By Noel Smith
Sunday, October 7 – 8:00 p.m. Capitola Wharf, Capitola
For the fifth year in Capitola, the Monte Foundation under the Directorship of Marc Monte resumes its Fireworks Extravaganza in memory this year of his mother, Doris Monte (December 15, 1925 – August 3, 2018) on Sunday, October 7.
Marc’s dad, Rudolph (Rudy) Daniel Monte, and his mother Doris Sylvia Monte opened up two grocery stores together. The first was Lady Fair Market in San Jose, which was named for Doris and her blond hair. She worked at that store for over 20 years doing the books, checking, and stocking groceries. The store of their dreams, Deluxe Foods of Aptos, was opened in 1977. Once again, Doris was the head checker and worked in the office until she and Rudy retired. 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.
According to Monte, 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. The proceeds from this free, community event will be used towards furnishing and equipping the new Capitola library.
Capitola Village is the center of restaurants and other visitor-serving businesses. Many 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. By holding the fireworks in Capitola means that the money raised goes to projects in Capitola.
When asked about the impact of moving the fireworks – and fundraising – to Capitola, Monte expressed that he remains dedicated to both the Capitola and Aptos communities. “I still give a lot of money through Deluxe and personally to the schools in Aptos. It’s not like I’ve abandoned my home.”
“We sign up our sponsors,” said Monte, “And when the day is over, they give us checks for a portion 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!” 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! 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.”
“When I started at Deluxe, I started at the bottom. If I wanted to own Deluxe someday, I needed to learn the business from thebottom up and graduate from college. Dad would say, ‘No more uneducated grocers in our family! 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.
“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. I have the best job in the world,” he shared. “Deluxe, with my management team, pretty much runs itself, and that allows me to focus on my charity work, which is what I love the most. So much of the foundation has my face on it – if something happens to me who replaces me? You know, I don’t have any children… I’d like to see it all continue.”
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 7 at 8 p.m. (approx.). And don’t forget the “Ooooooohs” and “Aaaaaaaahs” as you look skyward.
To donate towards the new Capitola library please visit: www.monte-foundation.com