Spirit of Del Mar spreads to corners of the Earth through Rotarian service

By Emily Figueiredo, publicity chair for the Del Mar Rotary Club

With a stunning coastline, amazing shops and restaurants, unbeatable weather and a wonderful sense of community, why would anyone ever want to travel away from Del Mar? For the members of the Rotary Club of Del Mar, the answer is simple: to serve others. While worn-torn countries and impoverished communities might not be an ideal vacation spot, these are the sites of opportunities to change lives in ways that we take for granted in San Diego County. They can also be home to open hearts and eager spirits welcoming us into their houses and way of life.

Del Mar Rotarian and Past Club President Dr. Janice Kurth is currently on a Rotary Group Study Exchange Trip to Kenya to serve various villages through healthcare, environmental needs and education. Janice first traveled to Kenya in 2010 with five other medical professionals from San Diego and together the team made over 30 cultural and site visits, attended social events, presented to 10 Rotary Clubs and stayed at local Rotarian’s homes while traveling to each village throughout the country.

Philippe Lamoise presented to his fellow Del Mar Rotarians about his continued work in Africa, as well. He is working with the Rotary Adopt-a-Village program to extend long-term support to Nkondo, Uganda in the forms of disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education, literacy and economic and community development. On his most recent trip to Nkondo (one of 12 visits he has made to Africa) Philippe’s team was able to save the life of a young girl by offering $1.50 worth of medication and treatment for a fungal infection on her arm.

Peggy Martin is another Del Mar Rotarian that has recently put her stamp across the globe, and did so quite literally. Along with Rotarians from the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club and the La Mesa Noon Rotary Club, Peggy has worked with the development and construction of a sanitation system for the Sankalp School in India. She visited the project which has been constructed and a plaque shines with the individual advocates’ names and the Rotary Club of Del Mar. The club contributed $1,000 toward the total $4,000 needed to make this project a reality, and the girls are now able to have running water and proper hygiene. This means they can stay in school past the 6th grade and into high school to receive the education they need to become independent and successful.

Other members of our club that have served abroad and extended the Del Mar Rotary Family recently include Dr. Ed Siegal, Kim Guevarra-Harris, Roger Kingston and Larry King, who have visited Djibouti and Zanzibar, Afghanistan, Kenya and Mexico respectively.

Please join our local and international efforts to put “Service Above Self” by visiting us for a meeting. We meet each Thursday at noon at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Del Mar. More information at