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!”

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Photos from the 2023 Dinner & Concert Gala!

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Join Us at the Gala & Alabama Concert

Seating is limited so reserve your seats today!
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Join Us for a Festive 2023 Don Diego Gala!

Guests attending Don Diego Scholarship Foundation’s exclusive Gala and Alabama Concert on Saturday, July 1, 2023 at the San Diego County Fair will savor country comforts and southern delights in the Del Mar Fairgrounds’ famed Turf Club.

Gala-goers enjoy preferred parking, hosted bar, gourmet southern cuisine, and a celebratory program; all culminating in VIP Grandstand seating for the legendary musical group Alabama.

The Gala will feature Don Diego’s 2023 college scholarship recipients, who will mingle with guests and donors, receive recognition for their achievements, and help auction off unique items.

Don Diego Chairman Stephen Shewmaker states, “We are excited to share this special evening with our supportive Don Diego community. We encourage people to buy tickets before the event sells out.”

Gala Schedule

Suggested Attire: Country Western

4:30PM Gala Reception: Hosted Bar
6:00PM Dinner; Presentation of Class of 2023 Scholars; Live Auction, honoring former auctioneer and board member, Frederick Schenk
7:30PM VIP Stagefront Seating, Corona Grandstand Concert: Alabama

Gala Chair

Joe Harper

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

  • Alabama Concert (additional charge)

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.


Gala Only 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