Rancho Santa Fe residents to help lead gala to benefit Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego’s annual ROMP gala brings together supporters and philanthropists for a fun-filled, 1980s “House Party” at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar on Oct. 29, with a focus on a serious cause – keeping families together.

The annual gala will feature musical entertainment, gourmet food and a live auction to raise funds for San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House. The charity helps keep families close to one another and the care they need while their child is undergoing treatment at local hospitals for serious, often life-threatening conditions. Services and amenities include meals, overnight rooms, nap rooms, laundry facilities, child care programs and more to alleviate stress and financial burden, while keeping families close to their loved ones.

“The Ronald McDonald House’s signature ROMP gala began seven years ago to bring our supporters, our House and the families we serve together for a playful evening that benefits a very serious cause,” said Chuck Day, president and CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego. “This year’s ROMP – in classic ‘80s style – will bring us together again for a great party as we rally to support our Ronald McDonald House and the families in our care.”

The ‘80s-themed event will feature acrobatic bartenders, live music from local band The Mighty Untouchables, break-dancers and other “House Party” entertainment. Live auction items include a Ferris Bueller Chicago Getaway – with airfare, hotel, comedy show, architectural tour and more – and a Girls Just Wanna Have Fun shopping experience, among other luxury items.

Carrie Campbell, Leslie Mannes, Jamie Straza and Fernanda Whitworth sit on the ROMP 2016 executive committee, and each individual brings a unique connection to their role in leading this year’s ROMP gala.

Jamie Straza and her husband, Joey, have been involved with San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House for over six 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.

Rancho Santa Fe residents Fernanda “Fé” Whitworth and her husband, Ralph, have been generous supporters of the House since 2010. Whitworth has chaired two successful ROMP galas and is deeply committed to caring for families with children in medical crisis. Her first year as ROMP chair helped put ROMP on the map as one of the county’s premier charitable fundraising events. Whitworth looks forward to making this year’s ROMP a financial success for the House and enjoying a fun-filled evening with her friends.

(Note: Ralph Whitworth, 60, died Sept. 29 at a local hospital of complications from cancer. Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego would like to extend its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Ralph Whitworth, most especially to his wife Fernanda Whitworth, and their children. Ralph’s legacy of generosity to not only our House, but to the San Diego community, will not be forgotten. He and Fernanda have always gone above and beyond to support our cause of keeping families close.)

Tickets, sponsorships and more information about San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House are available at

Sponsors include AMN Healthcare, Balfour Beatty Construction, Elisa and Richard Jaime, Mary and Hudson Drake, Nancy Browar, North Island Credit Union, Southern California McDonald’s, Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, Schubach Aviation, Signature Flight Support, The Straza Family, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, and Wells Fargo.