Down the Rabbit Hole: Las Patronas 2019 Jewel Ball themed to ‘Wonderland’
At a picnic along the Thames in 1862, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll) began telling a story to entertain young Lorina, Edith and Alice — the three daughters of his friend, an Oxford dean. He later wrote in his diary, “[I]n a desperate attempt to strike out some new line of fairy-lore, I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole, to begin with, without the least idea what was to happen afterwards.” The story eventually became “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” one of the most popular children’s books of all time (and a barely-concealed critique of Victorian society).
It was also a perfect choice for the theme for the 73rd Jewel Ball, “Wonderland,” presented Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019 by Las Patronas, the group of about 50 prominent and extremely hard-working ladies that has raised $21 million for more than 1,000 San Diego charitable institutions since its 1946 beginnings. Nicole Velazquez chaired, Cathy Maywood and Shay Stephens co-chaired, and the black-tie event drew nearly 700 guests to the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club (which donates use of the venue annually).
The “Wonderland” theme was perfect for an event perennially noted for lavish décor (which LP members toil all year to create); the whimsical ambiance (by design co-chairs Megan Cox and Michelle Parker) was one of the most stunning in Jewel Ball memory. Guests received little golden keys allowing entry “down the rabbit hole” — a passage lined with playing cards, clocks, and looking glasses, leading to a courtyard filled with fanciful flowers, mushrooms, and butterflies. They enjoyed “Queen of Hearts” cosmos, tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, and upbeat music while perusing silent auction tables. Stations proffered chilled shrimp, crab, and ceviche; grilled lamb lollipops, sushi, Kobe sliders, and more.
Wayne Foster Entertainment’s Jacqueline Foster SHOWDANCE performed on a giant multi-level stage structure, drawing guests into the spectacular Mad Hatter Ballroom. There, dinner by BTS Catering featured gazpacho, “Wonderland” salad, “Ace of Spades” braised short ribs, and a triple dessert (including an “Eat Me” macaroon). LP president Michelle Wiseman announced the 2019 major (over $20,000) beneficiaries: Adaptive Sports and Recreation Association, Alpha Project for the Homeless, American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego, Family Health Centers of San Diego, La Maestra Family Clinic, Outside the Lens, Rady Children’s Hospital, and San Diego Fire-Rescue. Dozens of minor beneficiaries will be named later. All beneficiaries are meticulously vetted by LP’s membership.
Guests ate, danced, and partied heartily all night, but at 1 a.m. LP members (and their “Lost Patron” husbands) changed from formal to grubby attire and worked until dawn dismantling the party so the LJB&T Club could promptly return to business as usual. It was a colossal effort, but will net perhaps $1 million to benefit many worthy San Diego County nonprofit organizations.
Get the La Jolla Light weekly in your inbox
News, features and sports about La Jolla, every Thursday.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the La Jolla Light.