Ronald McDonald House’s More Than a Meal Campaign Raises $1.5 Million
Plus the Business Hall of Fame’s four new members, the Bar Foundation raises money for legal aid, and a $350,000 boost for Miracle Babies
Chuck Day, Jennifer Harter, Leslie Mannes, Fernanda Whitworth, Julie Straza, Jamie Straza, and Joey Straza at the Ronald McDonald House’s ROMP gala | Photo by Bob Ross Photography
Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego’s 1920s-themed ROMP gala’s more than 400 guests celebrated the launch of the nonprofit’s More than a Meal campaign at the Pendry Hotel Sept. 29. Early donations earmarked for the More Than a Meal initiative to feed the families of hospitalized children along with the proceeds from the speakeasy supper club event—altogether over $1.5 million—will go toward renovating and expanding Ronald McDonald House’s kitchen and dining facilities.
“Between hospital rooms, doctor’s appointments, family needs, and financial worries, parents and caregivers often leave little room to care for themselves or to plan their next meal—this is where the Ronald McDonald House steps in,” said Honorary Chair Jamie Straza.
Four notable San Diegans were inducted into Junior Achievement of San Diego County’s San Diego Business Hall of Fame as Lifetime Laureates. Karl Strauss CEO and cofounder Chris Cramer, National University System Chancellor Dr. Michael R. Cunningham, and the owners of San Diego Car Care and RV Solutions, Inc., Jane and Tom Fetter, were recognized at the event at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar Oct. 25. About 280 guests attended JA’s signature event, which brought in funds that will help support its 1 Millionth Student campaign’s goal of reaching 20 percent of the San Diego student population by 2020.
“The financial support will prepare our San Diego students for career and financial success and present them with real-life opportunities to connect with our local business community,”said Karolyn Dale, vice president of development at JA of San Diego County.
The San Diego County Bar Foundation’s 21st annual An Evening in La Jolla benefit brought in more than $130,000 for organizations that help at-risk populations, such as victims of domestic violence, immigrants seeking political asylum, and foster kids, access legal services. About 350 members of the local legal and business communities attended the event Oct. 6 at the La Valencia Hotel. Attorney Brian Funk was recognized for his work with the Indigent Criminal Defense Fund and public relations pro Jean Walcher for leading the foundation’s communications and development committee and providing pro bono PR services.
Miracle Babies hosted its ninth annual gala at the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa Oct. 20. The Minuit à Versailles-themed event raised nearly $350,000 to support families with babies in neonatal intensive care units. In the past year, Miracle Babies has provided direct financial assistance to roughly 700 families and supportive services to over 2,500.