Las Patronas in celebrating the 77th Annual Jewel Ball, themed Daisies & Disco, held their festive evening gala on August 5th in celebration at the La Jolla Beach Tennis Club. Celebrants stepped back in time to 1977, and let their bright colors and groovy surroundings bring a smile to their faces. As the sun set and the evening deepens, guests were invited to boogie the night away to their favorite tunes from another era.
Founded in 1946 by fourteen members who contributed handmade decorations to the first Jewel Ball, today, the active members of Las Patronas proudly carry on the traditions of our founding members by building the design elements by hand and transporting them, piece by piece, to the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club to create one of San Diego’s most unique and best fêtes.
We are a committed group of volunteers who fundraise to provide grants for critically needed capital items to nonprofit organizations throughout San Diego County. Las Patronas members serve a term of six to seven years and hold two to three organizational positions each year, ensuring our long-standing success as an organization. In addition, all members work with the Grants Committee, bi-annually, making on-site visits to each eligible nonprofit organization that applies for a grant. As a group, we thoroughly assess and vet each organization’s request, present our findings to our peers, select our major and minor grant recipients, and distribute available funding. The funds granted to these organizations are generated through our year-long fundraising efforts and the presentation of our annual Jewel Ball, one of San Diego’s most enduring and coveted social, cultural, and philanthropic traditions. All funds raised by Las Patronas stay in San Diego County and are distributed to many small grass-root nonprofits as well as larger, more visible organizations that provide valuable community services in the areas of health, education, social services, and cultural arts.
Throughout the year leading up to the Ball, Las Patronas active members spend time at “The Warehouse,” busily drilling, sawing, lifting, nailing, sanding, drawing, stenciling, painting, marbling, sponging, lettering, and more – all to benefit our carefully chosen and deserving San Diego County charities. Jewel Ball work week we hit the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club running and the only racket on the tennis courts comes from the sound of power tools. Husbands, children, and some of our beneficiaries come to help us unload trucks from our warehouse and to put up the scenery that transforms the Beach Club into a fantasyland each year.
When you see us that evening, dancing until the last guest leaves, you’ll know that we had a rocking good time. And that we can’t wait to get up the next morning and do it all over again.
Photography by Gilda Adler