By Marlena Chavira-Medford
The Friends of the Powerhouse members are gearing for their annual casino night fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 5, which aims to raise money for the new Beach Safety Center and Lifeguard Headquarters.
The Del Mar’s lifeguard station was built in 1964, and with it falling deeper into disrepair, raising money for a new facility has become a front-burner mission. The Friends of the Powerhouse and the City of Del Mar have partnered to fund the estimated $3 million project, with the community group raising one-third, and the city raising the rest.
The Friends of the Powerhouse is now close to reaching its $1 million commitment toward the project, said Ronnie Delaney, who is co-chairing the fundraiser with Susan Halenza and Jill Coughlin.
“The community has been so gracious to this effort, and after years of working toward this goal, we’re finally getting ready to put something in the ground,” she said.
This year, Friends of the Powerhouse will use the money it has raised to start construction of a new pathway that will give the lifeguards direct access to the beach “instead of having to dodge all those parked cars,” she added.
The group will also oversee the Del Mar Garden Club's planting of a new garden over a nearby drainage ditch, which will be dedicated to the late Bill Teague, a longtime Del Mar horticulturalist who dedicated his time and expertise to many gardening projects and, in fact, designed this garden.
With just about all the funding raised and design plans complete, Delaney said the Friends of Powerhouse are “ready and waiting to get started” on their leg of the project. The construction was put out to bid, and at the time of press, the city council was expected to award a contract during its Jan. 24 meeting.
Delaney said once ground is broken, she expects the project will take just a few months to complete.
Until then, she’s got her sights set on the casino night fundraiser, which she said typically draws about 200 people.
Tickets to the fundraiser are $60 each and include a buffet dinner by Jake’s Del Mar and live entertainment by Java Band. There will also be casino-style games, raffle prizes, and a live auction with some big ticket items, such as private use of the Powerhouse or a Jake’s Del Mar dinner for eight prepared at home.
“Dinner, dancing, gambling, great prices and casual socializing — this event has it all. It’s a fun way to raise money for a great cause that will benefit everyone in this community. What more could you ask for?”
Casino Night hosted by Friends of the Powerhouse
Del Mar Powerhouse
Saturday, Feb. 5 from 6 to 10 p.m.
To help raise money for the new beach safety center
If you’d like to purchase tickets, which are $60 each, visit
- For more information, please call (858) 755 5220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.