Man’s Best Friend…And a Rotarian

Don Fipps Red BadgeBy Emily Figueiredo, publicity Chair

Rotarians bring their various vocational titles with them as they join the club.

In a club meeting you may sit next to a corporate banker, interior designer, CFO, marketing director and a physician. But now the Del Mar Rotarians have a much more unique title to welcome at their tables: Assistance Dog.

In February, Don Fipps and his canine companion in training, Jenga (right), were inducted into the Del Mar Rotary Club with their red badges. Don has been a Rotarian since 2004 in other cities, but has recently moved from the Sacramento area to take a job with San Diego Health System as a Laboratory Manager overseeing transfusions and transplantations.

Along with serving in Rotary, a passion for Don and his wife Donna is to volunteer for Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit organization dedicated to training and providing assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities, free of charge. Jenga is a nine-month-old puppy in training for this valuable opportunity. She will be trained by the Fipps family until she is 18 months old, then entered into an intensive training with Canine Companions after which she will hopefully be matched with a child or adult with special needs.

Sondra Thiederman from Canine Companions will make a presentation about the organization to the Del Mar Rotary Club on March 28.

Rotary InternationalJenga went through the new member induction ceremony and received her red badge with a warm welcome to attend weekly Rotary meetings along with Don, of course.

To meet Don, Jenga and the rest of the Del Mar Rotarians, please join us for a meeting on Thursdays at noon at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

More information can be found at