Ooh La La! The next Las Patronas’ Jewel Ball will be manifique!

This year’s Las Patronas’ annual fundraiser, The Jewel Ball, will offer attendees all the romantic, glamorous joie de vivre of France. The La Jolla-based women’s philanthropy group unveiled the décor (and teased up some excitement for “Magnifique”) at a preview April 29 at the La Jolla Community Center.

Design co-chair Susan Barrera promised lavender fields, hot-air balloons, chandeliers, candelabras, large paper flowers, bubbly fountains and Champagne.

Tables design chair Nicole Velazquez and design co-chair Susan Barrera (Not pictured: Design co-chair Nicole Repp)
Table decorations will provide a “wink and a nod” to French architecture and attractions.

“We’ve taken everything we love about France — the essence of French romance — and given it our Las Patronas twist,” she said. “It will be just like being in an outdoor garden outside of a chateau.” She added there will be “a wink and a nod” to French architecture and landmarks.

Las Patronas uses ticket sales and auction proceeds from the ball to provide financial assistance to nonprofit organizations throughout San Diego. This year’s major beneficiaries are Alpha Project for the Homeless, Arc of San Diego, Boys and Girls Club of Greater San Diego, Living Coast Discovery Center, Mountain Health and Community Services, The Old Globe Theatre, The Preuss School–UCSD, University of San Diego, and the San Diego Zoo Global. Major beneficiaries use the grants to purchase capital items to help them achieve their missions. There are also 41 minor beneficiaries.

2015 Jewel Ball chair Cari Massaad (center) flanked by co-chairs Kathryn Gayner and Sherrie Black

Last year’s Jewel Ball was cancelled due to rain, but still managed to raise $883,775, which has been distributed among 51 grant recipients. In a lemonade-from-lemons decision, the “silent auction” went online to continue to generate donations. After the success of the online auction last year, Las Patronas decided to hold an online auction for the entire month of July, leading up to the Aug. 8 Jewel Ball at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, 2000 Spindrift Drive.

To receive an invitation to Jewel Ball, send your mailing address to

Ticket sales begin June 1 at

Annette Bradbury, Las Patronas 2015 president
Next year’s Las Patronas president Lisa Betyar
Kathryn Hamon (communications chair), Susie Piegza (2014 Jewel Ball chair) and Denise Vila (advisor)
In Las Patronas tradition, a skit is staged to spin the latest Jewel Ball theme. In this case, the “Ellen Las Patronas Show” presents a design competition to find the 2015 Jewel Ball decorator. “Ellen” (sherrie Black) interviews Kathryn Munoz, Carolyn Brann and Kathryn Gayner for their ideas.
Gay Grossman, Lydia McNeill, Claudia Johnson, Elaine Murphy and Linda Dicker
Maureen Weber (underwriting chair) and Diane Bell
Natalie Willoughby and Karlyn Cole