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By Brian Park

Fifty years ago, the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society met for their first fundraising dinner event. The menu that evening included tacos, enchiladas and chile relleno. Tickets cost $5 and dinner set the Historical Society back $2 for each plate. Profits were enough to pay for a part-time secretary for an entire year.

On Thursday, more than 160 guests gathered at El Adobe de Capistrano to celebrate the Historical Society’s 50th anniversary. Guests included current and former city leaders, notable community volunteers and members of some of San Juan Capistrano’s historic families.

The Historical Society also paid special tribute to Gwen Vermeulen, who’s served as secretary since 1978.

Proceeds from the event will go toward the Historical Society’s preservation efforts, including their current project to rehabilitate and restore the 18th century Silvas Adobe.

Some things change, some things stay the same. Dinner on Thursday cost $75. What was on the menu? Tacos, enchiladas and chile relleno.

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