Six San Antonio nonprofits awarded capital grants of $3M from the the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation

San Antonio Area Foundation

Six nonprofit organizations received a combined $3 million for future capital projects. The gifts were a result of the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation, a fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation.

Area Foundation board members and staff, John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation committee members, and Santikos Enterprises representatives visited the six nonprofits the week of Aug. 6 with award checks in hand.  These award recipients join past recipients in a capital naming rights grants process created by the San Antonio Area Foundation to honor the late John L. Santikos with naming rights opportunities from nonprofits that fall under his designated areas of interest.

“Mr. Santikos would be proud to see how his legacy is being carried out, and the impact his gift is having to increase the infrastructure and capacity of our nonprofit institutions throughout our community,” said Becca Brune, president and chief operating officer for the San Antonio Area Foundation.

It’s somewhat of a given that Mr. Santikos would also be proud to see the community he loved step up to the helping plate. Every dollar of the $3 million was possible thanks to the patronage of the community to Santikos theatres. As a matter of fact, every movie ticket, food and drink, or game purchase will result in needed funding for nonprofits in 2018. This funding, a portion of which is the $3 million, will be given to vetted nonprofits that are providing vital services crucial to making San Antonio and an additional seven-county area viable places to live.

This year’s JLS Charitable Foundation nonprofit recipients are:



Award Amount

Project Description

Alamo Community College District/ San Antonio College/Scobee Education Center


San Antonio College hosts one of Texas’ three Challenger Centers in the Scobee Education Center. The Scobee provides the John L. Santikos Micronauts program, one of the nation’s first “cradle-to-college” STEM pathways. It capitalizes on young children’s natural curiosity via a simulated trip to the International Space Station. By making STEM education a focus in a child’s early education, a lifelong passion to learn about and care for our planet and for space science is nurtured.

San Antonio Botanical Garden Society


Art in the Garden brings together the public, artists, art lovers and art supporters for annual extended exhibitions by local, regional and national contemporary sculpture artists. The focal point of the Garden’s new Event Lawn will be the John L. Santikos Fountain of the Ferns.  The eight-foot high cascading fountain is inspired by a cross between a Hill Country canyon seep and the Villa d’Este outside of Rome. The John L. Santikos Fountain of the Ferns will flow into a joyful water garden lined with arching jets of water. Soft lighting will illuminate the feature at night for special events. As one of the most prominent water features in the garden, the fountain will become an iconic focal point and the centerpiece for various arts and cultural activities to be held on the Event Lawn. 

Hill Country Daily Bread


Hill Country Daily Bread is providing the facilities and organizational infrastructure necessary to provide mentored services for families, individuals and at-risk youth. A primary component of the campaign is an 8,000 sq. ft training center with commercial kitchen, which will be available year-round. This includes an outdoor amphitheater and adjacent outdoor spaces to provide the opportunity for large group training and recruitment, as well as hosted events for mentors and clients.  These new facilities will accommodate group events as large as 300 for training and indoor/outdoor events for up to 600. The facility will also serve as home to a Summer Leadership Academy for at-risk children.

Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio


This project will transform an underutilized baseball field and open field next into a state-of-the-art youth development park for San Antonio’s Eastside. BGCSA will partner with the Cal Ripken Senior Foundation to offer a sustainable, accessible baseball/softball program. The focus of the project will be the synthetic turf baseball/softball field with a large open space for soccer and youth football. Lighting will allow for evening games and added safety; and will encourage community members to utilize the facilities in the evenings. Plans also include a small building with public restrooms and a concession stand. In addition, a sand volleyball court, a shaded sports court, and a walking path with fitness stations will offer the community more choices for informal sports activities.

Texas Public Radio


John L. Santikos was a longtime supporter of Texas Public Radio (TPR). TPR is in the process of securing a new four-story headquarters at the historic Alameda Theatre. TPR will recognize and honor Mr. Santikos’ legacy of generosity with on-air announcements that will be heard by their radio audience.

San Antonio Foundation for Excellence in Education/ CAST Tech


CAST Tech is the first in a CAST network of schools that will be a national model for a new way to educate youth as well as a training ground for San Antonio teachers and principals.  Students have an opportunity to graduate with up to two years of college credit, with hands-on, project-based learning, and structured time that includes research, labs, and industry partners, with teachers serving as coaches and mentors.





The Area Foundation received 122 proposals totaling more than $96 million in grant funding requests for the 2018 process. An esteemed group of community leaders shepherded the review process, ultimately narrowing it to 25 semi-finalists and then to nine finalists. Site visits to the nine finalists were conducted for final decision.

Criteria for the grants included:

  • Projects had to present a significant naming rights opportunity for Mr. Santikos and requests were limited to renovation, restoration, construction, acquisition and expansion projects, or programs.
  • All requests had to demonstrate exceptional, potential impact measured by one or more of the following: 1) number of people served; 2) type and scope of impact it will foster; 3) opportunities for scalability
  • Extra consideration was made for proposals that also accomplished one or more of the following: introduce new, unique and/or national best practices in the San Antonio area; align with city, county or other regional priorities; align with the Area Foundation’s High School Completion and Successfully Aging and Living in San Antonio (SALSA)strategic initiatives; and/or seek to match or leverage national funds

Because of Mr. Santikos gift, the Area Foundation now oversees Santikos Enterprises, which is part of a charitable fund under management. The bulk of the gift from Mr. Santikos resides within his real estate company, which creates sustainability for the future, while entertainment income generates variable annual dividends to support investment in local community. Future cycles of grants are dependent upon the variable annual dividends and when available, full application details and deadlines will be posted at




The San Antonio Area Foundation has served as the sole, designated community foundation for the San Antonio area for over half a century, growing to become one of the Top 20 foundations in the nation based on asset size. The Area Foundation helps donors achieve their charitable goals, managing more than 500 charitable funds approaching $1 billion in assets. Coordinating efforts with numerous area nonprofits, the Area Foundation serves as a collaborative leader, connecting donors to address key community issues and investing in our future. Since 1964, over $400 million for scholarships and grants have been awarded to enhance the quality of life in our region. Learn more about your community foundation at  The John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation, a fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation, was created by John L. Santikos – entrepreneur, real estate developer and movie theatre businessman – who died December 30, 2014. Mr. Santikos gifted the bulk of his estate to the San Antonio Area Foundation to establish his legacy, continue the successful operation of his businesses and make significant annual donations beyond his lifetime. He directed his support for nonprofits in eight Texas counties who offer a wide range of charitable programs. Learn more at

  • San Antonio Area Foundation