For Melody Corvalán, working at The Del is a dream come true. “I am blessed to be the one who helps so many important organizations raise funds for their causes,” shared Corvalán, who orchestrates galas, events and fundraisers as the resort’s Associate Director of Catering.
For the past 130 years, Hotel del Coronado has been an epicenter of social, communal and charitable activities with strong ties to its community. “Hotel del Coronado has a long history of creating community, including its own start,” says Corvalán, relaying that the hotel’s visionary founders, Elisha Babcock, Jr., and Hampton L. Story, purchased the peninsula for $110,000 in 1885, and then held a public auction to sell lots, creating a community around the legendary resort. Today, The Del carries on the tradition of giving back to the community and Corvalán is an integral part of the heart and soul of the iconic oceanfront hotel.
Equipped with 14 years of event planning expertise, Corvalán produces 20 charity events a year at the resort, many of which involve repeat clientele. “The Charity Ball has been with us for 109 years,” she says proudly. “We are also extremely involved with the local community, and host events for the Coronado Chamber, The Coronado Hospital Foundation and the Coronado Schools Foundation. My job is to make sure that no matter how many years they are with us, that each event is more successful than the last and that they raise more funds than the year before!”
Corvalán is equally excited about some of The Del’s new partnerships. “The national executive director of the Human Rights Campaign came to us three years ago and asked us to host the annual gala for the San Diego chapter.” The Del has also been working closely with the San Diego LGBT Center. “Last year, we were honored to host its 45th anniversary party, and this summer we’re excited for Drag Me To The Del on July 12th—the official San Diego Pride 2018 Launch Party that benefits the San Diego LGBT Community Center and San Diego LGBT Pride. The Del is also sponsoring a float in the Pride Parade,” says Corvalán.
So what’s the key to her success? “Making these events feel new and spectacular every time,” she shares with Giving Back Magazine. Corvalán starts planning events a year in advance, dedicating hundreds of hours into each event. She also makes use of the property’s 28 acres, multitude of event spaces, both indoor and out, and The Del’s incredible staff. “We have amazing culinary talent and creative minds here at The Del. The Del has 1200 staff members and at least 300 are involved with each gala. We’ve done everything from black-tie soirees and beachfront bashes to colorful themes with elaborate costumes and design elements.”
Reflecting on her job, Corvalán shares, “When you are in the Crown Room you can’t help but to think of all celebrities, past presidents and luminaries like Charles Lindbergh, Prince Edward and Charlie Chaplin who have attended events inside these walls. It feels so magical. I’m so fortunate that my job is to partner with people who have dedicated their lives to helping others, to gather special people who choose to donate so much of their time and money to deserving causes and all while creating a memorable Del experience. ”