Monte Foundation Board of Directors
President: Marc Monte
Vice President: Linda Parriott
Secretary/Treasure: Brianna Yappert
Monte Foundation Board Members
The Rudolph Monte Foundation is named after Marc Monte’s late grandfather and Deluxe Foods of Aptos is the cornerstone of the Monte family generosity. Marcs dad was a hardworking man who started Deluxe Foods, the success of that business allowed the family to eventually establish the Monte Foundation. It was a coming together of two generations to make a difference in our community. He taught me that you don’t get something for nothing.
“When I started at Deluxe, I started at the bottom. If I wanted to own Deluxe someday, I needed to learn the business from the bottom up and graduate from college. Dad would say, ‘No more uneducated grocers in our family!’
“My father was born into a farming family, poor, proud, very simple. That simple beginning made him a hard worker, motivated to succeed, a serious man, and someone who saw things as black and white, right and wrong, there was no middle ground with Dad. My father never took a handout from anyone, and he earned every penny he made. He truly considered himself a grunt (what infantrymen are called in the army), a grocer, finally a small business owner, never a President or a CEO. He remained true to that simple heritage his whole life no matter how successful he became. Humble is an understatement when I think of Dad.
“When I proposed a new direction, that the family start giving back to the community through a foundation and the Fireworks Extravaganza, he agreed.”
The Monte Foundation made history in 1996 with the Fireworks Extravaganza, the first-ever countywide school fundraiser.
“We believe in giving back to the community and having fun doing it. It’s been a tough time for small businesses like ours and those of my friends, but we are still here and we want the community to benefit from the support they have given us over the years. It’s a way of ‘Paying it Forward’ by giving back to the community and to young people to help them get a good start.”
Marc continued, “Dad always enjoyed getting together with family and friends for good food and a good time (and) with the spectacular sight and excitement of fireworks over Monterey Bay.”
For the second year in Capitola, the Monte Foundation under the Directorship of Marc Monte
resumes its Fireworks Extravaganza on Sunday, October 11. According to Monte, the proceeds from this free, community event will be used to resurface the tennis courts in Jade Street Park and, “We will use the balance of what is donated this year (2015) toward covering the added costs of finishing the McGregor Drive Skateboard Park.” (The additional costs are due to mitigating the levels of lead and arsenic found in the soil.)
“Our new format,” Said Marc Monte, “worked great! In 2014 we raised about $30,000 on a completely voluntary basis. No selling tickets, no booths or vendors, no outside entertainment, Just fireworks for everyone to enjoy! We’ve pledged $50,000 from the Monte Foundation to the McGregor Drive Park project.”
Capitola Village is the center of restaurants and other visitor-serving businesses. Some of these businesses are voluntarily donating a portion of their sales for the day of the Fireworks Extravaganza to the Monte Foundation, which then donates the proceeds to local projects and schools. “We sign up our sponsors,” said Monte, “And when the day is over, they give us checks for a portion (usually 5%) of what they collect. There’s no contract or oversight, just a promise and trust and a great crowd coming out to watch our fireworks for free!”
According to Monte they, have gotten great support from most of the businesses and restaurants along the Esplanade. Monte said, “I still get people asking about booths and tickets and musical groups, and I tell them, ‘No, it’s just fireworks. Enjoy the show!’
“In 2014 the foundation raised $30,000 and pledged $50,000 towards the new park on McGregor Drive in Capitola,” Monte said, “Each year it costs about $30,000 for the fireworks, which the foundation pays for. That’s what the Monte foundation does, donates money; it’s a charitable foundation and we are delighted we can help.”
Deluxe Foods also has a program in which the customer can ask at checkout for 5% percent of their purchase to be designated to one of these institutions; the SPCA, the La Selva Beach Library, the Salesian Sisters (K-8 school, Corralitos) or Good Shepherd PreK-8 School in Santa Cruz.
Deluxe Foods of Aptos is the cornerstone of the Monte family generosity. “We believe in giving back to the community and having fun doing it. It’s been a tough time for small businesses like ours and those of my friends, but we are still here and we want the community to benefit from the support they have given us over the years. It’s a way of ‘Paying it Forward’ by giving back to the community and to young people to help them get a good start.”
So pack a snack, bring your beach or camping chair, bring a friend and/or your family and head for Capitola Beach, or the wharf, or the bluffs surrounding Capitola by the Sea and enjoy the wonder, awe and majesty of the Monte Foundation Fireworks Extravaganza above Capitola on Sunday, October 11 at 8 pm (approx). And don’t forget the “Ooohs” and “Ahhhs” as you look skyward