News

Don Diego Featured on KOCT’s “Oceanside Spectrum” – Fallbrook’s Taryn Sehnert Shares Her Success Story

February 5, 2018

Del Mar, CA … Don Diego Scholarship Foundation is featured on KOCT’s “Oceanside Spectrum” airing February 5-23, 2018 on TV and on-demand at www.koct.org. The program showcases the Foundation’s connection with the San Diego County Fair and its 2018 program offering a record $73,000 in college scholarships to 35 outstanding students who reside in the San Diego area and have participated in the Fair or other activities associated with the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

In the show, KOCT host Elaine Swann welcomes Foundation Executive Director Chana Mannen and 2016 scholarship recipient Taryn Sehnert. Mannen highlights the application process, available at dondiegoscholarship.org.

Taryn Sehnert, a 2016 Miss Fallbrook and longtime FFA leader, enthusiastically shares her love for the Fair and the many animals she has raised, leading to her desire to pursue an agriculture-related career. Having earned the National FFA American Degree, the highest honor bestowed by the organization, Taryn will transfer this fall from Mira Costa to her “dream school,” the University of Nebraska. She says she is grateful to Don Diego Scholarship Foundation for helping to propel her education.

Mannen states, “Taryn represents the kind of exemplary student Don Diego is pleased to support. We are very appreciative of Elaine Swann and KOCT for helping us spread the word about the Foundation and our ambitious, idealistic recipients.”

The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation was named for Don Diego, AKA Tom Hernandez, who served as the Fair’s welcoming goodwill ambassador from 1947-1984.
To date since its inception in 1986, the Foundation has awarded approximately $862,000 in scholarships to 204 students and in agriculture education grants. More information is at dondiegoscholarship.org and facebook.com/DonDiegoScholarship.

Don Diego Offers Whopping $73,000 in College Scholarships to 35 Outstanding Students in San Diego Area

January 22, 2018

Del Mar, CA … Don Diego Scholarship Foundation will award a record $73,000 in college scholarships to 35 outstanding students who reside in the San Diego area and have participated in the San Diego County Fair and/or other activities associated with the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Scholarships are offered in six categories. Individual awards range from $1,000 to $5,000. The deadline to apply is March 19, 2018. Eligibility details and applications are at dondiegoscholarship.org. For questions, contact cmannen@sdfair.com.

Finalist interviews will be held in May. Recipients will be honored at the exclusive Don Diego Gala during the 2018 San Diego County Fair. Each recipient also will receive a personalized Legacy Brick installed at the Fairgrounds.

SCHOLARSHIP BREAKDOWN

  • Scholarships of $5,000, $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000 will be awarded in each of four categories: 4-H, FFA, Employee and Exhibitor/Participant.
  • Four $2,500 and 13 $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to 4-H and FFA students who participate in the 2018 Fair’s Junior Livestock Auction.
  • Two 2,500 Vocational Education scholarships will be awarded to students who wish to pursue an AA/AS degree or certificate at a community college or accredited trade school.
  • The coveted $5,000 Spanjian Family Scholarship will be bestowed upon the most outstanding 2018 recipient.

Don Diego Chair Jon Liss says that he and fellow Board members eagerly await dozens of applications from exceptional students throughout the region. Liss reports, “Our scholarship program has skyrocketed over the past few years! Prior to 2014, we awarded four $5,000 scholarships. Since then, we have steadily increased the number, categories, levels and total monetary amount of annual awards, enabling more future leaders to pursue their college and career goals. We have been able to […]

Legacy of Love Begins on Track

November 20, 2017

Del Mar, CA … The odds-on favorite at the Del Mar Racetrack on November 18, 2017 was not a horse, but a young San Marcos couple deeply in love. On this warm and sunny, picture-perfect morning, romance was in the air … and at the Don Diego Legacy Brick Fountain at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Michael Pettinato, 26, orchestrated his marriage proposal to perfection. First he purchased and customized a brick with a heart inscribed: “Katie Brown, 2017: Will You Marry Me? –Michael Pettinato.” Then he invited their families to “hide” above the Fountain where, promptly at 11:30 am, he entered the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Stretch Run Gate with Katie, fibbing that he wanted to show her a Don Diego Legacy Brick his mother had bought for installation at the Fountain. Michael led Katie to the spot, unveiled the brick, got down on one knee, popped open up a jewelry box to reveal a gorgeous engagement ring, and popped the question: “Katie: will you marry me?”

Astonished to tears, Katie Brown, 25, screamed, “YES!” As they embraced and kissed, their families cheered. Even race fans walking by who typically would be buried in betting odds applauded and extended their good wishes to the ecstatic couple. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club graciously hosted the entire Pettinato and Brown families for an afternoon they will not soon forget.

Once Katie caught her breath, the bride-to-be confided, “I’ve been hoping Michael would ask me to marry him. This very morning, I had a weird feeling and thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if he proposed at the track?’ But I had no idea he actually would!”

Michael said that a couple years […]

A Del Mar Fairgrounds Legacy Brick Makes A Unique Holiday Gift

October 19, 2017

Del Mar, CA … Give that special someone a one-of-a-kind holiday gift as unique as the recipient: a personalized Brick permanently enshrined at the Del Mar Fairgrounds’ Legacy Fountain.

Don Diego Legacy Bricks begin at $150. A replica can be purchased to embellish home or office. Information and online purchase are at dondiegoscholarship.org.

The hundreds of customized Legacy Bricks already lining the pathway to the Fountain celebrate people’s lives and commemorate magical moments at the San Diego County Fair and Racetrack. Inscriptions run from the heartfelt to the humorous, together telling a story of cherished relationships and fun times with friends and family.

Don Diego Executive Director Chana Mannen states, “Making the gift even more meaningful, each Brick purchase is a donation that enables the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation to build a better San Diego, one scholarship at a time.”

The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation was named for Don Diego, AKA Tom Hernandez, who served as the Fair’s welcoming goodwill ambassador from 1947-1984.

Since its inception in 1986, the Foundation has awarded approximately $862,000 in scholarships to 204 students and in agriculture education grants. More information is at  dondiegoscholarship.org and facebook.com/DonDiegoScholarship.

Sarah Drown

Oklahoma State University
$10,000
FFA & Spanjian Scholarships

“My mother cried when I told her I’d won not one but two Don Diego scholarships. I plan to pursue a double major in Agriculture Communications and Agriculture Business, with future steps perhaps in ag journalism or law school. When I got involved with FFA, I discovered my passion and my path.”

Kalee Cummings

Claremont McKenna College
$5,000
4-H Scholarship

“I currently am a 4-H State Ambassador helping lead the way for the organization to a global stage. I have come a long way starting at 4-H at age eight when I thought I was just learning to train my dog. Thank you, Don Diego!”

Mary Moreno-Christian

UC Davis
$5,000
Employee Scholarship

“Working as a Camp Del Mar counselor during the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s racemeets helped me I became a more effective and independent leader. I plan to major in Engineering and will strive to increase the number of women and Latinas in the STEM field.”