Exes welcome a splash of color at upcoming gala

San Felipe Exes board member Griselda Martinez and her husband, Alonzo Martinez, dance at the 30th annual ball.

San Felipe Exes Ball organizers will shake up their annual gala and allow attendees to don colorful formal garments for the first time in 30 years at the upcoming event.

Exes member Griselda Martinez said the event’s organizers digested community suggestions and decided not to limit only black and white attire at the gala, which will take place 6:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Del Rio Civic Center, 1915 Veterans Blvd.

“We’re listening to people’s suggestions of how to change the event and spice it up,” Martinez said. “We’re trying to please the public.”

The organization is also replacing their sit-down dinner tradition with pass-around appetizers for guests, Martinez said.

The musical stylings of San Antonio-based Karizma Band and an abundance of twinkling lights will fill the civic center’s Red Oak Ballroom to reflect the event’s “Dancing with the Stars” theme, Martinez said.

“Everybody there will be a star that evening,” Martinez said.

Although the exes will allow guests to wear color, attendees must still comply with the formal dress code, which includes floor length gowns and tuxedos or suits, Martinez said.

The organization will welcome Amanda Delgado, a senior at Del Rio High School, as their incoming queen, while thanking outgoing queen Gabriella

Jarwin for her year of service, Martinez said.

Ernesto Martinez, a former longtime high school varsity soccer coach, will serve as the event’s master of ceremonies while also delivering the keynote speech, Martinez said.

The exes use proceeds from the gala to help sponsor their scholarship program, which provided 34 students in June with $19,500 worth of assistance for college expenses, Martinez said.

The ball originated from an elite San Felipe social club of prominent Hispanic women, who, for 25 years would sponsor the ball, bringing in professional decorators and orchestras from larger cities like San Antonio, Martinez said. The exes took over the event 31 years ago after the original group disbanded, she said.

The Exes will honor their outgoing queen, Gabriella Jarwin, during the association’s upcoming ball at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Del Rio Civic Center.

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