RANCHO SANTA FE — Two Rancho Santa Fe residents, Fernanda Whitworth and Jennifer Gramins, put their hearts and souls into planning the annual ROMP gala benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego, and Oct. 5 everything came perfectly together raising $690,000 for the organization.
The event took place at a private estate in Rancho Santa Fe with a theme of “A Night at the Copacabana.”
Families with critically ill or injured children may find a “home away from home” at San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House during their child’s hospitalization, thanks to the generosity of attendees at the gala.
“Our event Chairwoman Fernanda Whitworth and Co-chairwoman Jennifer Gramins went above and beyond the call of duty this year to create an unforgettable night for our attendees and help raise much needed funds to allow our organization to offer lodging, meals and other supportive services to families with hospitalized children,” said Chuck Day, president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego.
Notable philanthropists and supporters of San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House gathered for dinner, cocktails, celebrity entertainment, and live and silent auctions plus Emmy-nominated choreographer, dancer and recording artist Mark Ballas from “Dancing with the Stars.”
The highlight of the evening was the live auction, which featured 10 excursions and experiences. The chance to be at the starting line of the Indianapolis 500, including suite tickets and pit passes, sold for $60,000. Front row seats to Yigal Azrouël’s New York Fashion Week sold twice thanks to the generosity of the auction item donors Yigal Azrouël, and David and Miriam Smotrich.
Also in attendance as volunteers were members of the Unites States Marine Corps and Navy. They were greeted by Gen. and Mrs. Daniel Yoo, who were special guests that evening.