Rachel Dawson circa 1996.
All of the Legacy Bricks honoring Don Diego Scholarship Foundation recipients are as special as the scholars they represent. The bricks of scholars, board members and contributors embellish pathways at the Don Diego Legacy Brick Fountain in the Plaza de México at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
No brick is more special than that of Rachel Dawson, who received a scholarship in 1996 as she graduated from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. Rachel qualified for the $5,000 scholarship by exhibiting a prize-winning family quilt at the San Diego County Fair. She received additional scholarships, all totaling $17,000, enabling her to earn a BFA in Costume Design from Cal Arts after attending the Rhode Island School of Design and Pasadena Art Center. She was an Old Globe costume intern, worked for Disney Imagineering, designed puppets, painted portraits, sold hand-cut stationery and was planning a career in fabric and surface design.
Rachel passed away from leukemia at age 34 on January 20, 2013. This serene and incredibly talented young woman accomplished much in her brief life, says her mother, Donna Dawson. “She was like a comet, impressing people with her creativity, kindness and generosity, and then suddenly was gone. Two months after Rachel died, I received a beautiful bouquet of birthday roses from her. She had ordered them way ahead of time, in case she would not be here to give them to me herself.”
Donna and her husband, Larry, plan to establish a foundation in their daughter’s honor, saying, “We want Rachel’s creative spirit to live on and be nurtured in others.” For more on the foundation, contact the Dawsons at 619-295-2705.
Don Diego Executive Director Chana Mannen states, “Although we at Don Diego are very sad at Rachel’s passing, we are amazed at her accomplishments and gratified that our scholarship could help her pursue her goals. Now, thanks to the Dawsons’ foundation, other young adults will be able to pursue theirs.”