Press Releases

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 […]

11/29/17|0 Comments

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

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 and

10/29/17|0 Comments

Don Diego VocEd Scholarships Open The Door To Digital Industrial Jobs of the Future

In today’s “digital industrial” world of smart devices and robotics, with self-driving cars on the horizon, Don Diego Scholarship Foundation’s Vocational Education (Voc Ed) scholarships address a need that may appear surprising: skilled manufacturing and technician jobs. Why? Because human beings are needed to build the machines and write the code that enables them to operate.

08/25/16|0 Comments

Don Diego Scholar Carolyn Kravitz is a Stanford Success Story

Gaining acceptance to one of the nation’s most acclaimed universities, Stanford, is a major accomplishment. To excel in this highly competitive Palo Alto, California university environment, a student must possess not only intellect but also drive. To maintain a stellar GPA while successfully participating in diverse extracurricular activities, the Stanford student must be an exceptional scholar. Don Diego Scholarship Foundation’s top $10,000 scholarship recipient of 2014, Carolyn Kravitz, has all these attributes and more.

08/16/16|0 Comments