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Heart and Soul

| November 29, 2016 | Parties National

The Romance of the Mission hits a high note with a more than $550,000 tally.

There’s just something about the Romance of the Mission. Perhaps it’s the chance to stroll through the San Juan Capistrano landmark’s grounds, or the concert held in the ruins of the Great Stone Church—whatever it is, this annual fete charms us again and again. And with the $550,000-plus raised to preserve its history, we think you’ve been enchanted too.

Many of the 450 VIPs spotted meandering along the pathways are longtime supporters—Wylie and Bette Aitken; Jim and Sheila Peterson; and Executive Director Mechelle Lawrence Adams, who wore a pink gown that she shortened in the front to show off the orange chiffon lining she’d added (a fine fit for the Spanish theme). Then there was the honoree: GM Bruce Brainerd accepted the award for The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel; it has served the postconcert dinner in the courtyard for the past 13 years.

The most notable moment was when American Idol finalist Clark Beckham stood amid the ancient arches and delivered songs like “Georgia on My Mind” (R&B, he said, is “stuck in my bones”), and “Hallelujah,” a duet with Chanelle Ray that floated to the heavens above. –Kristen Schott


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