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Photo gallery: Las Patronas previews ‘South Seas’ decor for upcoming Jewel Ball

For Las Patronas’ 2022 Jewel Ball chairwoman, Megan Cox, planning the fundraising gala was a bit of an escape. And to do the same for those attending the event, the “South Seas”-themed Jewel Ball will transport guests on a tropical sojourn from the everyday.

The decorations were previewed May 24 at the La Jolla Community Center. The 76th annual Jewel Ball is set for Saturday, Aug. 20, at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.

“I was inspired to bring ‘The South Seas’ to the Jewel Ball while I was held captive at home during [the COVID-19 pandemic],” Cox said. “As my family adjusted to Zoom and 24-hour pajama life, I dreamed of an escape to enchanted, storied islands that dot the South Pacific. I longed for a life lived outdoors in nature, swimming in pristine warm blue water, watching glowing rays of sunshine on the sand, the sound of tropical birds singing in the breeze. This was not a COVID fever dream, because I could smell the scent of Tahitian white gardenia and I could taste a very cold mai tai.”

She said she hopes the event will be “an idealistic destination to revive our senses.”

She credited the design team of Ingrid de Alba de Salazar, Michelle Parker, Irene McCann and Jill Peters with bringing her dream to life.

The team said the decorations will include giant tikis, canoes, a tropical walkway with lush plants and falling water, tiare mā'ohi (a type of gardenia that is the national flower of the Tahitian islands), orchids, curls of smoke from a nearby volcano and more.

Tina Boynton, president of Las Patronas, a La Jolla-based nonprofit, said the event will celebrate a year of fundraising for the San Diego nonprofits chosen as this year’s beneficiaries.

“Every year we look forward to sharing our vision for the Jewel Ball … and this year is more important than ever for our wonderful worthy beneficiaries,” Boynton said. “During the past few challenging years, the nonprofits of San Diego County have continued to serve their clients and we have continued to fundraise to help them fulfill their missions. We did not take a break. We worked.”

This year’s beneficiaries are Alpha Project homeless services, American Red Cross, Burn Institute, Feeding San Diego, Forever Balboa Park, The Old Globe theater and San Diego Humane Society.

Learn more at laspatronas.org.