Sydney, a teenager, says her time spent at the Sacred Heart Retreat Camp in Big Bear Lake was short, but the experience was profound.
“The relationships you build, although we were only together two to three days at a time, they’re the strongest relationships I ever had,” Sydney says of the camp, a faith-focused retreat that is one of the many programs offered through the Sacred Heart Sisters.
Once again this spring, teens like Sydney from Orange and surrounding counties, who come from both strong and challenging homes, will be beneficiaries of one of Orange County’s most celebrated charitable fundraisers and social events: the Gentlemen’s Haberdashery.
The 37th-annual luncheon and fashion show, featuring Orange County’s most prominent male executives and community leaders modeling menswear, will be held Monday, April 8, at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.
The Gentlemen’s Haberdashery supports the Heart of Jesus Retreat Center, which has been operated by the Sisters of the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart since 1978–first out of a converted garage, and since 1992 on beautiful, Mission-like grounds on Greenville Street in Santa Ana.
The Gentlemen’s Haberdashery was launched in 1978 when the Sisters of the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart asked then-Orange County Supervisor Thomas Riley and his wife, Emma Jane, for support in raising funds to expand the center.
Since the late 1990s, following the passing of the Rileys, Rancho Mission Viejo President and CEO Tony Moiso and his wife, Melinda, have served as the Haberdashery’s co-chairs of the event, which went on hiatus in 2008 but returned in 2013.
“Melinda and I cherish our more than four decades of friendship with the Sisters of the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart,” Tony Moiso said. “The Gentlemen’s Haberdashery is our most important event of the year, because it supports our most favorite cause. The Sisters compassionately serve the needs of children and families not only here in Orange County, but also throughout Southern California, especially at the Sacred Heart Retreat Camp in Big Bear.”
Between 12,000 and 14,000 youth and adults, many from local parishes, schools, and more, attend the Heart of Jesus Retreat Center. The Sisters also conduct children’s camps in Taiwan and Hungary.
“The center would not exist without the money raised at the Gentlemen’s Haberdashery,” said Sister Paula Sawhill, of the Sisters of the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart.
Sister Paula noted that retreats were dear to the heart of Sister Ida Peterfy, foundress of the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart. Sister Ida, she said, was a great camper and hiker who took her Sisters adventures to the Grand Canyon and to the Sequoias.
“Since 1978, more than 350,000 people have enjoyed quiet prayer, laughter, and learning at the Heart of Jesus Retreat Center,” Sister Paula said. “We are so blessed to continue our mission, thanks to the generosity of participants and supporters of the Gentlemen’s Haberdashery, and we look forward to seeing everyone on April 8.”
For more information about the Gentlemen’s Haberdashery, please visit www.gentlemenshaberdashery.com.