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Don Diego Scholarship Foundation can continue to provide scholarships to more future leaders of our community.
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Welcome, Friends!

As a longtime San Diegan who is passionate about education and about giving back to my community, I have been pleased to combine these two strong interests as an active Board member of Don Diego Scholarship Foundation since 2012. That year, I also was appointed by then-Governor Jerry Brown to the 22nd District Agricultural Association Board, which oversees the San Diego County Fair and other activities associated with the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Don Diego Scholarship Foundation Chair Stephen Shewmaker

Now, as Don Diego Chair, I am excited to work with a fantastic Board, including our other Officers – Glenn Drown, Alysha Stehly and D Prestininzi – who share a passion for helping kids and educating the next generation of leaders.

We have made many advances since our 1986 inception; broadening our scope and increasing the categories, number of recipients and monetary amount of annual college scholarships. Under my leadership, we plan to redefine our Strategic Plan, which will guide us as we continue expanding and evolving. We have already embarked on one bold venture; establishing an Alumni Club in which our more than 350 past recipients can join together to fund a new scholarship.

Currently, we offer many ways for you to enrich your life while enhancing educational opportunities for area youth. These include: 1) sponsoring a Plant*Grow*Eat bus that brings Title 1 elementary school students to the Fair, where they display their produce; 2) purchasing a personalized, commemorative brick installed at the Don Diego Legacy Brick Fountain at the Fairgrounds; 3) making a general donation to our scholarship programs; 4) creating a Named Endowed Scholarship as my family has done; and 5) enjoying our exclusive summertime Dinner and Concert Gala at the Fair.

On behalf of our entire Board, I invite you to get involved with our activities at whatever level is comfortable for you and join us as we build a better San Diego, one scholarship at a time.

Chair, Don Diego Scholarship Foundation

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The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation promotes education in a fair and fiscally sound manner by providing scholarships to deserving San Diego area graduating high school seniors and graduates who are associated with activities at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, including the San Diego County Fair. The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation also provides grants for agricultural education.

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 $1,338,884 in scholarships to 383 students and in agriculture education grants. The Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization; EIN 33-0859020.

Board of Directors

Steve Shewmaker, Chairman
Glenn Drown, Vice Chairman
Jim Edwards, Treasurer
D Prestininzi, Secretary

Mark Arabo
Lisa Barkett
Alyson Connelly
Sandra DiCicco
Susan Farrior
Joe Harper
John Hoeflich
George Karetas
Kirby Morrison
Russ Penniman
Frederick Schenk
Alysha Stehly

Chair Emeritus Paul Ecke III
Chair Emeritus Roxana Foxx
Chair Emeritus Jon Liss

Ashley Colburn McCaughan, Executive Director

Don Diego Throughout the Years

Founding Members

Dave Barham
Edmund and Inez Burke
Charity Fair Horse Show
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club/Joe Harper
Paul Ecke
Ray Harmon Family Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Klein
Mr. and Mrs. Warner Lusardi
Ben Osher
Sheila and Patrick Rose
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Spanjian
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Spanjian
Mr. and Mrs. Donald Stone
San Diego Gas and Electric
Mr. and Mrs. Morris Sims
Southern California Edison
Watt Industries