Eight Bells: Robin Reynolds

Published on May 22nd, 2016


Robin Reynolds. © Ellen Hoke

The Bay Area Sailing community is grieving the loss of a dearly beloved friend, Robin Rae Reynolds, who passed all too soon on April 18, 2016, from cancer (1962-2016). The irony of her illness is made more profound knowing that Robin spent a good part of her career fundraising for cancer, both with the American Cancer Society, and most recently with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

It was with the LLS that Robin made an enormous impact on the sailing community, both locally and nationally, by taking the nation’s largest sailing fundraising event, The Leukemia Cup, to new heights. Robin worked in a fund-raising capacity for the San Francisco Yacht Club’s Leukemia Cup event from 2007 to 2014, during which time the SFYC became the nation’s highest fundraiser ever for the Leukemia Cup, raising in excess of $6 million during Robin’s energetic tenure.

Due to its success, the SFYC event became – and remains – the model for other Leukemia Cup events nationwide, thanks in large part to Robin’s tireless efforts at organizing, cajoling, cheerleader, and herding of volunteers, skippers – anyone she was able to corral into being part of her effort for others. It was surely difficult to say no to Robin – her charisma and pure delight in being able to serve a higher cause always made one stop to consider, “Why not?”

The cause was always Robin’s focus, her compassion for those suffering from cancer was all-consuming. As much as she cared about her cause, Robin also loved San Francisco Bay and the boating life. As she became more involved in the Leukemia Cup – and the SFYC – she eventually moved her home base to downtown Tiburon within walking distance of the club where she spent many happy hours with great friends.

For a person small in stature, Robin was blessed with a huge personality, a fantastic smile and infectious laugh. If you couldn’t actually see Robin in a room, you’d recognize her laugh and then you’d see a small woman smartly attired in a jaunty cap and snappy scarf, her signature “look”, chatting it up.

She moved seamlessly between people from all stations of life and treated everyone she met with concern, kindness and generosity – she touched the lives of so many people. For the many of her friends who did not get an opportunity to say goodbye to Robin, there will be a memorial service at SFYC on June 5, 2pm, with a spreading of ashes at approximately 3pm, in the vicinity of Belvedere Cove and/or Raccoon Strait. – Michelle Slade

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