Don Diego Gala Soars Above and Beyond to Celebrate Stellar Scholarship Recipients

Don Diego Class of 2023 left to right: Reagan Ochalek, Karlee Klemm, Morgan Nelson, Emily Grothe, Taite Tephabock, Collin Cavataio, Wesley Gratzer, David Gooding, Canyon Benner, Spencer Abramson, Maria Wang, Bart Backer, Moriah McLellan, Luke Anderson, Denisa Petricko. Not pictured: Nicole Guerrero, Marisa Monasterio, Taylor Michalke, Gregory Flores, Mallory Sehnert, Jordan Reyburn

Don Diego Scholarship Foundation’s July 1, 2023 Dinner and Concert Gala at the San Diego County Fair attracted a packed house. Guests enjoyed a high-top view overlooking the Fairgrounds at the famed Turf Club; an over-the-top reception, dinner and live auction of unique items, including a private flight on “The Yellow Peril” Lockwood Aircam; with the evening culminating in VIP stagefront seating under the stars at the Corona Grandstand for a concert by the iconic band, Alabama.

The actual stars were Don Diego’s 21 “Class of 2023” honorees sharing $62,000 in scholarships. Preparing to advance to prestigious colleges around the country and close to home to pursue their passions, the future leaders were presented on stage one by one by a beaming Don Diego Chairman Stephen Shewmaker. He stated, “We are proud of our accomplishments in rewarding and incentivizing ambitious students for 37 years. It would not have been possible without ongoing, generous donor support. We’re excited to keep the momentum moving forward. I promise you: we’re not going to stop!”

Read More…

Photos from the 2023 Dinner & Concert Gala!

See Photos
See Photos
Buy Now

Join Us at the Gala & Old Dominion Concert

Seating is limited so reserve your seats today!
Buy Now

Ticket purchases are closed for this event.

Join Us for a Festive 2024 Don Diego Gala!

Rhinestone Roundup with Old Dominion

Join us for a dazzling evening of celebration and philanthropy at our annual gala, where we tip our hats to the brilliance of our scholars. Rhinestone Roundup: featuring Country-Pop band, Old Dominion, as we gather for an unforgettable night filled with gourmet dining, auctions, and the chance to mingle with the very scholars who will inspire us all. In addition to our scholars, we will proudly honor and recognize CEO of the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Carlene Moore, alongside Deputy Manager, Katie Mueller, for their outstanding contributions and dedication to our community and partnership with the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation.

As the stars twinkle overhead, we’ll take our seats in exclusive box seats to watch multi-award winning country-pop music sensation, Old Dominion. It’s a night where glamour meets generosity, and where each bid cast and each handshake exchanged helps to illuminate the path for future generations of scholars. Join us for a night of elegance, entertainment, and the celebration of academic excellence.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Corona Beach House, San Diego County Fair

Suggested Attire: Rhinestone Cowboy – Country Western

Gala Schedule

4:30PM Gala Reception and Silent Auction
5;30PM Dinner; Presentation of Class of 2024 Scholars; Live Auction, honoring 22nd DAA CEO Carlene Moore and Deputy Manager, Katie Mueller
7:30PM VIP Box Seats to Old Dominion Concert on the Corona Grandstand Stage

Gala Committee

Chana Mannen
Lisa Barkett
Joe Harper
Mark Arabo

Your Generous Support Benefits Don Diego Scholarship Foundation’s Scholarships and Programs

Each Gala Ticket Purchased Includes:

  • Preferred Parking (all day)

  • Fair Admission

  • Gala Reception & Dinner

  • Gala Program

  • Silent & Live Auction

  • Box Seats to Old Dominion Concert

Your Ticket Purchase Is A Donation

to Don Diego Scholarship Foundation. Since its inception in 1986, the Foundation has awarded $1,338,844 in scholarships to 383 outstanding, deserving students who are associated with activities at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, including the San Diego County Fair.


Gala & Concert Tickets

Individual ticket(s). Tables seat 8.


Student Sponsorship

Sponsor a student to attend the Gala.


Scholar Parent

Special rate for the parents of scholarship winners to attend the Gala.

Become a Gala Sponsor

Sponsors receive Gala tickets, special recognition and the gratification of knowing they are helping deserving students pursue their college and career goals.

I cannot attend.

Please accept my donation.

Meet Our 2023 Scholarship Recipients!

Board of Directors

Steve Shewmaker, Chairman

Glenn Drown, Vice Chairman

Alysha Stehly, Treasurer

D Prestininzi, Secretary

Lisa Barkett
Alyson Connelly
Sandra DiCicco
Jim Edwards
Susan Farrior
Joe Harper
John Hoeflich
George Karetas
Kirby Morrison
Frederick Schenk

Chairs Emeritus

Paul Ecke III
Roxana Foxx
Jon Liss

Executive Director

Ashley Colburn McCaughan