2020 Las Patronas Jewel Ball raises $941,562; next year’s theme is ‘Diamonds Are Forever’

Las Patronas President Martha Sottosanti (left) and 2021 Jewel Ball chairwoman Kathy Lobo.
Las Patronas President Martha Sottosanti (left) and 2021 Jewel Ball chairwoman Kathy Lobo.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused a temporary change in how Las Patronas operates, its theme for the coming year shows the La Jolla-based women’s group is in the philanthropy business forever.

The organization announced Oct. 23 that despite a change to a virtual venue instead of the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, the 74th Jewel Ball — Las Patronas’ signature event — raised $941,562 to fund grants to nonprofits across San Diego County.

Major beneficiaries are Interfaith Community Services, La Jolla Community Center, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, The Salvation Army El Cajon Corps, Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center, Serving Seniors, UC Veterinary Medical Center San Diego, Urban Corps of San Diego County and Zoological Society of San Diego.

Each will receive $26,000 to $59,000 to fund projects. An estimated 35 to 45 minor beneficiaries will each receive $20,000 or less.

“We are extremely grateful for the thoughtful generosity and support of our underwriters, donors, advertisers, guests and advisory members, especially during this uncertain time,” Shay Stephens, chairwoman of the Aug. 8 Jewel Ball, themed “2020 Spectacular,” said in a statement. The event, held virtually for the first time, featured a livestreamed program of entertainment, messages from beneficiaries and a live auction.

Stephens said the event functions as a “celebration and thank you to all our supporters.”

To help usher in the next year, Las Patronas welcomed four new members: Carol Gasaway, Mia Kelly, Colleen Lighter and Nahal Mirkarimi.

New Las Patronas members (clockwise from top left) are Mia Kelly, Carol Gasaway, Colleen Lighter and Nahal Mirkarimi.

“We look forward to celebrating Las Patronas’ 75th year of supporting the San Diego community. In this time when our nonprofit partners’ needs are even greater than usual, we are motivated to expand our giving as much as we possibly can and are tremendously grateful to our incredible supporters for their generosity,” Las Patronas President Martha Sottosanti said in a statement.

Under the helm of chairwoman Kathy Lobo and co-chairs Megan Cox and Robyne Daniels, the 75th Jewel Ball is scheduled for Aug. 7 at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club and is themed “Diamonds Are Forever,” evoking the 1971 James Bond film.

The 75th annual Jewel Ball is themed "Diamonds Are Forever."
The 75th annual Jewel Ball is themed “Diamonds Are Forever.”

“In classic James Bond style, ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ will exude elegance, exhilaration, excitement and intrigue while incorporating a nod to the past 75 years of Las Patronas’ partnership with the San Diego community,” according to a news release. “Arrive dressed to kill and you will be taken on a mission like you’ve never experienced and won’t soon forget. The jaw-dropping entrance will transport you into Bond’s world — a world that is shaken, not stirred, draped in delicacies, dripping in diamonds. Think mystery, action, glamour and sophistication. Think Bond and prepare to be blown away.”

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