Rady gala heads to Mexico with 'Mystic Nights'

The Rancho Santa Fe Unit of Rady Children's Hospital Auxiliary is hosting its first-ever destination gala with "Mystic Nights" — two nights at an all-inclusive resort, including a Saturday gala at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico on Oct. 28-30.

"Mystic Nights" will benefit Rady Children's Hospital's Institute for Genomic Medicine.

"This is something that has not been done before in San Diego," said co-chair Charo Garcia-Guerra, who is planning the event with Sandra den Uijl. "We wanted to do something different and offer patrons that support the hospital a different experience while helping out a great cause."

Rady is home to the leading pediatric Genomics Institute in the world. At Rady, Dr. Stephen Kingsmore's groundbreaking pediatric research is working to transform the diagnosis and treatment of childhood diseases. The institute aims to develop an integrated approach to personalized medicine and provide a comprehensive view of a child's health status and risk factors for disease.

Garcia and den Ujil said they are passionate about raising funds for Rady and for genomics, and know they are fortunate to have never lost a child or had a child that was sick.

"We do it because it's something we believe in," said Garcia, who noted that she couldn't be more grateful for the health of her new grandchild. "If you really want to help children, genomics is about helping to find cures before the child is even in your arms. Nothing matters more than a child's health."

"It's our way of giving back because we're grateful," den Uijl said. "We couldn't be more blessed and we want to be able to help others who really need it."

The destination weekend includes an all-inclusive package at the luxury, five-star Mexican resort with a beach-side welcome party on Friday night as well as the Saturday gala where guests are encouraged to wear all white. The gala promises to be "mystical and whimsical," transporting guests to a forest of monarch butterflies. In a custom-made show, butterflies will appear on the walls and on people's clothing.

"It will be a magnificent experience," promises den Uijl.

Space is limited to 200 people. Mystic Nights tickets are $3,000 (for two people, $1,700 for one) until Sept. 10 (not including airfare) and the price will raise twice before registration closes on Oct. 24.

For more information, visit ranchosantafe-rady.org or mysticnightsgala.com.

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