June 10th Speaker Mary Schanz, Ironwood Pig Sanctuary
Mary is the President and co-founder of the Ironwood Pig Sanctuary. She has a BS Medical Technology from Ohio State, worked in the healthcare profession for 20 years, and became involved in the animal rights movement in Arizona. The Ironwood Pig Sanctuary was opened in June, 2001 with the purchase of the current property in Marana. The Sanctuary is dedicated to eliminating the suffering of pot-bellied pigs in Arizona and surrounding states by promoting spaying and neutering, assisting owners and other sanctuaries, and providing a permanent home in a safe, nurturing environment for those that are abandoned, abused, neglected, or unwanted. It currently provides sanctuary for more than 600 animals. Sadly, the demand for rescue has grown worse than ever, with 2-5 requests being received daily for rescue. The number of adoptions are relatively minimal, but when adoptions do occur they are allowed only in pairs as they are herd animals. Pot-bellied pigs are vegetarians, eat pellets, hay, fruits, and vegetables and can grow as large as 120 to 260 pounds.  They have an average lifespan of 15 to 18 years and naturally are outdoor animals. The Ironwood Pig Sanctuary has an annual budget of $ 2.2 MM, has 30 full-time employees, and 5-6 part-time employees. This non-profit organization is funded almost exclusively by donors. Unfortunately, there is not yet any legislation to stop breeders from importing these animals into the US, profiting $ thousands per animal, and selling them as a “fad” to those not having done enough research to fully understand the care that will be required.
June 3rd Speaker Rex Scott, District One Pima County Supervisor
Rex Scott is the newly elected District One Pima County Supervisor, elected in November, 2020 and started his new role in January, 2021. In this role, he is part of a five person board representing Pima County, part of the Executive & Legislative branches of the Pima County Government and having a budget of $2.2 BB next year. He has been married 27 years and retired as a career educator in July 2019, where he held numerous roles including assistant principal and principal. He also was a city councilman in Ohio. Rex spoke to the club about transitioning into his new role and some of his initial activities & current areas of focus. Much of his focus since taking office has been on constituent service and so far he has been working with the Health Department, Parks & Recreation, Development Services, and Transportation. He spoke about numerous key issues including roads, education, the Tucson Water rate increase request, Pima County development, and other items. Club members asked several questions about the roads, duplication of services between PIMA county and Tucson, and the rehiring of the County Administrator by the Supervisors.
May 20th Speaker Dennis Bergquist, Projects in Mwongeti, Kenya
Dennis Bergquist is an exemplary Rotarian from the Valle Verde Rotary Club and head of the Bergquist Foundation. Dennis presented a slide show highlighting the amazing accomplishments of “Rotary at Work”, the Bergquist Foundation, multiple District and Global Grants, and large donations to complete numerous projects in Mwongeti, Kenya. These include numerous infrastructure items and capabilities: Mwongeti’s Primary school, classrooms, a library (with 1600 books from Tucson), latrine, electricity, posho mill, Mwongeti’s Medical Clinic, water harvesting capabilities, improvements to village hygiene, a well with a solar powered water pumping system (supporting 6,000 residents), additional water kiosks, a village sign, and training to manage & maintain many capabilities.  Also, enhancements to the Mwongeti Medical Clinic included:  exam tables, a placenta pit & waste incinerator, generator, oxygen tank, vaccine refrigerator, pre-natal basic needs, birthing delivery table, lab, pharmacy, clinic security wall, reception room, health department licensure, maternal & child health improvements, ultrasound & Doppler equipment, a pediatric & men’s ward. These amazing accomplishments illustrate perfectly what it means to “Dare to Dream”.
May 13th Speaker Mark Johnson, The Tortolita Alliance
Mark Johnson has extensive experience working on environmental issues, 40 years with water utilities, has constructed $ 3 BB in water resource infrastructure, has a BS Civil Engineering and is a Professional Engineer, has presented numerous papers and is the Tortolita Alliance newsletter author. He was appointed to the Marana Utilities Board in 2021 and is the President of the Tortolita Alliance. Mark highlighted numerous topics including: water basics, surface & ground water, Arizona Water laws, Federal Water Rights, and direct & indirect recharge. He also educated us about the 1980 Groundwater Management Act, the 1986 & 1994 acts on water storage, the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District, the Arizona Water Banking Authority, the Central Arizona Project (CAP) Canal, and the Tucson Active Management Areas. A number of interesting facts were highlighted during his presentation: 36 percent of the water for Arizona comes from the Colorado River. Lake Mead is currently at 38% capacity and the overall water storage is currently at 43% capacity. 58 percent of Arizona is in exceptional drought, while 95 percent of Arizona is in severe drought. A 3.2 MM acre feet water imbalance is projected. There has been no expansion of agricultural water use. More information is available on a blog series titled: “Know Your H2O” and www.tortolitaalliance.com.