SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Padres tonight will honor the recipient of the first Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Award for 2014. Jose Montaño Jr., who created the Jose Montaño Foundation in the midst of a three-year battle with brain cancer, has been selected as the recipient of the award by members of the Padres' Hispanic Community Advisory Council (HCAC). 13-year-old Montaño, who passed away last month, is the first honoree in the program's history to receive the award posthumously. His father, Jose Montaño Sr., will accept the award on behalf of the Montaño family, during tonight's pregame ceremony.
Montaño Jr. was selected to receive the award in the area of LIVE (youth health) for his dedication to improving the lives of fellow kids. The South Bay teenager was diagnosed in April 2011 with Medulloblastoma, a rare type of malignant cancer. Despite having had brain surgery, 30 cycles of radiation and 27 chemotherapy cycles over the course of three years, he created the Jose Montaño Foundation to put smiles on the faces of young cancer patients. Montaño was known to walk through the halls of Rady Children's Hospital pulling a wagon and handing out toys and healthy snacks to patients, despite being connected to a portable oxygen machine.
The Padres' Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Award series was established in 2012 to recognize and pay tribute to individuals or organizations whose work makes a positive impact on those who live and work in San Diego's Hispanic community. In support of the Padres Foundation's community vision, four awards will be given throughout the year, one each in the areas of children's health (LIVE), children's education (LEARN), youth baseball/ softball or youth fitness (PLAY) and supporting our law enforcement and military communities (SERVE). To submit a nomination, visit www.padres.com/community or www.padresbeisbol.com/comunidad.
All Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Award winners will be honored together on the field before the Padres game on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, as part of a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.