by KELLEY GUSICH | photos by Soul of Photography

Taste of Community

volunteer_reynolds2A University of California San Diego graduate, Lauren Reynolds was Miss San Diego in 1993 and went on to enjoy a 17-year career as a television news journalist. Married for 20 years to Brian Connelly, they have two sons at Cathedral Catholic. Her mother died of cancer at only 58, and what Lauren learned about home care during that time inspired her to open her own home health care business. She was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year from the San Diego Chamber of Commerce for a customer-and-employee-centered philosophy, and a high moral and business integrity and ethics. “Although young in the business, we had been very successful, with loyal employees and positive reviews,” she said. “It was a great year!”

With the new career, Lauren wanted to become more involved in the local business community. She joined the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary Club five years ago, and really liked the idea of meeting weekly for lunches and getting to know people while performing community service. Lauren feels Rotarians are energetic and dynamic, and they love a good party. “It’s like an extended family,” she explained, “fun people who care about each other and work hard for the common good.” Their annual event is Taste of Rancho Santa Fe, an annual fall wine and food festival held in the heart of RSF, which raises approximately $100,000 for local nonprofit beneficiaries. Lauren was this year’s Taste of Rancho Santa Fe chair.

Name: Lauren Reynolds
Community: Rancho Santa Fe
Profession: Owner/Founder – At Home Nursing Care
Hobbies & Interests: Love dancing, cooking, baseball, football
Favorite Places in Rancho Santa Fe: Walking trail, the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, 067 Eatery

Name of Organization: Rancho Santa Fe Rotary Club – Taste of Rancho Santa Fe
Mission: Service Above Self

volunteer_reynolds3“My husband told me I was crazy to be the chair!” Lauren laughed. It’s a heavy volunteer workload, about 16 to 20 hours per week year-round, with responsibilities including managing software programs, ticket sales, soliciting major donors, sponsors, auction items, and more. This year’s Rotary President Luis Carranza agreed to co-chair. “We’ve only threatened (jokingly) to quit a few times.” They chose Steven Ybarra as entertainment, plus amazing auction items and wineries from across California. Rotarians hold other programs throughout the year, plus happy hour events in The Ranch where potential members can see how fun Rotary can be. As with all volunteer organizations, it is a core group of people handling the workload, for whom Lauren is so grateful. Instead of a societal emphasis on what ‘we’ want or ‘we’ need, volunteerism shifts the outlook. “But service big or small, to better the world or just improve someone’s day,” Lauren confirmed, “is far more fulfilling and helps to keep disappointments or stress in perspective.”