Contact Us!

Dear donors and supporters,

We are just one week away from Thanksgiving Day and I cannot express to you how thankful I am for all of you! All that you do to help our students thrive warms my heart and I want to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude for partnering with us to make a tangible impact in the lives of so many in our community.

Just last week, the MC Weekly featured Hartnell Women’s and Men’s Soccer team as their cover story. I am so proud of this team! You should know that I am a huge soccer fan and soccer is my sport to play, so this news has me excited to keep pushing for support for our student athletes. Read this article by clicking HERE.

What a year this is turning out to be! With you by our side, everything is possible. This gives me a great sense of pride for the work that we execute each day. Our students are moving ahead and it is thanks to your support that their dreams are becoming a reality.

Happy Thanksgiving Day to you and yours!

Be well,

Jackie Cruz

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

BUILT ON LEGACY A Tottino family affair

When the Tottino family heard about the construction of the Castroville Education Center, a burst of excitement filled their hearts.

“Jackie Cruz came to Ocean Mist to make a presentation about the new Center,” said Cathy [Tottino] Alameda. “I brought information to the family and together we decided to honor our parents with something so significant.”

The Tottino family donated $250,000.00 in unrestricted funds over five years to support the Castroville Education Center. Cathy told how the entire family came together, her generation and the next generation, supported the amount wholeheartedly.

For the Tottino family, love for the community and giving began in the early 1920s with Alfred and Emilia Tottino. Alfred was one of the founders of Ocean Mist. They gave quietly to their community and injected that legacy of giving to Hugo and Dolores Tottino, Cathy’s parents, and the ripple effect continues today.

“Castroville has been really good to us,” Cathy said. “We just want to give back.”

Hugo and Dolores had five children: Cathy, Michele, Les, Karen, and David. All in the family have been or are part of Ocean Mist. It is a family affair.

Hugo Tottino always said that education was key. He passed away a few years ago; Dolores continues to call Castroville her home.

This family looks to the future with hope to inspire the Ocean Mist employees to attend Hartnell College and improve their skills for promotion opportunities. In addition to this gift, the Tottino family and Ocean Mist support students in Castroville with annual scholarships. This is something the entire family looks forward to every year.

“All some students need is a helping hand,” Cathy said.

MC GIVES IS ON! Let’s keep our students thriving

The Hartnell College Foundation has teamed up with Monterey County Gives to make an impact in our community this year and we hope you’ll make a gift of any size through the end of 2021 to help our students move from struggling to striving and thriving! Your gift will help us provide $500 Emergency Scholarships to help cover students’ basic needs like housing, food, medical bills, etc.

With 85% of our students coming from low-income families, this extra help will make a huge difference.

With Giving Tuesday being right around the corner, there’s no better time to make a difference in the life of a Hartnell College student than giving a gift on Tuesday, November 30th at OR even better, make your gift today, then tell a friend or two to start a giving chain! By participating in Giving Tuesday, you will be a part of worldwide generosity and giving that is inspiring major change and transformation.

Join millions of givers around the world by making a donation on Giving Tuesday to support Hartnell students. Make sure that you follow the Hartnell College Foundation on Facebook for shareable content and our latest news at:


BREAKING NEWS The AFR goes up in December!

The IRS has released the Applicable Federal Rate for the month of December 2021. Each month the Service surveys hundreds of interest rates for various financial instruments and publishes the rate that is applicable for charitable deduction calculations. The rate for December is 1.6%. The rates will look like this:

  • When calculating the tax deduction for a charitable gift, the IRS permits use of the Applicable Federal Rate for the current month or one of the two prior months.
  • For charitable remainder unitrusts, annuity trusts and gift annuities, the highest Applicable Federal Rate will produce the largest charitable tax deduction.
  • However, for seniors who create gift annuities and do not itemize, the lowest Applicable Federal Rate will produce the highest tax-free payout. For lead trusts and life estates reserved, the lowest Applicable Federal Rate is most favorable.

Contact Kristine Edmunds at for any questions about your estate.

Dear donors and supporters,

The first showers of the season have brought new life and color to our region. The tree leaves are changing color and with that, we are reminded that the semester and the year will end soon, giving us new hope and anticipation for what is to come in 2022.

But this year still has much to enjoy. With the grand opening of the Soledad Education Center and the expansion of the King City Education Center, I am beyond proud to see a dream for our community come to life and be celebrated.

Just last week, we also confirmed that the Castroville Education Center will be open for students for the spring semester in 2022. Hartnell College has more than delivered on its promise to Measure T voters to increase educational opportunities for students and communities throughout Monterey County.

