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What moves a person to create a fund in the El Paso Community Foundation? You can read about a few of our donors below and watch the accompanying videos. Our donors represent a kaleidoscope of interests, hopes, and dreams. Great Gifts to El Paso highlight their stories and their passion to make El Paso better through philanthropy. If you are interested in establishing your own fund, contact Eric Pearson or call (915) 533-4020.
After losing her son, Michael, at age 27 in a car wreck, Terri Gallardo started a scholarship fund in the El Paso Community Foundation to honor his love for music. Michael Bustillos’ family will tell you that one of his many talents was the ability to listen. Always a good student, Michael studied music with the goal of being the best. After college, he became the assistant band director at Bryan Adams High School in Dallas, Texas.
The scholarship is for full time, undergraduate music majors at UT Arlington, Michael’s alma mater. The music of his memory will be heard through the students and musicians who take the time to just listen and follow their hearts.
David and Rosane Hassler are as committed to El Paso as they are to family. As an estate planning attorney, David is in the position to advise his clients on how to best carry out their charitable wishes. He says, “I have been involved with many charities, and I have seen the best and brightest citizens of El Paso give through the El Paso Community Foundation.”
The Hasslers three children are their most important lasting legacy. The also wanted to leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.
Manny Pacillas believes that “community foundations allow outlets for people to express what they want our community to be better for; whether it is a memory of a parent or a living teacher or a child, somebody who has impressed upon them or if they have been fortunate, a way to pay it forward to future generations and stay in El Paso.” Honoring their late son Milan, Manny and his wife Margaret created a general charitable purpose fund to make El Paso better.
In 2009, Felipa Solis lost the love of her life in a head on car crash. Felipa and her family established the Mickey Solis Scholarship Fund to assist students from Jefferson High School and the Silva Magnet School interested in careers in law and pharmacy. Mickey was a lawyer, pharmacist, and proud Jefferson High graduate.
Faced with another life-changing event in 2017 — breast cancer — Felipa worked with the El Paso Community Foundation to take the scholarship in a new direction. The scholarship rewards students from Jefferson/Silva Magnet who attend the UTEP School of Nursing with a dream, just like Mickey’s, of pursuing their passion, remembering their roots, and making our community a better place.
Richard Pineda, PhD, grew up in El Paso with his mother and grandparents, who saw education as a top priority. His life-changing experience with debate was one he wanted to pass on to future generations. Richard created the Franciso and Margartia Talamantes Scholarship Fund in memory of his grandparents who helped his achieve his dreams. Richard has high hopes for El Paso, that “this community becomes the intellectual and cultural hub of the southwest I think that’s the kind of community that we deserve.”