Dillon Dalton, of Valparaiso, recently received the Maestro Cares Foundation's inaugural Changing Lives, Building Dreams Award, recognizing his commitment to philanthropy, both domestically and internationally.
Founded by entrepreneur Henry Cardenas and musician Marc Anthony, the Maestro Cares Foundation is a nonprofit organization benefiting charitable groups in developing countries throughout Latin America.
“It was humbling to have received the award and reflect on more than 35 years of life experiences that have created the fabric for which the organization recognized me,” Dalton said. “Poverty is everywhere in the world; however, Third World poverty is something you can’t explain until you witness it in person.”
Dalton’s father was involved in Rotary Club International, taking his family to the Bahamas, Kenya and Belize. Dalton said the experience gave him an appreciation for different cultures at a young age.
Dalton began working in Haiti 10 years ago through the Haiti Nursing Foundation, sending medical supplies and playground equipment. On his most recent trip in October, he visited three hospitals, including the Haiti Nursing Foundation School.
“We led a trip of eight doctors and nurses from the U.S. who wanted to volunteer their time. Vaccinations and supplies were given out to the facilities. We also attended the graduation of 15 nurses that we have helped sponsor through the HNF program,” Dalton said.
“There is a clear need in Haiti for medical services and it is underutilized because there are not enough doctors and nurses to serve the population.”
Dalton also began volunteering with his family eight years ago in the Dominican Republic. He will travel there in February to support Maestro Cares at the grand opening of the La Romana orphanage.
“One of our responsibilities as human beings is to be able to take care of the children of the world and make them a priority – that is what Maestro Cares has done,” Dalron added.
Dalton, 44, lives in Valparaiso with his wife, Cara Carrabine-Dalton, and their daughters, Ciara, 9, and Carson, 3. He is employed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Chicago as the senior vice president and market executive for the Mid-America States in the Commercial Banking Group.
“The banking industry is a relationship business. Banking has allowed me wonderful opportunities to meet many interesting people over the years,” Dalton said.
“It’s also allowed me to connect with friends, associates and clients around the globe. I truly feel I have a connection wherever I travel.”