OCEANSIDE — Before they could even sell tickets, Tri-City Hospital Foundation’s 40th annual “Starlight Serenade” gala was already sold out.
The hospital’s annual fundraiser has earned about $3 million prior to the Oct. 23 outdoor event at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, according to Dr. Nina Chaya, chair of the gala, and Jennifer Paroly, president of the Tri-City Hospital Foundation.
Grammy-award-winning musician Seal will be headlining the event that includes both silent and live auctions available to the public through an online portal.
The goal is to raise more than $4.5 million to renovate the hospital’s emergency department, Chaya and Paroly said.
“We’re super, super, super excited that Seal agreed to perform at the event,” Chaya said. “The Seal part was the hook, line and sinker. The foundation has done some amazing work in fundraising and it’s absolutely necessary to help with patient care and even refreshing the way things look.”
Since the gala started in 2013, coupled with the foundation’s fundraising efforts, Chaya said the money has led to remodels for labor and delivery, secured a 3D mammogram machine and refurbished the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), to name a few.
Chaya and Paroly said this year’s focus on the emergency department is critical to assist patients, get them treated quicker, along with other components.
Chiya said the foundation received several large donations including $1.2 million from the David C. Copley Foundation through a matching grant and $1 million from the Conrad Prebys Foundation.
“Everyone is coming together to do their part to make our community and world a better place,” Paroly said. “I think it’s another example of people wanting to celebrate and to start to move about in the world and be part of the emergency department remodel.”
The event is being held outdoors with the goal of providing a safe environment for more than 500 guests, Chaya said.
“Every year, it’s just a wonderful time,” Chaya said. “It’s always a great time for people to connect on a more relaxed level, meanwhile fundraising for a good cause.”
As for the remodel, Paroly said the goal is to break ground after Jan. 1, 2022, with an estimated completion date at the end of 2022.
Paroly said since regional emergency rooms have become more congested, and not just at Tri-City, the redesign will help both patients and staff. Additionally, the main entrance and waiting areas will be redone with new, ambient lighting and decor. The triage area will also be renovated.
“When you have a triage area that is workable and efficient, you have a nurse or doctor look at them immediately,” she added. “That also helps with outcomes and the health and safety of the patients. It also helps move everyone through in an expedited way.”