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~ Giving, to Improve Lives ~

Las Patronas Beneficiary Luncheon 2009

- at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club ~

"San Diego Opera is indebted to the brilliant, creative, generous and warm hearted women of Las Patronas who have worked so hard to give so much to the community.  We are the grateful recipient of a major gift this year and it will exponentially enhance the artistic product on the stage for years to come.  BRAVI and heartfelt thank to every member, past and present, of Las Patronas!"

- Ann Campbell, San Diego Opera


It was a beautiful sunny day January 21st, 2009 in San Diego. And particularly for all the right reasons, as fourteen major beneficiaries of the Las Patronas 2008 Jewel Ball were given their needed and deserved grant funding checks during a luncheon at the beautiful La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.

Las Patronas members, supporters, and major beneficiaries, gathered for a lovely lunch and check presentations.

Nico and Caroline Nierenberg with Jennifer Greenfield

Las Patronas President Lydia McNeil, Speakeasy 2008 Jewel Ball chair, Caroline Nierenberg, and her co-chairs, Jennifer Greenfield and Tracy Lyon, distributed checks to the beneficiaries.  Like all Las Patronas grant applicants, these organizations have gone through a thoughtful and rigorous process that included site visits by members of the Las Patronas Grant Committee.
The 2008 Jewel Ball raised a remarkable $1,215,258. Major beneficiaries were as follows:

A Reason to Survive - A fully equipped ADA compliant mobility van to transport children with various types of physical disabilities, allowing them to experience the power of art.

Burnham Institute for Medical Research - A Shimadzu Xcise robot for the characterization of proteins to further the mission of collaborative medical research to cure human disease

Christian Community Theater - A Black Box Theater where CCT/CYT and other arts groups can test new works

Diversionary Theatre - A new wheelchair lift that will enable every patron to access the second floor theater space

La Jolla Historical Society - Archival preservation, digitization, and storage equipment to properly care for the Society’s image collection

La Jolla Music Society - A minivan to transport artists, small performing ensembles, and volunteers to performances and outreach engagements in schools and community centers

Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center - Equipment and appliances for the center’s Healing Foods Kitchen

The Salvation Army - Senior Dining & Social Centers - A new “hot shot” truck that will deliver hot and cold meals to seniors in the South Bay area

San Diego Habitat for Humanity - new phone system and software so that they may function more productively and efficiently

San Diego Hospice and Palliative Care - 20 laptops to be used by field staff, enhancing communications and strengthening their ability to provide seamless quality patient care

San Diego Opera - Three new follow spotlights that will dramatically highlight the Company’s lead singers as they move about on the stage

Scripps La Jolla Heart Center at Scripps Memorial Hospital - Electrophysiology stereotaxis equipment for treating complex arrhythmias, resulting in better outcomes and continued excellence in care

UCSD Shiley Eye Center - An examination room on a new Eye Mobile for Children, which will help the center achieve its program goals of screening 10,000 low-income children yearly

Vista Hill - Stein Education Center - A wheelchair-accessible van to transport disabled children and adults on field trips, educational outings, and vocational training activities

70 minor grants in amounts up to $20,000 were also fulfilled. Some of the minor beneficiaries include The Timken Museum of Art/ The Putnam Foundation, the Zoological Society of San Diego, The Horses of Tir Na Nog Ranch, Labrador Rescuers, Inc., the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County, and the San Diego Ballet.

This August 8th, 2009's Jewel Ball's theme was announced months earlier at a Las Patronas luncheon held at the La Jolla Country Club. It will be 'Silk and Spice'. New members of Las Patronas who will work diligently for this year's Jewel Ball are Annette Bradbury, Missy Coleman, Jena Joyce, Melinda Mahoney, Kathy Malaney and Dawn Maywood.

