Patron Party held for upcoming Patrons of the Prado gala

The Patrons of the Prado are preparing for their annual gala, coming up July 18 at the historic Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. Titled “Masterpiece,” it’s an especially big gala this year, celebrating the centennial of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Dramatic building took place for that event, creating much of the park’s present-day look and feel.

To recognize the generosity of the sponsors and patrons of “Masterpiece,” gala chairs Arlene and Richard Esgate and Jack McGrory also chaired a special Patron Party recently at Balboa Park’s Museum of Man. They were joined by gala co-chairs Reena Horowitz and Lynne and Dr. Steve Wheeler, presenting sponsor “Papa” Doug and Geniya Manchester, and a host of other supporters.

Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and delectable small plates served throughout the evening. Attractions included a silent auction with extraordinary treasures, a jazz performance by saxophonist Jim Weiss, an operatic aria sung by Hope Carlson, and an exciting performance by Panamanian dancers. But most unusual was an opportunity to tour the California Tower, attached to the Museum of Man but closed since the 1930s and only recently re-opened for visits by the public. The climb to the viewing level rewarded guests with fabulous vistas of the Prado and the institutions along its length, which the Patrons of the Prado help support with funds raised at their grand annual galas.

For more information, visit

Photos by Vincent Andrunas.