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The most exclusive gala benefit hosted in Orange County every year. Features a pre-show hosted reception, extravagant entertainment in the Great Stone Church and the most romantic dinner setting display. Underwriting opportunities available.

Event Information

Friday, September 13, 2024

Reception in the Mission Gardens
Entrance through the Mission Gate House, 26801 Old Mission Road
Black Tie attire, no denim please

Concert in the Ruins of the Great Stone Church, circa 1812

Mission Central Courtyard
Hospitality and Catering Services Provided by
Inn at the Mission, San Juan Capistrano.
Decor and design services generously given by Roger’s Gardens.


1. Underwrite the Event/Attend the Underwriting Party on May 29, 2024:
Please contact Mechelle Lawrence Adams at (949) 234-1311 or email

2. Purchase Opportunity Drawing tickets:
Please contact Mariela Martinez at (949) 234-1312 or email

3. Join Waiting List for limited available tickets ($1,000 each):
Please contact Mechelle Lawrence Adams at (949) 234-1311 or email or Mariela Martinez at (949) 234-1312 or email

For those who are unable to attend the Romance of the Mission but still want to support the Mission, please consider making a one-time donation to support the Mission student audio tour at

Ticket Policies

Ticket sales are final. Mission San Juan Capistrano is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. It requires immense effort and administration to process ticket orders. We are unable to accommodate refunds or exchanges. Thank you for your understanding.

Should there be conditions related to weather, rain, emergency or other conditions beyond control of Mission staff that should necessitate cancellation of the event, tickets will not be refunded. Please consider the cost of your tickets a charitable donation in support of Mission San Juan Capistrano, historic California landmark #200 and 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization #33-0833283.

2024 Romance of the Mission Honorees

Mission San Juan Capistrano Preservation Board of Directors proudly announces the 2024 Romance of the Mission benefit gala honorees:

Claudia and Randy Redwitz

The Board of Directors of the Mission Preservation Foundation is pleased to announce that this year’s event honors Claudia and Randy Redwitz for their many years of integrity-filled and dedicated support.  

“With their generosity over many years the Board has been able to carry out a new museum plan, an effective and robust education plan, a preservation plan, realize a Gate House Preservation Project that resulted in constructing a new Mission Store allowing for original 18th century space to return to valuable museum and interpretive space. Their help and care have truly made the Mission better.”

George O’Connell, Mission Preservation Foundation President

Randy and Claudia embody service and they are a wonderful couple to honor as they are an example for all.” 

Bill Cvengros, Mission Preservation Foundation Board member

Registry of “Romance of the Mission” Honorees

2023 The Walker Family, Farmers & Merchants Bank
2022 Joan and Bill Cvengros
2021 – Connie and Dr. Peter Spenuzza
2019 – Carol and Don Dorkowski
2018 – Madeline and James Irvine Swinden
2017 – Sheila and James Peterson
2016 – The Ladies and Gentlemen of
               The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

2015 – Bette and Wylie Aitken
2014 – El Viaje de Portola

2013 – Mike Hagan
2012 – Jan and Honorable H. Warren Siegel
2011 – Reverend Msgr. Arthur A. Holquin
2010 – Gilbert G. Aguirre
2009 – Congresswoman Patricia Bates
2008 – Father O’Sullivan
2007 – EJ Tracy
2006 – General and Mrs. William Lyon
2005 – Richard J. O’Neill
2004 – Joan Irvine Smith

2024 Romance of the Mission Concert Artists

Forte, An Operatic Trio

The 2024 concert in the Ruins of the Great Stone Church will feature Forte, an operatic trio comprised of Josh Page, Sean Panikkar, and Fernando Varela who wowed audiences with their signature sound that carried them all the way to the finals of America’s Got Talent with fan favorites such as “Unchained Melody,” “Nessun Dorma,” “Somewhere” and “My Heart Will Go On.” Forte represents the harmony and strength that can be created when people come together and lend their voice for the greater good.

About Josh Page: Josh began his career after an impromptu duet with Josh Groban at Madison Square Garden Arena went viral gaining well over 15 million views across the Internet. Forte formed as a result of this incredible moment, and went from complete strangers on the internet, to finalists on Americas Got Talent recording a debut album with Columbia Records, topping the Amazon & Barnes and Noble charts. Forte are on a mission to introduce opera crossover to new audiences. Their viral hit opera tribute to the “Game of Thrones” theme, was the first of any work to be celebrated by both The Metropolitan Opera & MTV News. 

About Sean Panikkar: Sean has made his debut recently at the Salzburg Festival in a new production of Henze’s The Bassarids and in the lead role of Glass’s Satyagraha at Los Angeles Opera. Upcoming appearances include a return to the Festival d’Aix en Provence for a new production of Weill’s Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny as well as performances of La Bohème at Pittsburgh Opera and Les Pêcheurs de Perles at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

About Fernando Varela: Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Fernando moved to Florida at the age of eight, and while he always loved music it was not until he was seventeen that he discovered the impressive talent he had within him.  Fernando trained with some of opera’s renowned classical icons and toured worldwide with Grammy Award-Winning producer David Foster, and performing amongst some legendary superstars including Lionel Richie, Gladys Knight, Sarah Brightman, Babyface, Peter Cetera, Neil Diamond, Benny Andersson, Seal, Jewel, and Chaka Kahn. 


