Las Patronas starts 70th year with seven new members


To kick off the 70th year of Las Patronas, the women’s philanthropy group held a luncheon Oct. 21 at La Jolla Country Club to welcome seven new members to its next “class.” At the sold-out event, 53 out of 55 active members and 86 advisory members were present to welcome the newbies and hear some exciting announcements.

Via a “Wheel of Fortune”-style skit, the ladies revealed the 2015 Jewel ball, “Magnifique,” raised $870,933.79 to be distributed among Alpha Project for the Homeless; Arc of San Diego; Boys and Girls Clubs of San Diego; Living Coast Discovery Center; Mountain Health and Community Services, Inc.; Old Globe Theatre; The Preuss School UCSD; University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science; and San Diego Zoo Global, and other minor beneficiaries.

“It was my pleasure and honor to chair the 2015 Jewel ball,” Cari Massaad said. “I’m so happy to stand before to let you know how wonderful ‘Magnifique’ was. It was such a success.”

Hoping for an equally prosperous event next year, 2016 Jewel ball chair Kathryn Gayner praised the organization’s history and expressed excitement for the future. “It’s quite amazing that a grassroots organization started in 1946 with 14 members has stayed strong and maintained its mission for 70 years,” she said. Gayner also announced that the 2016 Jewel ball theme would be “Shangri-La,” referencing the fictional paradise from the 1933 novel “Lost Horizon.”

“Imagine yourself in a utopia of sorts where you’ll find hidden treasures, flavors of Asia, unique and exotic lanterns, antiquities, beautiful vases and bamboo,” she said, hinting at the decor for the Aug. 6, 2016 ball at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. The non-profit beneficiaries of Shangri-La will be announced at a luncheon early next year. More information at

Lucky ladies

Each year, Las Patronas welcomes a new class of members. This year, new members include Amy Carr, Lin Foletta, Nicole Hall-Brown, Rita Haudenschild, Stephanie Labrucherie, Sharon Luscomb and Michelle Parker.

Their class name will be the Lucky Seven. Past presidents and past Jewel ball chairs were also recognized at the luncheon.