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Staff report 

The Romance of the Mission benefit gala drew 475 guests to Mission San Juan Capistrano on September 20, according to a news release. Net proceeds of an estimated $285,000 will support the Mission Preservation Foundation and ensure the historic and religious significance of the mission.

“Tonight provides us with a chance to come together, to celebrate the positive impact you have made possible,” Mission San Juan Capistrano Executive Director Mechelle Lawrence Adams said while welcoming guests. “A chance to say thank you to a vibrant collection of uplifting people, making a difference.”

Carol and Don Dorkowski were recognized for their extensive support and commitment to Mission San Juan Capistrano’s preservation efforts.

“This recognition is beyond the realm of my thinking,” Don Dorkowski said. “I received many honors and awards during my 21 years (as an official) in the NFL, but this is by far the best.”

Mission San Juan’s traditional bells were rung as guests made their way into the Central Courtyard. For more information about Mission San Juan Capistrano, visit

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