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Fundraiser benefits Rady Children’s Cancer Center

On Feb. 21, the women of the Rancho Santa Fe Hospital Auxiliary Unit held their annual fundraiser to benefit Rady Children’s Cancer Care Center.

Though not expected to equal the $1.7 million raised at last year’s event featuring a performance by Jay Leno, this year’s gala - held at the Grand Del Mar - with comedian Frank Caliendo was nonetheless an unqualified success.

“We’re hoping to raise a million dollar this evening,” said chairwoman and Rancho Santa Fe resident Cindy Leonard. “It is so exciting to be here at the Grand Del Mar to put on such a professional event with the help of our sponsors. And (it’s) so important for all of the children who need it now more than ever.”

The sold-out event was sponsored by McCain, Inc., Relational Investors, Essrig Taylor Construction, the Simon Strauss Foundation among others.

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The festivities included cocktails and appetizers with a silent auction, dinner and live auction, a one-hour performance by Caliendo and dessert and dancing until midnight.

Organizers said proceeds from the evening’s silent auction will directly fund the cost of chemotherapy treatments. Last year, the hospital had more than 7,000 chemotherapy visits and most of those visits were not completely covered by health insurance.

The Rancho Santa Fe Auxiliary Unit began in 1960 as the San Dieguito Unit. Today it has 66 active and 96 supporting members committed to supporting health care for children in San Diego.

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