The Coast News Group
Oceanside Theatre Company honors Kathy Brombacher with the Lifetime Theatre Achievement Award. From left to right: TJ Johnson, Kathy Brombacher, Julie and Jay Sarno. Photo courtesy of Trenton Badillo.

Oceanside Theatre Co. gala receives ‘unprecedented’ support

OCEANSIDE —  Nearly 300 people attended Oceanside Theatre Company’s first annual fundraiser since 2019 at The Seabird Resort, raising over $130,000 for the company’s music series, mainstage productions, youth education and outreach programs.

The Sept. 16 gala had 275 guests in attendance, including long-time supporters Jay and Julie Sarno as the event’s honorary chairs, who presented the Lifetime Theatre Achievement Award to Kathy Brombacher on behalf of OTC, the resident theatre company of the historic Sunshine Brooks Theater

Brombacher felt honored by the award.

“Thank you so much for this enormous and appreciated honor,” she said. “The memories will be carried with me always, and the friends who responded to the event were so lovely… We’re all proud to have been part of such a successful event.”

Performances included Bets Malone, Rudy Martinez, Heather Megill and OTC’s Youth Outreach actors, while the Gary Banks Trio and singer Deja Fields provided ambient music throughout the event. Funds to support OTC’s mission were raised through a silent auction, live auction and paddle raise, the latter two of which were run by Managing Director Alex Goodman.

“It was an unforgettable night for Oceanside,” Goodman said. “OTC saw unprecedented support from the community, guests got to enjoy a phenomenal entertainment experience at the beautiful Seabird Resort, and we were able to celebrate and honor the remarkable lifetime of contributions that Kathy Brombacher has made to the North County San Diego theatre community. It was a magical evening.”

Over 60 local businesses contributed to the event through donations or in-kind contributions with Visit Oceanside as gold and The Seabird Resort as silver sponsors.

OTC’s neighbor, Petite Madeline, provided desserts, One Hope Winery donated wine and !mprov Booze-Free Cocktails served mocktails. Highlights of the live auction included a 10-person dinner at Monserate Winery’s soon-to-open restaurant and a dinner-for-six at Oceanside’s Curry & More’s “Beat Bobby Flay” by Chef Obi.

Local business owners and community members like Rushell Gordon of Bliss Tea and Treats, Quantal Langford of Langford Designs and The Creative Brew podcast, and Kristi Hawthorne of Oceanside Historical Society supported the event in person.

The OTC Board was in full attendance with Board President John McCoy and Soiree Chair Gloria Banks leading the festivities. As part of the paddle raise, OTC’s Vice President, Leann Garms, and partner David Gulling kicked off the fundraising with a generous donation of $10,000 to sponsor the upcoming production of “Welcome to Sleepy Hollow,” which begins performances Oct. 6 and runs through Oct. 29.

Esteemed guests from the theatre community included Steve Glaudini, artistic director of Moonlight Productions; Jennifer Bradford, executive director of the Moonlight Cultural Foundation; Mike Bradford, managing director of Moonlight Productions; actors Ralph Johnson from OTC’s “Lucky Stiff” and Susan Clausen from  “Good People;” BJ Robinson, co-founder of Loud Fridge Theater Company; Dina Poellnitz and Margaret Hernandez, co-founders of The Hill Street Country Club; as well as OTC’s Artistic Director Ted Leib and Associate Artistic Director Kevin “Blax” Burroughs.

Additionally, actors from all over the United States made video tributes to Brombacher congratulating her on the honor and thanking her for the impact she made on their lives.

OTC unveiled a commissioned portrait of Brombacher at the theatre painted by Christina Rosenthal based on a photo by Christine Alford. The portrait will hang in the lobby of the Brooks Theater. Ralph Johnson also presented Brombacher with artwork – a large portrait in Broadway caricature style by Justin “Squigs” Robertson representing many of the shows of which she’s been a part. Artists Cheryl Ehlers and Doriana Sinnett also contributed pieces to the auction.

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