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A Toast to Success! Casa Romantica’s Annual Fundraiser Gala Raises $240,000 Towards Annual Goal

The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Culture OC. The information provided has been written by the submitting organization and not by the writers at Culture OC. We include this on our site in the spirit of sharing information about the arts and culture community in Orange County.


From right to left: Jacqui Groseth, Executive Director, Resource Development and Administration, Kylie Travis Executive Director, Operations and Programming, Haley Ingham, Programs & Operations Manager, and Debbie Everroad, Accountant. Photo Credit, Xuong Do, Happy Photos

Donated Funds From Past Month Allow Beloved Cultural Center to Offer Cultural Programming, Children’s Education, and More

San Clemente’s premiere cultural destination, Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, is pleased to announce the success of its annual fundraising gala, Toast to the Casa. The event raised over $240,000 for Casa Romantica’s rebuilding efforts and brought together a community of art lovers and cultural enthusiasts. In addition to the funds raised at Toast to the Casa, a total of nearly $90,000 has been donated to the Building Hope, Preserving History campaign in September from various charitable efforts, including Cards for the Casa, Dine-in-Days, Fill Ups at Valero Gas Station, and individual contributions.

“We want to thank the community and the Casino San Clemente for a wonderful evening of connecting and giving back. It meant so much to us in a year of hardship to come together and celebrate all that Casa Romantica means to the community,” Kylie Travis, Casa Romantica, Executive Director of Operations and Programming shared. “Thanks to the generosity shown, we are able to continue Casa Romantica’s mission to serve Southern California by delivering diverse cultural programming, arts education, and more.”

Toast to the Casa, held this past Saturday, raised over $240,000, highlighting the importance of the annual event. The gala featured a breathtaking performance by headliner Lizzy & the Triggermen, food and drinks from over 25 vendors from across Southern California, and an electrifying live auction. Along with the philanthropic community of San Clemente, Mayor Chris Duncan was also in attendance with his wife. The highlight of the evening saw James Irvine Swinden, Toast to Casa’s 2023 Honoree, was the winning bidder for a painting by award-winning artist, Rick J. Delanty, then immediately donated it to Casa Romantica’s permanent collection during the live auction.

“We are so grateful to Mr. Irvine Swinden for his thoughtful donation to Casa Romantica, and we appreciate him joining Toast to the Casa as the 2023 Honoree,” Travis continued. “The Irvine Swinden family has done so much to help Casa Romantica, and we are thrilled to continue this long standing partnership.”

In addition to the tremendous generosity displayed at Toast to the Casa, Cards For The Casa, a charity poker tournament underwritten and hosted by the nonprofit organization, STRUT CARES, raised $50,000 in support. STRUT CARES presented the check for $50,000 to Casa Romantica in an official ceremony at the historic grounds on September 21st.

Throughout the summer, Southern California businesses partnered with Casa Romantica for “Dine in Days''. Local partners including California Pizza Kitchen in Laguna Niguel, Sundried Tomato Bistro in San Juan, Inka Mama's, Chipotle, Jimmy John’s, Rocco’s Restaurant, and the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce, who donate a portion of their proceeds to the cultural center. Valero Gas Station, another San Clemente business, hosted gas fill-ups and donated 1 cent per gallon of all gas sales. Together, over $8,000 was raised through the community’s support.

Funds raised at Cards for the Casa, Toast to the Casa, and other charitable efforts, totaling nearly $330,000 of a year-long goal of raising $750,000 by June 30, 2024. These funds will assist Casa Romantica in restoring and preserving its major performance spaces, gardens, and more. In addition, funds will allow the culture center to continue its mission to deliver diverse arts education, cultural programming, and music classes to Southern California.

From free family activities, art exhibitions, live music, coffee concerts, dance classes, art workshops, and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Casa Romantica. For a complete list of Casa Romantica’s events, more information, or to purchase tickets, visit and follow on social media at @CasaRomanticaSC.


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