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The Crowd: On a mission to help the Mission

October 03, 2013|By B.W. Cook
  • Joe Adams and Mechelle Lawrence Adams (Mission San Juan Capistrano executive director) with Bishop Kevin Vann.
Joe Adams and Mechelle Lawrence Adams (Mission San Juan… (Carla Rhea )

It is an annual tradition that is part of the cultural and religious history of California. More importantly, it is an event that attracts a wide variety of O.C. citizens who feel a strong connection to Mission San Juan Capistrano. Romance of the Mission 2013 unfolded Sept. 20, attracting more than 400 guests, many of them Newport-Mesa residents, netting proceeds exceeding $220,000.

Proceeds will further the preservation of historic Mission San Juan Capistrano, including the vital historic investigation necessary for conserving the ancient Sala building, according to mission representative Barbara Kimler.

The spectacular evening under the stars paid tribute to Mission Preservation board member Mike Hagan and was fronted by a concert headlined by actress/singer Susan Egan. The Egan concert took on a magical aura in the ruins of the Great Stone Church. Many in the crowd felt that the songs from the Tony Award-nominee captured a transcendent musical quality.

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A candlelight dinner was served in the mission courtyard prepared and served by the staff of the generous Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. In the crowd greeting well-wishers were Mission Executive Director Mechelle Lawrence-Adams, Preservation Board President George O'Connell, Connie Spenuzza, Barb Beier, Don Dorkowski and Bruce Brainerd.

To learn more about mission preservation, contact Beier at (949) 234-1323 or visit http://www.missionsjc.com.

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Champions of hope

The Global Genes RARE Project held its second annual gala at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach on Sept. 21, bringing together local citizens intent on fighting rare diseases that do not get attention in the public sphere.

Founded in Aliso Viejo in 2008 by the nonprofit's president, Nicole Boice, the Global Genes RARE Project has gathered doctors, researchers, donors and advocates in the political arena committed to making a difference in the lives of patients and their families challenged by rare genetic diseases.

Boice and her committee bring together distinguished honorees to shine a spotlight on their work to increase public awareness. Those honored at the Balboa Bay Resort gala included Dr. Stephen Groft, director of National Institutes of Health's Office of Rare Diseases Research, Rick Guidotti, Josh Sommer, Dylan Siegel, Jonah Pournazarian and Andrew McMahon.

VIPs spotted in the crowd were Carri Levy, Henri Termeer, Greg Simon, Eileen Grubba, Carmen Argenziano and Christine Grund.

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Preserving Crystal Cove

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