BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - We met Holly Reynolds about two years ago when WAFB’s Donna Britt did a story on her and all the work she’s done helping stray animals in our area.
Reynolds is the founder of the Capital Area Animal Welfare Society, or CAAWS.
“The SPCA went out of business and there was no humane society,” Ms. Holly explained to me about starting CAAWS. “And I had started one in St. Tammany Parish. So, you know, I had had that experience. While I didn’t have the connections here that I did in my hometown, I said when I retired a couple of years later and I said I’m going to go to Baton Rouge. We need a Humane Society in our capital. We need one everywhere. So, I came down here thinking I’ll maybe stay six months and see if I can do it. And so … the rest is history.”
That was in the early 70s. Ms. Holly is turning 100 years young in December 2018 and is still as independent as she was at half that age. In fact, Ms. Holly laughingly shared a story with me about being hit by a car two years ago at 98 years old.
"One day, I was walking across Perkins and somebody hit me with their car and I was in the hospital three and a half months!” Ms. Holly said with a chuckle.
WHAT? Walking across Perkins Road? I won’t even do that.
“Ms. Holly, why in the world would you walk across Perkins?” I asked.
“Well,” she began, looking a little embarrassed now. “You know the Subway is over there and they make the most delicious Macadamia cookies.”
Wait a minute.
“So, you walked across the street to get a cookie?”
“Well, I was only one step from the other side!” Ms. Holly almost sounded proud.
Oh, my gosh. And other than walking with a walker now, Ms. Holly seems unaffected by the event.
“My friends were making plans for me to go to a nursing home,” Ms. Holly said, sounding offended. “And I said they’re not going to let me have a dog in a nursing home! So, I’ve got to get back to my apartment. So that was my motivation. And I am back in my apartment!”
Her apartment is the Southside Gardens Retirement Apartments on Perkins at Lee, directly across the five-lanes of Perkins Road from the Subway where she once walked for cookies.
“Oh, I’m not walking across the street for ANYTHING anymore!” Ms. Holly said, sounding quite certain.
Back to why we’re honoring her for her 100th birthday. You see, we were contacted by well known Baton Rouge chef, Chef Celeste, the food services director at Southside Gardens. She overheard what Ms. Holly wanted as a gift for her 100th birthday, so she called Hand It On.
“Well, Ms. Reynolds is going to be 100 years old next month,” Chef Celeste explained. “And the one thing that she wanted for her birthday was for people to buy dog or cat food to give to those who could not afford to buy it for themselves. So, I thought that was so selfless. And I nominated her for Hand It On!”
“Well I’m shocked. I never expected this!” Ms. Holly humbly said as she reluctantly accepted three crisp, new $100 bills.
Ms. Holly has been in contact with a pastor who deals with some of the less fortunate in our community who have pets. She is donating her money to him to purchase pet food for those families.
Happy Birthday, Ms. Holly Reynolds. And many, many more!
To nominate someone for Hand It On, just send your nomination to HandItOn@wafb.com.
Make sure to include your contact information, especially your phone number.