The Country Friends to present ‘Havana Night’


The Country Friends presents “Havana Night,” the 2nd Annual “Giving Hearts” Dinner & Dance on Feb. 16, from 6-10 p.m., at the Fairbanks Ranch Country Club. This year’s festivities feature Cuban-themed entertainment, a Latin-inspired menu, and salsa dancing. Co-chairs are Lauren Reynolds and Luis Carranza, with 10 News anchor Steve Atkinson serving as emcee.

The gala honors charities chosen by The Country Friends Board of Directors for funding in 2019 after careful vetting through extensive site visits, interviews, and questionnaires. “Our ‘Giving Hearts’ gala is a tribute to the many nonprofits that have helped thousands of San Diegans in need over the past year,” says Suzanne Newman, president of The Country Friends. “It is our way of honoring them for their hard work and dedication, compassion and commitment. These agencies represent the true heart of our community.”

Co-chair Lauren Reynolds

The evening begins with champagne, tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, and a photo lounge from Pro Motion Entertainment, followed by a three-course dinner with fine wines. Highlight of “Havana Night” is a special performance by Omo Aché, an organization dedicated to presenting, preserving, and promoting Cuba’s rich cultural heritage through dance and music performances, classes, and events. The San Diego-based company was founded by Havana’s Master Afro-Cuban Artist Juan Carlos Blanco in 1998. Adding to the festivities is an exhibit by D’Marco, a photographer who captures day-to-day life in Cuba and a glimpse into its history. The event concludes with dessert and salsa dancing on the Sunset Terrace with DJ Brandon Watterson.

An opportunity drawing features such prizes as a two-night stay at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club with a $200 gift certificate to the Marine Room, a one-night stay at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe and breakfast for two at Morada Restaurant, rounds of golf at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club and Shadowridge Golf Club, a bourbon-and-cigar package, a large tote and $1,000 gift certificate from Max Mara South Coast Plaza, four tickets to the 2019 Taste of Rancho Santa Fe, and more.

Co-chair Luis Carranza

Event sponsors include Annterese Toth and Jennifer Perkinson of Merrill Lynch, Les and Deborah Cross (The Country Friends’ immediate past president and now first vice president) and At Home Nursing Care, founded by event co-chair Lauren Reynolds. Proceeds from the evening will benefit The Country Friends Legacy Campaign to ensure giving for many years to come.

For more information about the event or special accommodations, please contact The Country Friends at (858)756-1192 Ext. 4, or Please RSVP by Feb. 9.