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You’re Invited: Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens Gala

Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, a nonprofit southern California cultural center, will hosts its preeminent annual fundraiser gala on Saturday, September 22, 2018. Toast to the Casa provides major support for all of the institution’s cultural and educational programs throughout the season. The gala also secures much-needed funds to preserve and the nonprofit’s historic landmark (the former home of city founder Ole Hanson) and maintenance for its botanical gardens.

Toast to the Casa’s 2018 theme, Casablanca, recalls the Art Deco glamour of the eponymous landmark film Casablanca (1943), starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, as well as the vibrant marketplace and nightlife of Morocco’s most romantic city. Experiential entertainment, for which Casa Romantica’s gala is renowned, will include a charity casino, a swing-style Big Band, Moroccan dancers, hookah and cigar lounges, a tea lounge, a Wheel-of-Wine, gourmet food & beverages from over 25 local vendors, and premier live and silent auctions.

Nearly 40,000 individuals each year in south Orange County benefit from Casa Romantica’s community-directed programming of exhibitions, concerts, lectures, performances, horticulture activities, and educational experiences. In addition, Casa Romantica welcomes over 2,000 local students each year through free programs including school tours, weekly storytime, art education, horticulture education, and an annual Student Art Exhibition, as well as a Classical Music Festival and Academy and a Summer Dance Workshop. In 2017, the institution was awarded “Outstanding Arts Organization of the Year” by Arts Orange County, the county’s
official arts agency.

Guests greeted through Casa Romantica’s iconic keyhole door at the gala will be treated to swing-style jazz music performed by Saddleback Big Band on the Main Stage in the Historic Courtyard. DJ Nomis will spin contemporary music in Casa Romantica’s Amphitheater By The Sea, and Moroccan dancers will perform on the Ocean Terrace stage. Attendees may also relax and appreciate the San Clemente pier from the Story Circle, where they can participate in the Moroccan pleasures of a hookah and cigar lounge. For foodies, over 25 generous local vendors donating their time and efforts will provide eclectic food and beverages for all within a food festival-inspired setting throughout the property.

Luck may very well be in each guest’s favor at Toast to the Casa. Casino games such as poker, blackjack, and Roulette are sure to excite thrill seekers, and the Wheel of Wine (a Wheel of Fortune-styled spinning disk) will dispense bottles valued from $45-$150 for a flat fee to play. Proceeds from all activities will directly benefit Casa Romantica’s arts education programs. Those who want to win prizes will have the opportunity to bid on nearly 100 goods and vacation packages as part of the Silent Auction in the Main Salon. A grand Live Auction featuring luxurious destination and experience prizes will be held at 8:15 pm.

Individual tickets to Toast to the Casa: Casablanca are $200 per person. Tickets and sponsorships are available for purchase online at, by calling (949) 498-2139, or by visiting the institution at 415 Avenida Granada in San Clemente.

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