Disability Law Colorado’s general endowment fund is the legacy of our dear friend and colleague, Diane Carabello, who passed away in 2009. She was Disability Law Colorado’s director of development for 22 years.
Diane passed away on June 7, 2009. She was at home with her family. Her professional accomplishments were numerous and she was a vital part of Disability Law Colorado. She established our development program.
Under her leadership, Disability Law Colorado received private funding from individuals, corporations, foundations, churches and special events. In addition, her efforts allowed us to expand our operations and open the Grand Junction office in 1995. She also obtained start-up funding for programs including the HIV Legal Project, fair housing project, Protection and Advocacy for Individual Rights, the program serving individuals with traumatic brain injury, and many projects including publications.
Her grant writing helped bring the Older Americans programs to our organization in 1988. Her efforts are also reflected in our planned giving policies and our endowments. This is the best track record in the national protection and advocacy network, and it has been a model for other states. Diane exemplified the highest ethical standards in the development profession and was well respected by her colleagues.
Her Remarkable Qualities
As remarkable as her professional accomplishments were, it was her wonderful personality that made her so important to so many of us. Diane was deeply empathetic, a quality which made her a passionate advocate and friend. She often gave us a different perspective or opinion on things and she readily shared her opinions, yes, yes she did. She had a great openness about her. Even her office was arranged so that there wasn’t a desk between her and her visitor. She created a melody among the typical buzz of office equipment – a melody of singing, humming and listening to her voicemail on speaker phone.
Diane had so many likable, quirky qualities, and she could fit into any crowd or occasion. She was proud of her family, proud of her friends and proud of her colleagues. She was one of our greatest cheerleaders, supporting us but also always encouraging us to do more, be more, give more. She was part of our family and touched each and every one of us.
We grieve our loss but celebrate her life.