Sweet Harmony

| December 1, 2015 | Parties

THE PARTY The Romance of the Mission—the name alone heralds the grace of this annual gala, which has become a local tradition for its setting (it’s held amid the landmark’s grounds in San Juan Capistrano), its music (a concert from top artists) and its goal (to help preserve a piece of O.C. history). THE GUESTS A record 510 attendees—think James and Kelly Mazzo, and Gabe Serrato-Buelna—began the evening with a stroll through the front gardens and ended it by bringing in a net total of $265,500. But it’s what happened in between, in the ruins of the Great Stone Church, that made their spirits soar. THE HIGHLIGHTS A flock of birds flew in a V overhead just moments before the hallowed hall was filled with sound—renditions of Frank Sinatra classics (“Blue Skies,” but of course) from Lee Lessack, Scott Coulter and John Boswell, whose performance paid tribute to the icon on his 100th birthday; and applause for longtime supporters Wylie and Bette Aitken, the latter of whom summed it all up with these words: “Every time I come here, I get chills.” –Photos by Lisa Renee Baker and Carla Rhea



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