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From Landmark Hotels to City Hall – The San Francisco Auxiliary’s Jewel Ball

Palo Alto — Back in 1931, when Stanford Hospital and School of Medicine were located in San Francisco, a group of San Francisco women organized to raise money for the Stanford Home for Convalescent Children, or “Con Home,” as they called it, in Palo Alto. This auxiliary quickly became one of the most prestigious groups in the City and often had waiting lists of young women wishing to become members.

Among the earliest fundraisers was an annual barn dance at the Sheraton Palace Hotel. When the barn dance passed its heyday, the San Francisco Auxiliary presented its first Jewel Ball, and for the last 46 years, the Jewel Ball has been celebrated at landmark San Francisco hotels including the Fairmont, St. Francis and Palace.

This year’s Jewel Ball, set for Saturday, October 23, marks a new venue for the event. It will be held at San Francisco City Hall Rotunda, with none other than the Honorable Mayor Willie Brown on the honorary committee. Word has it he promises to make the scene.

“The event needed a shot in the arm,” says chairperson Alice Ravetti of San Francisco, and if anyone can give it that shot, she’s the one. The $150-per-person, black-tie event features a cocktail reception, casino, live and silent auctions. Prizes include a 10-day Silver Sea Cruise from Monaco to Lisbon, Tiffany His and Her watches, trips to Europe, and a private box for 12 at one Giants’ game at the new Pac Bell Stadium. Wells Fargo will be honored as this year’s Jewel Ball Angel thanks to its major underwriting of the event donation. Ravetti “called in the markers” for this one.

The theme of this year’s Jewel Ball is, “Jewels of the 21st Century.” “As we enter the new millenium, children are the future,” explains Ravetti. “For the past 68 years, women from throughout the Bay Area have been quietly raising more than $100,000 each year through the Jewel Ball which benefits Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. This year, we’ve expanded the beneficiary to include Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at UCSF.”

The San Francisco Auxiliary enjoys a membership of more than 55 women and is always looking for new members interested in fundraising on behalf of children. If you would like to join, call (650) 497-8591.