ROMP Gala led by Rancho Santa Fe philanthropists


Families experiencing a medical crisis will continue to get much-needed support from San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House thanks to generous contributions amounting to $525,000 raised at the sixth annual ROMP gala Oct. 3.

The event featured musical entertainment by David Cook, gourmet food by Estancia La Jolla and a live auction that sent bidders into a frenzy. The most popular live auction items of the night were the trip to Napa with a private jet and dinner for six at The French Laundry, and a five-night Cabo San Lucas Retreat staying at a beachfront, 12,000 sq. ft. home. Hoehn Motors Carlsbad donated a 2016 Porsche Cayman or $50,000 cash, winner’s choice, for the charity’s car raffle. The winner, George Serlovsky was announced at the ROMP, sparking another event highlight.

This year’s ROMP gala was co-chaired by artistic visionaries Steve and Rex Romande of Rancho Santa Fe, and included the theme “A Moment in Buenos Aires.” The Estancia La Jolla was transformed into an Argentinian dream for the event, which was attended by more than 300 guests.

Steve and Rex Romande’s history with the Ronald McDonald House dates back to when they welcomed their daughter Kingsley, now 5 years old, into their lives and had to rely on the House for its services.

“The Ronald McDonald House was there for us when we needed help, allowing us peace of mind,” said Steve Romande.

Shortly after their personal experience with the Ronald McDonald House, close friend Mary Drake founded the first ever ROMP gala. Steve and Rex have been involved with the charity ever since.

“We’re thrilled to bring our family, friends and community together to raise essential support for this charity that once gave us so much,” said Rex Romande. “For us, the Ronald McDonald House really is all about family.”

“We are forever grateful for the efforts of Steve, Rex, the Hoehns and everyone else who made this year’s fundraiser a tremendous success,” said Chuck Day, president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego. “This annual event continues to grow, offering new opportunities for us to meet the needs of 14,000 family members who rely on us each year, including daytime guests and overnight guests staying for weeks at a time as they face long-term medical challenges.”

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Photos by Boyd Harris Photography.