Some 12 years ago, Alcario and Carmen Castellano experienced a windfall of money which today, looking back, has benefitted the local Hispanic/Latino community of the County of Santa Clara in ways that will amount to a unique legacy of altruism and ‘service to others’. The California Lotto prize won was the largest ever, at the time it was realized. Carmen and Alcario Castellano are to be respected, honored, appreciated and held in high esteem for what they have accomplished so far with the proceeds of that invested fortune. They have taken their time to assess their core values, evaluate, plan and act accordingly with very high levels of integrity. Since organizing The Castellano Family Foundation, Inc. in December 2001, Alcario and Carmen, with the assistance of Special Assistant to the President, Sandra Gonzalez Murillo, have evaluated all requests for support submitted to them during the past 11 years. Realizing that they needed to become more organized and effective, they engaged two qualified and respected consultants whose counsel has led to significant changes in their mode of operations and the granting of supportive awards.

Beginning immediately, Alcario retires from active involvement in evaluation and granting of awards. Carmen Castellano continues as the President of the Castellano Family Foundation, inc. whose new official board members are their three adult children: Mrs. Maria C. West, Carmela C. Garcia, and Armando Castello. Ms. Angie Briones, Director of Programs and Operations, and Sandra G. Murillo, Special Assistant to the President are the supportive staff. They have effectively invested the endowment funds and will be distributing an estimated $350,000 per year to the non-profit community based groups which are addressing the needs of the local Latino community. The awards to be made will be in the $5,000 to $10,000 range for programs which meet the new guidelines. No longer will supportive awards be made for parades, events, and organizational operations or deficits. Their considered decision resulted in the following mission statement

“The Castellano Family Foundation’s deep appreciation and love for the vitality, and diversity of the Santa Clara Guided by the values of our community, family, social change, empathy, and integrity, we are dedicated to: Promoting Latino Arts and Culture; Enabling Latino youth and youth of color to achieve their education goals; Investing in the leadership of Latinos and our nonprofit partners.

Author: Hilbert Morales, EL OBSERVADOR