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ROMP Gala benefits Ronald McDonald House charities of San Diego

Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego’s ROMP Aloha gala brings together philanthropists for a Polynesian-inspired evening at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar on Sept. 30 to raise funds for a serious cause – keeping families close to one another and the care they need during a child’s medical crisis.

San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House provides a range of services – including lodging, meals and emotional support – to families with a critically ill or injured child in a local hospital, regardless of their ability to pay. Families come from within San Diego County and from far-away places seeking care from this region’s premier pediatric medical facilities.

Leslie Mannes, Jamie Straza, Carrie Campbell
Leslie Mannes, Jamie Straza, Carrie Campbell (Courtesy)

On average, Pacific Islander families occupy 10 percent of San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House overnight suites. While these families are far from home, they receive the care, support and comfort from the Ronald McDonald House during their time of need. ROMP Aloha will raise funds to support these families and all 15,000 family members who use the charity’s services annually, because ‘ohana (family) is everything when caring for a hospitalized child.

“Our signature ROMP gala was founded to bring the Ronald McDonald House, our supporters and the families we serve together for an enjoyable evening that benefits a very serious and important cause,” said Chuck Day, president and CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego. “ROMP Aloha will bring us together for a great party as we rally to support ‘ohana.”

Due to their generous support of the Ronald McDonald House, Scott and Susan Salka have been named as honorary chairs of ROMP Aloha. Additionally, locals Carrie Campbell, Leslie Mannes and Jamie Straza sit on the ROMP 2017 executive committee for the second time, and each individual brings a unique connection to their role in leading this year’s ROMP gala. AMN Healthcare is the title sponsor of the 2017 event.

“There is perhaps no cause more important to my heart than caring for children and families during a crisis,” said Susan Salka, president and CEO of AMN Healthcare and honorary chair of the 2017 ROMP gala. “We are fortunate to call San Diego home and have so many premier children’s medical centers in our community. I am grateful to be able to support the wonderful work of the Ronald McDonald House in providing a ‘home away from home’ for families in need.”

Susan and Scott Salka are two dedicated, generous, and delightful friends of San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House and are serving as Honorary Chairs of ROMP Aloha. Susan Salka is president and CEO of AMN Healthcare Services. Under her leadership, AMN has become known as the innovator in healthcare workforce solutions and the largest and most diversified healthcare staffing company in the nation. Scott Salka is a biotech executive and entrepreneur and has co-founded and led a number of successful life sciences companies. Together, they’re a dynamic duo that brings life and passion to their charitable causes. The Salkas live in Rancho Santa Fe.

Jamie Straza and her husband Joey have been involved with San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House for more than seven years. She is currently a member of the organization’s development committee and has served as a trustee and leader in the foundation of the charity’s annual giving program, The Giving Circles. Straza is an owner/operator of several McDonald’s restaurants in San Diego County and serves as president of San Diego County McDonald’s Owner/Operator Association. She, her husband and three children live in Rancho Santa Fe.

The island-themed event will feature traditional Pacific Island dancers and entertainment, live music from local band The Mighty Untouchables, a cocktail hour, gourmet dinner and a lei garden where attendees can purchase a floral lei to wear for the evening Proceeds from the lei garden will help fill welcome bags for overnight guests staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

Live auction packages include exclusive Mexico vacations, a trip to The French Laundry in Napa on a luxury private jet, and a Hawaiian getaway.

Tickets, sponsorships and more information are available at www.rompsd.org.

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