mission possible

After 200 years of earthquakes, termites and looting, who could blame you if you lost your sense of humor?

Well, those plucky volunteers at the California Missions Foundation certainly have not. With stoic resolve and a comic touch, they soldier on to help save their crumbling missions.

New print work from Acme Advertising in San Francisco highlights the deterioration of the 21 original Spanish missions throughout California. The pro bono work chronicles the history of the missions, from Fray Junipero Serra’s founding of the first in 1769 to the creation of CMF just two years ago.

The tongue-in-cheek ads blame termites and earthquakes for the erosion of the 200-year-old Spanish missions while crediting the sites for influencing the design of “libraries, schools, courthouses (and) fast-food taco restaurants.”

The ads, which are running in various Hearst publications, aim to complement education efforts to raise aware ness of the plight of the missions and drum up $50 million in donations.

CMF’s ultimate goal, said president Rick Ameil, is to “allow people to experience the Spanish tradition” in California and its influences on architec ture and mission bells—and not just Taco Bell.