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Dear supporters and friends,

I am so excited to let you know that on August 2, our staff will be welcomed back to campus! We feel great to, once again, be able to work collaboratively in person.

Hartnell did such a good job of keeping our students, faculty, and staff connected virtually over the last year, and we are eager to transition back to in-person learning and in-person work, with adjustments as needed.

More great news! Our centers in Soledad and in King City are ready for their grand openings. These education centers stand front and center in our beloved South County and ready to provide students with easy access to higher education. We are so thankful to Measure T supporters who made it possible for Soledad to have a state-of-the-art campus, and for the expansion of our center in King City.

There is so much good happening at Hartnell and we hope it inspires gratitude and joy in you who have given us so much to be grateful for.

Be well,

Jackie Cruz

Vice President,
Advancement and Development
and Executive Director for the
Hartnell College Foundation


Funding a charitable gift annuity with us is like sending your friends a postcard that says, “Wish you were here.” A gift annuity shows just how savvy you are – it shows you planned and that you have arrived! 

A gift annuity offers fixed, annual, lifetime payments, tax savings and other benefits, while supporting the causes that matter most to you. We will help you get there. 

Create a legacy, let us know your preferences, and you will be on your way to achieving your charitable goals.  Thank you for your generous support to further the mission of the Hartnell College Foundation. Call or email me at 831-444-2446 or

Political Science Professor sees his legacy flourish

It was in 1985 that Hartnell College political science professor Paul Aschenbrenner felt it was time to start helping Hartnell students with scholarships. He found information about endowments and concluded that his goal would be to create a scholarship fund to help students in perpetuity.

Aschenbrenner started the Pennies from Heaven project that same year with a mission to collect one million pennies. This number of pennies would set up a $10,000 endowed scholarship fund and fund at least one scholarship per year using just the interest from the endowment.

What prompted the urgency to begin this project was discovering that the national debt had surpassed one-trillion dollars.  Attempting to conceptualize the idea of a trillion dollars, Aschenbrenner explained to his class that this is equal to one million times one million and encouraged the class to collect a million of something with value, which turned out to be pennies.  

Ashcenbrenner was clever in his strategy. He used the 188th anniversary of President Lincoln’s birthday (the face of our penny!) to kick off this unique effort. 

A special box made of steel and glass was specially constructed and placed in the Hartnell Student Center to collect the pennies. These pennies were collected from students and community members for over 13 years before it reached the one million mark. Fast forward to 2021, this scholarship fund has grown and for over 20 years has supplied scholarships to Hartnell College students.

“We now have nearly $60,000 in the endowment,” said Aschenbrenner. “This year, my committee and I gave three scholarships of $900 each.”

The scholarship committee (which includes former students of Aschenbrenner) likes to have close contact with the recipients. Once the applicants are selected, they are invited to Aschenbrenner’s home in Salinas for a gathering. “We like to have that personal connection,” he said. “We love to hear the students’ stories and to know how the scholarship is helping them reach their dreams.”

Aschenbrenner taught at Hartnell for 28 years and was beloved by his students and campus community. He retired almost 20 years ago, but his heart has always been with Hartnell students. He loves to travel, and his favorite place in the world is Antarctica, followed by Africa. In his spare time, he loves to volunteer at his church feeding the homeless in the area.

Thank you, Paul Aschenbrenner, for showing continued care and love toward Hartnell students and our community!

What will your legacy be?

If you are thinking about naming the Hartnell College Foundation in your estate plans, contact our Vice President of Advancement and Development/Executive Director for the Foundation, Jackie Cruz at or call (831) 444-2446 or our Director of Philanthropy, Kristine Edmunds at or by phone at (831) 755-6903. To make a gift in support of Hartnell students, go to:

Dear supporters and friends,

It has been so good to see things begin to open up around us as we step into what is shaping up to be a brighter summer. It has been so nice, for me personally, to be able to see family, friends, and colleagues after so long.

Connecting with others regularly is a great way to stay informed and engaged. I hope you find this eNewsletter to be just that – a way to stay in the know of special news items and of unique opportunities to expand your involvement with the college.

This summer, as we welcome faculty and students back for in-person learning, we are uplifted to be able to offer the opportunity for students to choose to continue their education on campus.

Fall semester will be here before we know it. As the college prepares to open the doors wider, we are excited to supply students with the tools necessary to succeed. In addition, the Foundation is getting ready to connect once again with all of you at our annual events like the WELI Forum, Gala for the Arts, Athletics Hall of Fame, and more. Information will be coming to your inbox very soon!

I hope you continue to enjoy the summer!
With you,

Jackie Cruz

Vice President,
Advancement and Development
and Executive Director for the
Hartnell College Foundation

Eliminate 100% of Capital Gains Tax

Many Americans will take stock of their investment portfolio this year and discover that they own one or more assets that produce little or no income. They will consider simply selling the asset and reinvesting the proceeds in a way that will generate greater income.  Unfortunately, if you follow this strategy, you will lose some of the value of your asset to capital gains tax.

If you own highly appreciated assets and would like to turn these assets into cash without paying tax on the appreciation, let us show you how!

The phrase “low-yield asset” may be familiar to you, if you have invested over the past two or three decades. Now the most frequently asked question is when to sell your assets.

If you are like many people, you will pay significant tax on the sale of your assets. This tax instantly reduces any cash proceeds you may receive from the sale.

There is a way to avoid taxes and benefit charity with your investments. This is good news for anyone whose objectives include philanthropy.

 A Gift and Sale plan may be structured to produce an income tax deduction that completely offsets the tax due on the sale of stock.

All considered, the Gift and Sale strategy actually delivers amazing benefits!

If you would like to learn how the double tax benefit of the Gift and Sale plan can help you realize your philanthropic goals and diversify your assets, please contact me today at!

Oldtown Salinas Foundation – paying it forward

The spirit of philanthropy seems to be in the air and has inspired entrepreneurs Joel R. Panzer and Frank Savino. Just last month, under the Oldtown Salinas Foundation, they activated an endowment to provide scholarships to Hartnell students who are children of farmers in the area.

“We see how hard these families work,” said Panzer of those who are part of the weekly Farmers Market in Oldtown Salinas. “Some of the youth we wish to support are there helping every Saturday.”

Panzer and Savino were inspired by one particular young man, Romero Lopez (pictured), who works alongside his aunt Clarabell each Saturday. “He is the type of student this scholarship will benefit in order to take him to the next level in his educational journey,” Panzer said.

This endowment will honor the memory of Debbie Savino, a supporter of Hartnell College students, and also to bring tribute to Maureen Wruck, whose support of farm workers is known throughout Monterey County.

The Oldtown Salinas Foundation is a non-profit, founded in 2000, public benefit Corporation and is not organized for the private gain of any person. It is organized under the Nonprofit Public Benefit Law for public and charitable purposes.

The specific purposes of this Corporation are to support, preserve and promote the development and rehabilitation of the historic downtown area through fundraising, holding special events, promoting the food and arts culture, operation of a Farmer’s Market, public relations efforts, marketing and promotion, grant writing and community education.

The Oldtown Salinas Foundation manages the weekly Farmers Market as part of the beautification project of Oldtown. Both Joel and Frank are at the front side of operations and are proud of how the Market has stayed open during the pandemic, providing support to farmers as well as healthy alternatives to visitors.

Joel is a member of his wife Maureen’s Planning Consultant team, and Frank is the owner of AquaBlue Spa.  They say the endowment will be supported each year with proceeds from participation in the Farmers Market.

“We have big aspirations for this endowment,” said Joel. “We want to make it stronger to support more students, especially those who are the first in their family to go to college.”

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