Adventist Health Sonora will host the 19th annual Joie de Vie Gala at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds on Sunday, Sept. 29.

This year’s theme, Havana Nights, will transport guests to a Latin-inspired evening. All proceeds from the benefit event will go to Adventist Health Sonora’s Cancer Patient Support Fund, which helps local cancer patients with unmet financial needs, such as transportation, groceries, utilities, rent, house cleaning and medication co-payments.

This year’s gala will feature two-time SAMMIE Award nominee, The DonGato Latin Band. Other festivities will include silent and live auctions, a four-course Cuban-inspired menu from Lunch Lady Catering, and keynote address from Robert Emmons, Ph.D., the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. Another highlight of the evening will include three local cancer patients as they share their stories of hope, perseverance and gratefulness.

Also on the gala program is the much-anticipated presentation of the Irving J. Symons Award for outstanding community service, sponsored by the Sonora Area Foundation. This year’s recipients are Ron and Ann Patel, of Sonora.

Former recipients of the award include Irving Symons, Frank Salel, H. Randolph Holder, Robert Cutler, Pete Kerns, Pete and Sue Kleinert, Joe Martin, Chuck and Willy Evans, Mary Laveroni, Patricia and Harvey Rhodes, Ty Wivell, Dick and Audrey Pland, Kate Powell Segerstrom, Don and Charlotte Frazier and Fred and Darlene Mathews.

Kara Rachal, director of philanthropy at Adventist Health Sonora, said the Joie de Vie Gala provides an opportunity for Cancer Institute supporters to come together for a great cause.

“We always want to make this a fun and memorable event for the people who support us in improving cancer care in our community,” she said in a press release. “This year, we are excited to honor three local cancer patients and get a real-life glimpse into the impact the support fund has made on their lives.”

“We are blessed to have such a supportive family of businesses and individuals in this community,” Rachal added. “Our Cancer Patient Support Fund continues to help cancer patients during trying times because of the generosity of these supporters.”

The 2019 Joie de Vie Gala Committee includes Deedra Hope, Kelly Johnson, Lindsay Brewer, Julie Morgan, Kristin Newton, Addison Hudgins, Kara Rachal and Nikki Coleman.

Information on attending this year’s gala or on becoming a sponsor or donor is available by online at or by calling (209) 536-5022.