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HCF Gift Legacy eNewsletter 11/03/21

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:

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