By Brian Park

Davis Gaines performs during the Mission Preservation Foundation’s 2012 “Romance of the Mission” benefit gala. Courtesy photo

The Mission Preservation Foundation took in nearly $200,000 in proceeds from its “Romance of the Mission” benefit gala on Friday, September 14 at Mission San Juan Capistrano.

The money will go toward the Gate House Preservation Project, which will preserve the historic elements of the gatehouse while also making it safer and more accessible to visitors. The project will also relocate the gift shop from the Sala building to the street-front so it can be available to patrons after hours.

An additional $100,000 anonymous pledge will be made if it can be matched within 60 days, according to a news release.

“As a product of the collective efforts and ingenious spirits of the past, we gather this evening to celebrate the past, to remember the meaning of this place and make sure that the Mission matters in new and previously unimaginable ways to people living today,” Mission Executive Director Mechelle Lawrence-Adams said.

The black-tie affair began with a cocktail reception in the Mission’s gardens, followed by a concert and a four-course dinner in the courtyard. Broadway star Davis Gaines performed pieces from “The Phantom of the Opera,” and San Juan residents Jan and H. Warren Siegel served as honorary chairs of the event. San Juan businessman Bill Ortega was honored for his many years of service running the Mission’s gift shop and Ritz-Carlton Executive Chef Andres Jimenez received a special award for creating the menu for the event.

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