2015 Patrons of the Prado’s Masterpiece Gala, in celebration of Balboa Park's 100-year anniversary of the Panama-California International Exposition, to take place July 1

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2015 Patrons of the Prado’s Masterpiece Gala, in celebration of Balboa Park's 100-year anniversary of the Panama-California International Exposition, to take place July 18, 2015 Papa Doug and Geniya Manchester to Serve as Presenting Sponsor and U-T San Diego as Media Sponsor

Patrons of the Prado’s Masterpiece Gala, in celebration of Balboa Park's 100-year anniversary of the Panama-California International Exposition will take place on Saturday, July 18, 2015, at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. This will be the organization’s largest fundraiser to date, with an ambitious goal to raise significant financial support for the programs and initiatives of the 11 museums, arts and cultural institutions along The Prado of Balboa Park. To kick off the event, Patrons of the Prado (http://www.patronsoftheprado.org) has announced that Papa Doug and Geniya Manchester have accepted the invitation to serve as presenting sponsor and U-T San Diego as media sponsor.

The event honors San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer.
"Balboa Park is the pride of our world-class city, so it's only fitting that we come together to support the world-class art and cultural institutions that reside within it," Mayor Faulconer said. "This is yet another way San Diegans are uniting this year to celebrate and elevate Balboa Park for its centennial celebration."

Arlene and Richard Esgate, and Jack McGrory will serve as gala chairs and early major sponsors. Other event sponsors include Malin Burnham; Bill Roper; Valerie and Harry Cooper; Kurt and Andrea Culver, EsGil Corp.; Catherine and Phil Blair; and Linda and Mel Katz.

“Our board enthusiastically welcomes the news of Papa Doug, Geniya and U-T San Diego’s generous commitment of $200,000 for the 2015 Masterpiece Gala,” said Arlene Esgate. “We are honored to have them play a pivotal role for our 100-year anniversary celebration of the city’s beloved Balboa Park.

Patrons of the Prado is dedicated to raising funds that benefit designated arts organizations and museums at Balboa Park’s Prado, enabling these valuable nonprofit cultural organizations to fulfill their specific missions.

“Geniya and I are truly honored to participate in this wonderful celebration,” said Papa Doug Manchester. “Only once every one hundred years do we all come together to celebrate the iconic beauty and cultural impact of Balboa Park and remember the significance of the Panama-California International Expo.”

“Our founders,” said Micki Olin, president-elect of Patrons of the Prado, “had a unique vision to provide unrestricted funding which allows our beneficiaries the freedom to maximize the impact of these gifts by aligning funding with their strongest needs. Since our inception in 1997, Patrons of the Prado has granted nearly $3 million in unrestricted funding to our Gala beneficiaries.”

Olin noted that Patrons of the Prado is an organization comprised of dynamic and accomplished women who have made nurturing the arts in San Diego a high priority in their lives. “Through our collective belief in our cherished cultural institutions of the Prado, we connect with each other, our beneficiaries, and every visitor to Balboa Park. We are driven by our passion and mission and ask you to join us by supporting Patrons of the Prado.”

Judy Burer, president of Patrons added: “The Park museums and theaters provide a valuable resource to the city’s schools to supplement their education programs. The ever- changing performances, shows, and exhibits, along with the knowledgeable museum staff, provide valuable opportunities to enhance the children’s educational and cultural experiences. The Patrons of the Prado ‘Bucks for Buses’ program has served to bring thousands of San Diego children to the museums and theaters on The Prado.”

Cultural organizations supported by this event include: San Diego Museum of Man; San Diego Museum of Art; San Diego History Center; The Old Globe Theatre; San Diego Junior Theatre; the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center; Museum of Photographic Arts; Mingei International Museum; Timken Museum of Art; San Diego Hall of Champions; and San Diego Natural History Museum.

Jack McGrory, one of three chairs for the 2015 Masterpiece Gala, stated, “Balboa Park is the jewel of San Diego and a fabulous source of education in the areas of history, culture, science, art, architecture, horticulture and so much more. It is a destination, not only for San Diegans, but for visitors from throughout the U.S. and the world.”

For information about Patrons of the Prado’s Masterpiece Gala or to register for the gala, please RSVP to (858) 256-6140, email pradopatrons(at)gmail(dot)com, or visit http://www.patronsoftheprado.org

Patrons of the Prado is a philanthropic organization established in 1997, with a mission to raise funds for the benefit of the arts organizations and museums on the Prado in Balboa Park. In addition to the grants it gifts yearly to its beneficiaries, Patrons also provides funding for each of the 11 designated beneficiaries for "Bucks for Buses,” which underwrites transportation for school children to visit and to stimulate appreciation for the works of art and culture offered by the world-class arts organizations. The majority of Patrons of the Prado fundraising stems from its annual gala, held outside on the Prado in beautiful Balboa Park every July. For additional information, please visit http://www.patronsoftheprado.org.

The San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC, owner of the 146-year-old U-T San Diego, is San Diego’s leading media company and its most comprehensive source of news, entertainment and information in the region. Each week, products are delivered to more than 96 percent of all San Diego County households through its integrated media portfolio: the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper, U-T San Diego; the website, UTSanDiego.com; Sunday’s Best; The Night + Day, DiscoverSD and DiscoverSD.com weekly entertainment guides; Spanish-language products Enlace and Vida Latina-San Diego; U-T TV, an Emmy award-winning on- demand video news source; and hyper-local community papers, U-T Community Press. For more information visit http://www.utsandiego.com.

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