Some of the major beneficiaries for this year's 2009 Jewel Ball are:
Alpha Project for the Homeless
Birch Aquarium
Children's Museum / Museo de los Ninos
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
San Diego Civic Youth Ballet
San Diego Public Library Foundation
Sharp Healthcare Foundation
Spreckels Organ Society
St. Vincent de Paul Village
Tri-City Hospital Foundation

Those there at the two functions included current Las Patronas members, advisory, and a plethora of Past Chairs.

Among the hardworking women who have worked diligently to give back to San Diego in a tradition started in 1946 are Betsy Anthony, Dede Carlson, Wendy Segall, Kerri Smith, Lise Wilson, Kathryn Stephens, Maree Mossmer, Elisabeth Bergan, Libby Carson, Chris Andrews, Gina Hixson, Kim Alessio, Alison Figi, Anseth Richards, Anne Coleman, Jeanne Larson, Terry Cooper, Scottie Brown, Dawn Davidson, Berneice Copeland, Barbara Doren, Vicki Eddy, Teresa Hixson, Dotti Howe, Sue Kalish, Barbara Mulligan, Micki Olin, Marge Palmer, Mac Canty, ask her about her trumpet playing too, Vicky Eddy, Elaine Murphy, Susan McClellan, Ann Jones, and Maryl Weightman.

Among some of the special Jewel Ball sponsors there were Sharon Ladeki, and Lee Clark and Jerry Pikolysky.

'The Las Patronas Spice Girls' including 2009 Jewel Ball Chair Jennifer Greenfield, and Co-Chairs, Laurie Allen and Sallie Warren, promise a very fun Silk & Spice Jewel Ball with an undercurrent of green as the theme. That's a big green give back to so many great and worthy San Diego causes.

Enjoy the photos!

Teresa Hixson

Terry Cooper with Barbara Mulligan

Laurie Allen ** Sharon Ladeki ** Denise Vila

'Dr. Spice,'aka Richard Greenfield ** Denise Vila with Wendy Segall ** Marge Palmer with Scottie Brown

Matt D'Arrigo of A Reason to Survive, or ARTS

Micki Olin

Christopher Beach, Executive Director of La Jolla Music Society

Terry Cooper with Claudia Johnson ** Kerri Smith with Susan McClellan

Lydia McNeil

Chris Andrews of Las Patronas with John Bolthouse III, Executive Director of the La Jolla Historical Society and Judy Haxo, Board President of the La Jolla Historical Society

Ann Campbell of the San Diego Opera ** Las Patronas member and Lauren Olson ** Dr. Stuart Brown, the Director and Chairman for the Department of Ophthalmology for the UCSD Shiley Eye Center

Dawn Davidson with Jennifer Greenfield

Jennifer Greenfield speaking with new La Jollan, Taylor Miller about the Jewel Ball ** Jacquie Heil, Associate Director of A Reason To Survive

Claudia Johnson with Jeanne Larson of The Collector Fine Jewelry ** Ann Jones with Burl Stiff, the best Social Columnist in San Diego

Terri Kelly of Las Patronas and The Ivy Hotel

Elaine Murphy with Barbara Mulligan

Elisabeth Bergan exhibiting her priceless sense of humor! ** Caroline Nierenberg

Terri Kelly with Maree Mossmer

The New Las Patronas Members in random order, Annette Bradbury, Missy Coleman, Jena Joyce, Melinda Mahoney, Kathy Malaney and Dawn Maywood.

The Honorable Las Patronas Presidents

The Past Jewel Ball Chairs

The amount raised by Las Patronas in 2008 .... $1 Million Plus!

Las Patronas doing a skit to announce this year's theme of 'Silk and Spice.'


The Buzz


Year of the Ox

Kathryn Murphy and Lance Peto held their second annual Chinese New Year's party at the Mandarin House last January 31st. Guests' invites stated a la Confucious, that it is a 'good year to socialize and entertain - money all gone.' Don't know about money all gone because some fortunate sorts got to tuck into a seven course feast that included Peking Duck, 3 way Kung Pao, scallops and more. Among the 40 or so guests were Elita Murphy, Sarah Burton, Jeannette Amen and Steve Martin, Erin and Paul Leonhardt, and Kathryn's sister Polly. Guests were given beautiful red silk robes to wear and keep!

