~ The Social Diary ~


Burnham Institute's 'A Toast to the Future'

"The event was wonderful and I  sincerely applaud Jeanne Jones and Cathryn Ramirez for doing such an incredible evening.  The new Hotel is magnificent, and  work for the"cause for the cure" by the Burnham Institute is so very important." - Iris Strauss

“This evening was absolutely the most elegant affair in San Diego history….the combination of the décor and gifts by Tiffany’s along with the cuisine, fine wines and opera made it any evening which will be very hard to top.  Congratulations to the dynamic duo of Chairs Jeanne Jones and Cathryn Ramirez!!” - Ann Campbell


November 17th was very grand for the Burnham Institute and Medical Research's Gala, ' A Toast to the Future.' The venue was the incomparable and much buzzed about Grand del Mar. And it was grand, plush and fabulous. A perfect match this evening for the patrons arriving. The evening started with 'fine cuisine by the bite' and champagne in the foyer to the grand ballroom.

Event Chairs Cathryn Ramirez and Jeanne Jones dazzled in couture by Badgley Mischka and Jordan respectively. Presenting Sponsor Betsy Manchester chose a deep velvet off the shoulder gown with a spectacular South Sea Pearls parure, whilst her husband, Presenting Sponsor Papa Doug Manchester, wore a deep green tartan dress jacket. Quite smart with red accented tux shirt and bow tie!

Others fashionably there included Lee Clark in a black velvet Roberto Cavalli with swirling pattern detail, Lee's husband Dr. Jerry Pikolysky in a standout tux by Bijan of Beverly Hills, Valerie Cooper stunning in a million shimmering sequins by London designer Jenny Packham, Karen Cohn elegant in a red velvet gown by John Galliano, Sheryl White in a sophisticated short red dress by Marc Jacobs, Iris Strauss beautiful in Monique Lhuillier with coordinating and colorful jewels, and Muffy Walker in a very pretty blue silk gown.

Muffy's gown has a story. While in Hong Kong, Muffy chose the silk specifically to match the famed Tiffany's gift box color. Upon her return stateside, Muffy had her San Diego designer sew her a gown from the material. Clever twist. Tiffany & Co. was the event's table and room décor Design Sponsor.

And the compliments about the gala were not just about fashion.

Iris Strauss had this to say. "The event was wonderful and I  sincerely applaud Jeanne Jones and Cathryn Ramirez for doing such an incredible evening. The new Hotel is magnificent, and  work for the"cause for the cure" by the Burnham Institute is so very important."

Valerie Cooper agreed and added this. "Jeanne Jones and Cathryn Ramirez outdid themselves with a beautiful evening for The Burnham Institute for Medical Research held at the new Grand Del Mar. The Grand Del Mar is just that, a beautiful grand interpretation of the famous architect Addison Mizer. It is a lovely addition to our city. The ballroom with all its gorgeous details gave a regal and elegant feel for a night of a multi-course tasting. The dinner was delicious and the wines that were served were all magnum selections and quite over the top. Everything was done to perfection. The evening made over a million dollars, that is truly fabulous!! Thanks to the hard work of the Grand duo of Jeanne and Cathryn. Congratulations!"

“This evening was absolutely the most elegant affair in San Diego history….the combination of the décor and gifts by Tiffany’s along with the cuisine, fine wines and opera made it any evening which will be very hard to top. Congratulations to the dynamic duo of Chairs Jeanne Jones and Cathryn Ramirez!!” said Ann Campbell of the San Diego Opera.

By the by, the San Diego Opera Ensemble performed magnificently at the start of dinner.

Sheryl White was enthused. "It was a beautiful setting at the Grand Del Mar, the room was gorgeous and those spectacular coral colored roses as center pieces really set it off.  The food was an event in itself! Even for vegetarians like me!"

Guest Rafael Pastor of Vistage International had this to say about the Burnham Institute and it's President /CEO John Reed. "I'm proud of my friendship with John Reed and of Vistage International's support for the Burnham Institute, a world-renowned leader in research on chronic diseases. The Saturday-evening gala was a richly-deserved outpouring of admiration and support for John's leadership, and the Institute's invaluable advancement of health, wellness and prolonged life."

Chair Jeanne Jones concluded "The Burnham Gala, "A Toast to the Future," was truly a dream come true for all of us. It was an elegant evening and we made over a million dollars for the Burnham Institute for Medical Research.

That's one million directly. Then there was the evening's jaw dropping announcement. Denny Sanford of South Dakota had just donated $20 million for childhood disease research..

And the monies will go towards very important work.

In John Reed's own words: "The Burnham is a non-profit medical research organization. We aim to reveal the fundamental molecular causes of disease, through discovery research, and to devise the innovative therapies of tomorrow, through translational research. Our mantra is 'From Research, the Power to Cure.'"

The Social Diary salutes the Event Title Sponsor Invitrogen, the Event Co-Chairs Jeanne Jones and Cathryn Ramirez, Design Sponsor Tiffany & Co., Presenting Sponsors Betsy and Papa Doug Manchester, the many generous supporters, and John Reed and the other brilliant researchers at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research.

To learn more about The Burnham Institute for Medical Research please visit www.burnham.org


Please enjoy the photos.

(high resolution photos available by request)

Don Breitenberg and Jeanne Jones, with Cathryn Ramirez, and Betsy and Papa Doug Manchester

Jeanne Jones ** Marina and Rafael Pastor ** the John Evey's ** Scott Johnston with Governor Pete Wilson

Chelsea Jones and Stephanie Messiter ** Jordan ** Valerie and Harry Cooper ** Jordan with Don Breitenberg ** Fran Golden

Audrey Geisel ** Cathryn and David Ramirez ** Dr. Jerry Pikolysky and Lee Clark ** Scott Johnston accessorized by Pal Zileri of Mister B's La Jolla and Margo Schwab in a Gentlman's Quarter gown from Paris ** Ann Campbell

Tim and Ellen Zinn ** Nathan with Rusti Bartell ** Harry and Valerie Cooper with Rafael and Marina Pastor

Jeanne Jones with Cathryn Ramirez and Betsy Manchester ** Valerie and Harry Cooper ** Nancy and Matt Brower ** Peter and Peggy Preuss

Cathryn Ramirez ** Jay and Lael Kovtun with Elizabeth and William Zongker ** First Lady of California Gayle Wilson ** Ronne Froman with Guest

Sheryl White with Karen Cohn ** Cathryn Ramirez with Jeanne Jones and Betsy Manchester ** Ann Campbell with San Diego Opera's Geisel Director of Education, Dr. Nicolas Reveles and Iris Strauss, Arts and Culture Liaison for San Diego** Courtney and Ray Liddy


Sharon and Sami Ladeki ** Scott Johnston with Don Breitenberg ** John Reed, President and CEO of the Burnham Institute, with his wife, Muffy Walker ** David Saltman with Camille Sobrian

Mayor, Senator, & Governor Pete Wilson and his First Lady Gayle Wilson with Gigi and Ed Cramer ** Peter and Peggy Preuss checking their schedule

Cathryn Ramirez with Jeanne Jones and Betsy Manchester ** Linda Swortwood and Muffy Walker ** Scott Johnston ** Governor Pete Wilson and First Lady Gayle Wilson

Floral Arrangement ** San Diego Opera Ensemble


Reported by The Social Diary's Margo Schwab



* Margo Schwab, 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 and a Masters of Business degree, M.B.A., from the University of San Diego. Schwab volunteers for numerous charity organizations. She also continues to lobby for water safety and for family violence mitigation. Schwab is the editor of The Social Diary. Margo is currently writing a book based on La Jolla.



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