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CBSS Foundation:
The Diane M. Kelly Memorial Fund

What is the CBSS Foundation?

The CBSS Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit set up through the University of Maryland Foundation account. Since 1999, CBSS Foundation Funds have been used to assist families in need who are served by Connections Beyond Sight & Sound. Since 2012, The CBSS Foundation has been a living memorial to Dr. Diane Kelly — who dedicated her life to children with deaf-blindness and served as CBSS Project Director for more than two decades.

How is the Foundation funded?

The CBSS Foundation is funded through tax-deductible donations made by providers, families, businesses, and other generous individuals and groups. There have also been fundraisers created by families or providers who want to support CBSS families through Foundation funds. Since 2012, many donations have been made in honor of Dr. Diane Kelly, CBSS Project Director from 1991 until her passing in 2012. (Videos and News items on these activities can be found lower on this page).

All donations to the CBSS Foundation Funds through
the UMD Foundation account are tax deductible.
University of Maryland Foundation, Inc. Tax ID: 52-1125663

How are Foundation funds used?

CBSS Foundation funds go directly to families served by CBSS!

  • Who? — Families of children birth through 21 with dual sensory impairment, living in Maryland or DC, and who are on the CBSS Census. (NOTE: Please check with Donna Riccobono to be sure your child is on the CBSS Census before applying for CBSS Foundation Funds).
  • What? — Funding to support a variety of needs and services that benefit the child and family, including:
    • Specialized equipment, technology, or programming that will benefit of child, but that is not covered by insurance or is not considered an “educational need” covered by the school system (e.g., a special bath chair, or a trial period for a specialized or recreational therapy program);
    • Short-term respite care (NOTE: families are responsible for securing their own respite provider even when respite care is supplemented with CBSS Foundation Funds);
    • Family leadership and training opportunities (e.g., participation in our Special Topics Workshops, Summer Institute, or local or national conferences related to deaf-blindess or specific disabilities).
  • How much? CBSS Foundation Funds are usually for $500 or less. This support can be offered tax-free to families in need one time per year. Families must apply for the funding (see below); requests are reviewed by a Foundation Committee consisting of individuals beyond CBSS staff.

Please note the following priorities and exclusions regarding CBSS Foundation Funding:

  • CBSS Foundation Funds are specifically designated to support a family and child in the home and community environment. Materials and services purchased with Foundation Funds must be for use at home or in the community, not in a school setting. CBSS will not provide funds for any form of medical or educational assistance — including equipment and materials to support any assistive technology — to be used in an educational environment.
  • Special consideration will be given for children with a dual sensory loss aged birth to 3 years of age for equipment and assistive technology needed in the home environment.

How to apply for Foundation Support:

Applying for Foundation support is easy for families!

  • Send a request for support note to Donna Riccobono by e-mail
  • After the request is received, you will receive an information request letter and a W-9 to complete.
    • The information needed to determine if the request will be improved includes the amount of money being requested (up to $600), an explanation of the need, and an explanation of how the funds will be used.
    • A W-9 form must be completed by a family member aged 18 years or older, and it must include the Social Security number of the person applying for or receiving the funds on behalf of the child being supported.
  • After the information letter and W-9 are complete, a Foundation committee will review your request promptly.
  • The review committee will have the discretion to determine the total amount awarded to each family.
  • You will receive a decision within five business days.
  • Once approved, there is a processing time of two to four weeks before the Foundation funds are sent to the family.
  • Requests may also be sent by Fax at 301-314-9158.
  • Request may also be mailed to 1220 Benjamin Building College Park, MD 20742 ATTN: D. Riccobono CBSS/UM

How to support the Foundation and CBSS families:

CBSS is always appreciative of any level of support, at any time.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to support CBSS Families:

Please send your donation check made to the
University of Maryland Foundation
1220 Benjamin Building College Park, MD 20742

ATTN: D. Riccobono CBSS/UM.

Please add “Donation for CBSS families”
Please note if the donation is in honor of a particular child or person.

Please NOTE: Checks must be made to UMD Foundation, and not to CBSS. If the check is made to Connections, we will not be able to deposit the check and we will need to return it to you. At this time we do not accept credit cards.

You will receive a receipt and a thank you letter for tax purposes.
Please let us know if we may share you donation on the CBSS website.

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Get Involved with Foundation
Activities & Events

Upcoming Activities/Events

Stay tuned!
CBSS is working on a “virtual” event,
involving a mailer and creative support activity,
and a celebration of support on our website.
Details on the way!

Recent Foundation Activities/Events

2014 0503 Save the Date page

“Connect with a Cause” took place on May 3, 2014. This Mimosa Brunch, celebrating and supporting CBSS families, was located at Dutch’s Daughter, an exquisite restaurant located in Frederick, Maryland. All donations (from ticket sales, sponsorships, vendors, and other support) went directly to the UMD Foundation fund to support families served by CBSS!

Read our story, learn about our sponsors,
and enjoy the photo album from the
May 3 “Connect for a Cause” Mimosa Brunch here…

Previous Foundation Activities/Events

In addition to donations, the CBSS Foundation has benefitted from events and fundraisers created by families or providers who want to support CBSS families. Since 2012, many donations have made made in honor of Dr. Diane Kelly, former CBSS Project Director. To celebrate the life of their son, Elijah, who passed away during 2008, Ashley and Ramon Jimenez hosted a golf tournament fundraiser for three years. Elijah benefitted from CBSS services, and the family also received support from CBSS Foundation Funds. And in 2011, a group of middle school students celebrated a classmate who benefited from CBSS activities by raising funds for the CBSS Foundation.


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Watch our 2009 Foundation video here…

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