We at The Social Diary came in last year's Chinese jackets. But they were embroidered for the occasion. 911 Scott, Year of the 'Ram-bo,' and 411 Margo, Year of the 'Party-Dog.'

in memory of Ord Preston Jr. .......

Back to Sarah Burton. Sarah's very treasured father Ord Preston Jr. passed on very recently. His history was written up well in a UT article. A history of military service, as well as history for San Diego. Ord was an integral part of bringing the Los Angeles Chargers to San Diego. For me personally, I was his 'cabana girl/ lifeguard' at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club in 1976. I fondly remember the Prestons, Hoopers and Burtons of Cabana #5. Cheers to very good memories of very good people!


.... on a lighter note....

The LJB&TC Member Bocce Ball Tournament was a ferocious success on January 31st, 2009. First Place went to “Long and Strong” – Matt Mennotti & John Appleby, Second Place: “Balls Up” – Nick Arthur & Paul Neuharth, and Third Place went to the might “Balls of Fury” – Bob Buckley & Mike Riney. A lot of fun, a bit of 'beer and cheer' as the day wore on. Compliments to Jeff Towery of Beach Services who organized all the fun!

.... have you been seeing a lot of PINK!!

If so you might have seen Taylor Miller cruising in her '56 light pink T-Bird. It's all original, and it's all fun. I think this Utah transplant is mixing in well to the California scene.....

speaking of cruising....

The Ferrari Club recently drove to Pine Hills Lodge out east for brunch, while taking in the scenery on the way. The historic 1912 lodge is very popular with cool groups like this.


Upcoming Events

February 12th - MCASD is hosting a Nordstrom fashion show at MCASD's downtown location. Tickets will go fast!

February 14th - San Diego Opera Opening of Don Quixote

February 20th - The Old Globe will be hosting a very cool fundraising event featuring a special performance of Kingdom. The event stars hip hop fusion with a vert powerful message about gang violence. Check out for details.

March 10th - The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary is proud to announce the 2009 Women of Dedication, “Power of Purses,” scheduled for Tuesday, March 10, 2009. For more information on The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary or Women of Dedication, please contact Val Sachs at 619-446-0273 or


Happy Valentine's!!


Reported by Margo Schwab


Photoshopping and Photography Services

Photos on this website available if it is of you

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~ 619-384-7333




Email Commentary to be added


What gorgeous fun pictures Thanks - Toogie, aka Virginia Luscomb

Thank you for the pics. As I said before, you take excellent pictures, especially the individual close-ups. Keep up the good work - Hershell Price

Great Photos! Nice plug! WOW! - Pierrette Featherby

Thanks for the fantastic pictures! Burl Stiff might be the greatest social commentary in San Diego but YOU have the most awesome pictures possible in your Social Diary!!! - Gigi Cramer

I enjoy reading yours! - Jeanne Lawrence, NYC

Thank you, that is quite an honor. - Jeff Towery

Thanks so much, Margo, for all that you do for San Diego non-profits! - Ruth Chandler Varonfakis

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* Margo Schwab, more formally known as Margaret E. Schwab, has produced, written, interviewed and photographed for various media organizations since 1989. Schwab attended Holton Arms School, La Jolla Country Day School and La Jolla High School. Schwab has a B.A. from Scripps College, spent a business internship with S.A.I.C., Science Applications International Corporation, and earned a Masters of Business degree, M.B.A., from the University of San Diego. Schwab additionally took college courses from Harvard University, and Syracuse University. Schwab volunteers for numerous charity organizations. She also continues to support animal organizations and the prevention of people and animal abuse. Schwab is the editor of The Social Diary.



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