by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photo by Zeena Gregg Photography

Leading a Meaningful Life

From a young age Sue Herndon was taught to help others. Inspired by her mother who “exemplified giving back,” Sue has successfully led a meaningful life through volunteering for organizations that help the special needs community. “My focus after years of PTA, Chamber of Commerce, and Palomar/Pomerado hospital support is now on our special needs community and bringing meaningful programs to children and adults who are less fortunate,” explained Sue. “Becoming involved with special organizations is so appreciated and makes such a difference in the lives of so many.”

64_volunteer02One way she is making a difference is through her work with the Toby Wells Foundation – a nonprofit organization that benefits children, disabled persons, and animals – for which Sue has been a board member for the past fourteen years. “As a long-time friend of the Wells family, I have deeply enjoyed raising funds to support its mission,” shared Sue. “The acquisition of the land and development of Blue Apple Ranch is the biggest accomplishment of the Toby Wells Foundation,” she added. “The evolution of the ranch by the rescuing of horses and using them to develop programs that ultimately affect the growth and educational enhancement of disenfranchised youth and young adults is magical.”

But her work to help those with special needs extends beyond the Toby Wells Foundation. Sue is also the Fundraising Chair for Jack-O-Smash – an event that benefits persons with disabilities. “In November of 2014 the Jack-O-Smash group made a huge difference, through a 5K, 1K, and Family Festival, to bring attention to our special needs community,” said Sue. “Next year we look forward to an even bigger race and event.”

Sue is also Chair of the Poway City Host Committee for Special Olympians, with an event set to take place this July. “We will have ongoing fundraising events to bring our community opportunities to support this magnificent event,” noted Sue.

Aside from her volunteer work, Sue is a business owner. She has three grown children (triplets!) – a son, who is her partner in business, and two daughters, who both teach for the Poway Unified School District. She is also “Nana” to six grandchildren.

As for her future volunteer plans, Sue replied, “My future commitment is my mission to build housing and a center for special needs adults to foster and encourage their continued development and the ability to live meaningful lives in our community.”

Name: Sue Herndon
Community: Poway
Volunteer Affiliation: Toby Wells Foundation Board Member, Palomar Health Foundation Board Member, City of Poway Host Committee for Special Olympics Chair, Jack-O-Smash Fundraising Chair, Next Stage U Committee Member
Profession: Real Estate Agent, Herndon & Herndon, Keller Williams Realty
Family: Triplets – two daughters (teaching in Poway Unified School District), one son (business partner)
Interests: Continuing to lead a meaningful life and giving back to community and family