Hello Nune,

We want to thank everyone who celebrated with us last week at our all-new annual fundraiser, Passport to Success! We're so grateful for all the wonderful people who made the night memorable and inspiring.

We were honored to be joined by FC Cincinnati Forward, Dominique Badji, who shared his journey from Senegal to Cincinnati, and Courtis Fuller who once again served as our emcee for the evening.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, donors, raffle participants, auction bidders, attendees, and supporters, we surpassed our $83,000 goal by nearly $10,000!

Your amazing support propels us forward in our mission to be a catalyst and advocate for Greater Price Hill Families to achieve their education, financial, and health goals.

If you were unable to attend, you can view Mr. Badji's speech in the article below and watch our very special video presentation below this introduction. The video presentation outlines BIG PLANS for the future of Santa Maria in Price Hill. We also posted photographs from the event on our Facebook page.

In our last e-newsletter, we told you about being a finalist for a 2023 Torch Awards for Ethics from the Cincinnati Better Business Bureau. Scroll down to find out if we WON (hint: WE DID!).

If you haven't already, we invite you to make a gift today, supporting our programs that have such an impact on the families we serve.


H.A. Musser, Jr.

President & CEO

Santa Maria Community Services

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Featured Stories

Passport to Success

Santa Maria Community Services' new annual fundraiser, Passport to Success, was a tremendous success, raising over $90,000. Held at The Miami Township Event Center on October 5, 2023, the event celebrated cultural diversity and community.

Special guest speaker, Dominique Badji, Forward for FC Cincinnati (pictured here with H.A. and Rhonda Musser), shared his inspiring journey from Senegal to Cincinnati, emphasizing the importance of nonprofits in supporting immigrant populations. You can view his presentation below this article. We were so pleased to have Courtis Fuller from WLWT-TV return as emcee for the second year in a row.

The event featured raffle baskets, silent auction, cultural demonstrations, dance demonstrations, and diverse cuisine, fostering unity and support for Santa Maria's vital programs in education, health, and community development. It also featured a very special announcement that you can view above or on our YouTube channel.

H.A. Musser, Jr., President and CEO of Santa Maria, expressed excitement about the event's success, “The success of this fundraiser speaks volumes about Santa Maria's values and the trust that our supporters have in our mission to be a catalyst and advocate for Greater Price Hill Families to achieve their educational, financial and health goals. Together, we're changing lives for the better.”

Thanks to our presenting sponsor, Nehemiah Manufacturing, and corporate sponsors, Fifth Third Bank, MolinaCares, and Western & Southern Financial Group, Passport to Success was a memorable evening of celebration and support for a worthy cause. Santa Maria looks forward to continuing its positive impact on the community.

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Emcee, Courtis Fuller, and Special Guest Speaker, Dominique Badji

Events Committee Member, Tom Martin, Board Member & Events Committee Member, Barb Martin, and Board Member, M. Maureen Maxfield

Board and Events Committee Member, Mike Gentry, and Events Committee & Development Committee Members, Peggy and Steve Dehne

Sr. Patmarie Bernard, Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati

Mr. Badji with Alberto Cuervo

Santa Maria President and CEO, H.A. Musser, Jr., Board Vice Chair, Chris Owens, FC Cincinnati's Gerardo Garcia Pantoja, Trevor Phillips, Dominique Badji, Santa Maria Development Coordinator, Heather Kuhn and Board Chair, Guillermo Villa

Former Board Members, Julieta Simms and Tony Simms-Howell and Chief Development Officer, Nune Sargsyan

Interact for Health's Senior Program Manager of Mental Health Systems, Lisa Myers and Interact for Health Board Member, Alfonso Cornejo

Board Vice Chair, Chris Owens and Mr. Badji

Donor Advised Funds: What to Think About for Your Year-end Giving

Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) have seen a significant surge in popularity among donors in recent years. This rise in interest can be attributed to the impact of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which encouraged donors to make larger contributions less frequently in order to maximize their tax advantages.


But how exactly do DAFs function? A donor contributes cash or assets, including stocks, shares of mutual funds, publicly traded securities, private assets, or cryptocurrencies, to a sponsoring organization. These sponsoring organizations can be community foundations, National DAFs such as Fidelity or Schwab, or single-issue organizations.


Once the contributions are made, the sponsoring organization invests them, allowing them to grow tax-free. Donors receive an immediate tax deduction for their entire contribution. Sponsoring organizations typically charge administrative fees, and they may also levy investment fees. Specific requirements, such as a minimum initial contribution, a minimum account balance, additional contributions, and a set minimum grant amount, vary by organization, with some having fewer requirements than others.


Donors can then recommend grants to be distributed to charities of their choice using the funds from their DAF. It's important to note that sponsoring organizations rarely decline a donor's grant requests.


People opt for DAFs because they enable them to prolong the impact of their donation while enjoying immediate tax benefits. Additionally, DAFs streamline the charitable giving process, as donors no longer need to keep track of individual organizations receiving their gifts; instead, they only need to monitor their contributions to the DAF.


If you already have a DAF or plan to establish one, we kindly request that you consider including Santa Maria Community Services in your recommendations.

Santa Maria welcomes gifts in various forms, including distributions from DAFs, cash, stocks, and deferred gifts. For further information on making a gift, please contact Nune Sargsyan at nune.sargsyan@santamaria-cincy.org.

Santa Maria is a Better Business Bureau® Torch Awards for Ethics WINNER!

In our last newsletter, we told you about being a finalist for a 2023 Torch Awards for Ethics from the Better Business Bureau Cincinnati. We're happy to announce that we WON!

The BBB Torch Awards for Ethics is Greater Cincinnati’s premier ethics-centered awards program for businesses and nonprofits. For more than two decades, the iconic program has distinguished hundreds of local businesses and nonprofits of all sizes, from all industries. Santa Maria was chosen as a 2023 Torch Award winner by a panel of esteemed local business leaders for its character-driven operations, extraordinary workplace cultures, and dedication to the community.

This is the second time Santa Maria has been honored with a BBB Torch Award for Ethics, having previously won in 2004. H.A. Musser, Jr., President and CEO of Santa Maria Community Services, expressed his excitement about receiving Santa Maria’s second BBB Torch Award, saying, “Securing the Torch Award truly showcases our commitment to ethical principles and our efforts in fostering a positive team culture while making a meaningful impact on our community. This recognition ignites our determination to continually surpass ethical standards in everything we do. We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all those who have been vital to our journey and have stood by us along the way.”

The announcement of the winning organizations took place live onstage during the 2023 Torch Awards for Ethics and Spark Awards Gala held on Wednesday, October 4, at the Cincinnati Art Museum. You can read Cincinnati BBB's recap on their website.

Karen Goins,

Santa Maria Business Assistant

Rhonda & H.A. Musser

Santa Maria Group L to R: H.A. Musser, Jr., President & CEO, Julie McGregor, Chief Program Officer, Shari Patrick, Chief Financial Officer, M. Maureen Maxfield, Board Member, and Rhonda Musser, Santa Maria Supporter

Thank you, 2023 Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Corporate Sponsors

Impact Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors

Community Sponsors

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