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Three Fallbrook students receive Don Diego Scholarships


Last updated 6/12/2017 at Noon

Kyle Murray

DEL MAR – The 26 exceptional 2017 Don Diego Scholarship Foundation recipients – including three from Fallbrook – came from throughout San Diego County and are headed to educational institutions across the country.

Some will attend agriculture-centric universities such as Cal Poly SLO, UC Davis and Oklahoma State. Others will matriculate at prestigious schools like Stanford, Wellesley and MIT. Some are remaining close to their California roots at SoCal colleges. All 26 are undeniably going places, propelled by an unprecedented $63,500 in Don Diego scholarships.

Chair Jon Liss reports, “Our selection committee faced a challenging process. Offering college scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, we received dozens of applications from outstanding students. After finalists underwent rigorous interviews, the winners emerged. We invite people to meet our impressive Class of 2017 at our June 22 Gala & Frankie Valli Concert at the Fair.”

Scholarships were open to students countywide who participated in the San Diego County Fair and/or other activities associated with the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Awards were in the categories of 4-H, FFA (funded by the Walter J. and Betty C. Zable Foundation), Exhibitor/Participant (funded by the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation) and Employee. In addition, two Vocational/Technical (Voc/Tech) and 10 Junior Livestock Auction (JLA) scholarships rounded out the program.

Montana State University will welcome Kyle Murray of Fallbrook, who received Don Diego’s $5,000 JLA scholarship. Graduating with a 4.0 GPA, a wide range of interests, abilities and achievements – notably in 4-H but also in such diverse pursuits as lacrosse, aviation and welding – this young man who is described by his recommenders as a logical, clear-headed problem-solver with high integrity and reliability will major in chemical engineering.

Murray's JLA accomplishments are legendary; he has won several Showmanship awards for chickens and turkeys and a number of Blue Ribbons in the Meat Pen Poultry category. In 2016, he won the Reserve Grand Champion and 4-H Champion awards. Recalling the moment he took his poultry across the auction block, Murray said, “Experiencing the enthusiastic support of the community is something I will remember for a long time.”

The remaining 2017 Don Diego Scholarship Foundation recipients included Andrew Holemo and Audrey Greenwood from Fallbrook. Holemo was awarded a $2,500 Voc/Tech scholarship while Greenwood won a $1,000 JLA scholarship.

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 approximately $862,000 in scholarships to 204 students and in agriculture education grants. For more information visit


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