Las Patronas Luncheon: ‘Wonderland’ nets $947K, next Jewel Ball to have 20/20 vision in La Jolla

Outgoing Las Patronas president Michelle Wiseman and outgoing Jewel Ball chair Nicole Velazquez
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The time has come, the ladies said,

To talk of the Jewel Ball;

Themed ‘Wonderland,’ it sure was grand,

And was fundraising fun for all.

Netting almost a million dollars for nine major beneficiaries and 23 minor beneficiaries, the ladies of Las Patronas celebrated their 2019 and 73rd annual Jewel Ball fundraiser at a luncheon Oct. 16, and welcomed eight new members to its La Jolla-based philanthropy organization.

2019 Jewel Ball chair Nicole Velazquez announced that the Aug. 3 gala — titled “Wonderland” with an “Alice in Wonderland” theme at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club — raised $947,818 (and 94 cents) to a standing ovation.

“The success of ‘Wonderland’ was truly an effort from our entire community,” she said. “The lives of so many in San Diego County benefit because of those in our community who came together to support our efforts. We are enormously grateful to our many generous donors.”

The nine major beneficiaries of “Wonderland” will receive tens of thousands of dollars each for specific projects. They are: the Alpha Project for the Homeless, American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Club of Greater San Diego, Family Health Centers of San Diego, La Maestra Family Clinic, Outside the Lens, Rady’s Children’s Hospital, San Diego Adaptive Sports Foundation, and San Diego Fire and Rescue Foundation.

Hoping to build on that success, the luncheon at La Jolla Country Club served as a welcome party for eight new members, and to announce the theme for the 2020 Jewel Ball.

Described as “talented and dedicated” in press material, the new members are: Karen Benito, Claire Forrest, Lisa Hersman, Avelina Kauffman, Lynn Kavanaugh, Laurie Lopez, Andrea Marvin and Rowena Treitler.

These women, as well as other active Las Patronas members, will help usher in the next fundraising fete. In coming up with the theme, “20/20 Spectacular,” incoming Jewel Ball chair Shay Stephens said: “I’ve been thinking that it will be the year 2020 ... a great opportunity to get our message out there about the vision of Las Patronas and the perfect 20/20 vision for the future of San Diego,” she said.

“Spectacular can be defined as something to view that is unusual, notable and entertaining; beautiful in an eye-catching way. Each space within the Jewel Ball will represent that idea in its entirety. ‘20/20 Spectacular’ will not only engage our guests in a stunning evening of opulence, but will also have a fun, interactive play on vision. The use of pattern, light, texture, motion and artwork will delight you from start to finish. It will be beautiful, it will be grand, it will be unexpected, it will be spectacular.”

“20/20 Spectacular” is set for Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. Learn more at