I appreciate all of your efforts, which allow us to provide strong support for our students.

Be well,

Jackie Cruz

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

GRAND OPENING Community Celebrates New Soledad Center

Cutting the ribbon at the close of the Grand Opening Celebration for the Soledad Education Center is Hartnell Governing Board President Erica Padilla Chavez (holding scissors). From left: Randy Bangs, superintendent, Soledad Unified School District (SUSD); Monica Pantoja, SUSD board member; Chris Lopez, Monterey County Supervisor and member of the Hartnell College Foundation Board of Directors; Hartnell Trustee Candi DePauw (rear); Carla Strobridge, Soledad City Council member; former Soledad mayor Frank Ledesma; Hartnell Trustee Alejandra Gonzalez (rear); Anna Velazquez, Soledad Mayor and district director for State Sen. Anna Caballero; Hartnell Interim Superintendent/President Dr. Raul Rodríguez; (Erica Padilla-Chavez); Ivan Ibarra Mora, board member, SUSD; Alejandro Chavez, Soledad City Council member and husband of Padilla-Chavez; Marisela Lara, Soledad City Council member; Hartnell Trustee Irma Lopez; Assemblymember Robert Rivas; Mostafa Ghous, dean of South County Education Services for Hartnell; and Ana Gonzalez, director of the Soledad center.

On October 23, 2021, nearly 300 community members of the greater Soledad area came together to experience and celebrate a source of pride and a transformational new asset for the Salinas Valley – the Hartnell College Soledad Education Center.

The Hartnell Community College District (HCCD) invited residents of all ages to watch as it formally cut the ribbon on the 16,750-square-foot center at 1505 Metz Road, which was completed this spring and began offering classes in August.

Participants were able to tour the building and learn about becoming a student during the upcoming Spring 2022 semester, which starts Jan. 24. The center has a tutoring and study center known as the Panther Learning Lab, wet and dry science labs and three state-of-the-art classrooms.

“This has been such a long time coming,” said Hartnell Governing Board President Erica Padilla-Chavez, who represents Soledad as the district’s Area 6 trustee. “I’ve spoken to so many folks who have lived here all their lives and who dreamed of one day having a Hartnell center right here in Soledad.”

Padilla-Chavez gratefully acknowledged the City of Soledad’s decision to provide 3.7 acres for the center for just one dollar, which allowed Hartnell to stretch its construction funds from the $167 million Measure T bond. Soledad plans to build Orchard Lane Park immediately north of the center within the next couple of years, creating a Wi-Fi-equipped green space right next door.

Soledad Mayor Anna Velazquez accepted an honorary key to the center and said, “I know Hartnell’s motto is putting ‘students first’, and today we see that coming to fruition.”

Hartnell’s Interim Superintendent/President Dr. Raul Rodríguez highlighted the center’s Community Room, which he encouraged local organizations to use.

“It’s for you; it’s for the public,” Dr. Rodríguez said. “Contact the staff to reserve it. We’ve already had Rotary meetings and other organizations meet here, and we want to have many more organizations from the community use this room.”

Prior to the community celebration, the Hartnell College Foundation hosted donors and interested supporters at a breakfast reception inside the center to highlight funders who have helped raise nearly $3.2 million to help pay operating expenses at all three centers. Major donors to the Soledad center include Huntington Farms, Tanimura Family Foundation, Harden Foundation, Sally Hughes Church Foundation, Monterey Peninsula Foundation, the Padilla-Chavez family, and the family of Hartnell Trustee Margaret D’Arrigo-Martin.

Honor a loved one

Have you considered making a memorial gift in the future? You can use your will or living trust to make a gift in honor of a loved one. Your bequest may be made in the following ways:

  • Make a gift of any cash amount
  • Give a specific asset from your estate
  • Make a gift of a percentage of your estate
  • Give from the residuum of your estate

Any of these methods are ways in which you can honor someone and create a lasting memory.

A bequest is one of the easiest gifts you can make to significantly impact our work. Your estate planning attorney can include a provision in your will that leaves a lasting gift to our organization. Your bequest could be a gift of specific assets (such as a vehicle, artwork or coin collection), a dollar amount ($100, $1,000 or 10,000) or a percentage of your estate (3%, 10% or even 25%).

A bequest could also be made from the residue of your estate or what is left after all gifts have been made to your heirs.

Please contact Philanthropy Director, Kristine Edmunds at or call 831.755.6903 for more information on how to make memorial gifts.

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:

Contact Us