Registry of “Romance of the Mission” Gala Concert Artists

2023 Artists – Lyric
2022 Artists –
Vonzell Solomon and Terron Brooks
2021 Artist – Loren Allred
2019 Artist –
Steve Tyrell
2018 Artist – Jackie Evancho
2017 Artist – Heather Headley
2016 Artist – Clark Beckham
2015 Artist – Scott Coulter, Lee Lessack, John Boswell
2014 Artist – David Burnham

2013 Artist – Susan Egan
2012 Artist – Davis Gaines
2011 Artist – Rod Gilfry
2010 Artist – Robin Follman
2009 Artist – Benise
2008 Artist – Nyle Wolfe
2007 Artist – Nichael Amante Encore
2006 Artist – Melissa Manchester
2005 Artist – Michael Feinstein
2004 Artist – Michael Amante Returns

2024 Opportunity Drawing

From Our Friends – Great Opportunities

Flower Stud Earrings
Gifted by Lugano Diamonds
: $18,000
Add a touch of elegance to your ensemble with these Lugano flower-shaped stud earrings, made of 18K white gold and adorned with over 4 carats of diamonds, perfect for any occasion.

Stay and Play Package
Gifted by Inn at the Mission, San Juan Capistrano
Value $4,500
Includes a Two-Night Stay (1 Bedroom Villa), Valet Parking, Destination Fee, Dinner for (2) at Ysidora ($200 dinner value) and (2) 50 Minute Spa Treatments ($600 value). *Restrictions apply

Stay and Play Package

Gifted by Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club
Value $3,400
Two Night Stay in a Resort View Room, Complimentary Resort Fee and Valet Parking + Dinner for (2) at AVEO Table + Bar ($200.00 maximum dinner value).

Presented by the Mission Preservation Board of Directors

George O’Connell, President
Wylie A. Aitken
Darren O. Aitken
Trevor Baird
Vicky Carabini

William Cvengros
EJ Farrell
Kerry Herbert

Reverend Monsignor J. Michael McKiernan, Pastor
Reverend Monsignor Arthur A. Holquin, Retired
Paul Mikos
Anthony R. Moiso, Founding President
Connie Spenuzza
Seth R. Teigen
Christine M. Walker-Bowman

2024 Gala Committee

Kerry Herbert
Vicky Carabini
Laura Freese
Evonne Morton
Daisy Funk
Jan Siegel
Lisa Renee Baker

Laura Baratta
Mechelle Lawrence Adams
Stephanie Montes de Oca
Kristin Bolda

2024 Romance of the Mission Underwriters

Eden and George O’Connell – O’Connell Family Foundation
The Moiso Family

EJ and Michael Farrell
Chris and Bill Griffith, Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano
Claudia and Robert Redwitz
Connie and Dr. Peter Spenuzza

Gilbert Aguirre
Laurie and Darren Aitken
Joan and Bill Cvengros
Farmers & Merchants Bank
Lisa and Brad Freer (wine and spirits)
Frome Family Foundation
Providence Mission Hospital
Jan and Honorable H. Warren Siegel
Trevor’s at the Tracks
Tucker Ellis LLP
Beth and Scott Ullem 

$10,000 – $6,000 
Vicky and Michael Carabini
Evelyn and Dr. Alfred Ferrari
Carol and Dr. Anthony Grisanti
Beverly and Dr. Bruce Nickerson
Joan Irvine Smith and Athalie R. Clarke Foundation
James Irvine Swinden
Waldorf Astoria, Monarch Beach Resort & Club
Gretchen Augustyn
Suzanne and Terry McCardle
Lisa and John Rough

$5,900 – $4,000
Andrea and Steve Johnson (Resurgam Passageway)
Kathy and Sam Perricone
Tracie and Brian Sullivan
Barb and Don Beier
Kathleen and Dr. Sam Roth (Invitations and Postage)
Jeanne and Bryan Stirrat (Official Program)

$3,900 – $3,000
Laura and James Baratta
Kristina and Phillip LaPlante

Susan Purcell
Kelly and Justin Alvarez
Pamela and Steven Dow
Terri and Doug Pasquale

Donations Up to $1,900
Kay and Borre Winckel
Gabriel Ferrucci
Penniman Family Fund at Rancho Santa Fe Foundation

2024 Romance of the Mission Partners and Supporters

Event Partners

Eden and George O’Connell,
O’Connell Family Foundation

Melinda and Tony Moiso,
Rancho Mission Viejo

Vicky and Michael Carabini

James Irvine Swinden,
The Irvine Museum

Underwriting and Sponsorships

Underwriting and sponsorships available for Romance of the Mission, for more information please contact Mechelle Lawrence Adams at (949) 234-1311 or email

Support Mission San Juan Capistrano and Save!

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Museum Hours

Tuesday - Sunday, 9AM - 5PM

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Closed for Annual Gala on September 13, 2024.
Closed early on Good Friday.
Hours subject to change


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26801 Old Mission Road
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-1300

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