2013 Outstanding Foundation Partner - The Vicky Collins Foundation
Vicky Collins was a vibrant young Capitol Hill staffer who had a beautiful smile, an infectious laugh, a soft Southern accent, and a great sense of adventure. She loved skiing in the Colorado Rockies and enjoyed the challenge of working long hours in her Capitol Hill office. She liked nothing better than driving her white mustang convertible with the top down with loud music blasting.
In the prime of her life, Vicky suffered a debilitating stroke that left her completely paralyzed. She suffered “locked in syndrome" a condition where she was unable to move, yet completely aware and mentally unimpaired. Despite her personal tragedy, she was committed to continuing to live as independently as possible. In the years following her stroke, as her health declined, she became committed to the idea helping children with disabilities that did not have the resources for basic human comforts or adequate health care and therapy.
Vicky decided to set up a charitable foundation to provide help and resources for children with disabilities living in poverty. Before her death, she asked her most trusted advisors to use the funds from her substantial estate to set up and administer a foundation to help kids. The Vicky Collins Charitable Foundation was established in 2003.
Vicky’s advisors, Mark Cummings, David Sher and Paul Lanzillotta, continue today as the primary caretakers of Vicky Collins’ amazing legacy. Since its founding, they have awarded more than $2 million dollars in grants to help children in need in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area, including more than $840,000 to the Arlington Pediatric Center (APC), a community benefit program of Virginia Hospital Center.
The Vicky Collins Foundation’s partnership with Arlington Pediatric Center provides children with complex and chronic healthcare needs with access to special doctors, treatments and therapies. In addition to supporting care coordination and medical needs, the Vicky Collins Foundation has also provided funds for kids to obtain expensive medications as well as transportation to and from important medical appointments. Hundreds of kids with severe asthma, developmental delays, autism, Downs Syndrome, and many other physical, medical, and cognitive conditions, are able to get the care they need and deserve thanks to Vicky’s legacy wish.
The Vicky Collins Foundation also provides support to Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia, Doorways for Women and Families, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children and others.