taking classes at East Valley Medical College to become a phlebotomist, and suggested I contact them.  The administrator at East Valley Medical College suggested I should check with The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona to see if I qualified for their grant program.  I applied to TRVFA and was directed to find a Rotary Club to sponsor me.
The Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Club invited me to a meeting for an interview.  We had breakfast where I shared my history, and why I wanted to work in the medical field.  Following my interview, they recommended me for a TRVFA grant for my phlebotomy classes at East Valley Medical College, where I graduated.  Now I say I'm a wife, a mommy of two boys, and a hard working woman.  Thanks to TRVFA and Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Club for helping to change my life.
Miriam 2018-04-18 07:00:00Z 0
Efrain is an active member of the National Guard and was employed in the housekeeping department of Banner Health for over two years.  After graduating from Easts Valley Medical College, Efrain was hired as a Phlebotomist by Theranos, a blood testing service operation in Walgreen Pharmacy Clinics throughout the Valley.  He was sponsored for his TRVFA grant by the Phoenix East Rotary Club.  We are extremely proud of Efrain for not only his dedication to our country, but also for his determination to be successful in his education and career.
Efrain 2018-04-18 07:00:00Z 0