Impact 100 grants go to children, health, education

VERO BEACH – The Hibiscus Children’s Center, the Learning Alliance and Treasure Coast Community Health are each $100,000 richer, thanks to the philanthropic women of Indian River County Impact 100. 

The three non-profit organizations were chosen at the Third Annual Grant Meeting Monday afternoon at the Indian River State College Richardson Center by 348 members of Impact 100.

Hibiscus Children’s Center will apply its grant to develop a life skills program for teens starting at age 15 to prepare them for eventual independence through career testing, mentoring, seminars, and interactivity to help develop problem solving and decision making skills.

The Leaning Alliance, founded just two years ago by three parents, will apply the grant to “Launching Literacy,” a data-driven project to increase literacy in Indian River County and eventually on a nationwide basis, with Indian River County as the Center of Innovation for Teaching and Learning.

Treasure Coast Community Health will use the grant to upgrade its dental health clinics and better serve the under or non-insured, by installing new digital imaging equipment in its Fellsmere Clinic and an electronic dental records system there and in its Oslo Road Clinic.

Indian River Impact 100 was founded in 2009 as a philanthropic initiative to pool resources and gift a significant, transformational grant to a non-profit organization.  Their initial goal was to recruit 100 members who would each donate $1,000 and would have a say in determining which organization would receive the funding.

Having recruited more than 200 members in each of the first two years, allowing them in both instances to provide two transformational grants, the goal for their third year was 300 members.  In typical go-getter fashion, they surpassed that goal by recruiting 348 members.

“Let’s hear it for the power of three and the power of women,” said McDermott in her introductory remarks.

Before the six finalists made their presentations to the membership, McDermott thanked and recognized Wilmington Trust for their continuing support of the organization, and as the sole sponsor of its membership and annual meetings.  She also thanked those Impact 100 members who volunteer their time serving on the Executive Committee, Board of Directors and Grant Committee.

The 24 grant applications received in January were reviewed by panels of volunteers who narrowed the proposals down to 12, and a subsequent selection panel determined the six finalists.  This year, the decision was made to equally split the overage of $48,000 among the three that did not receive transformational grants.

The other three finalists included the Ocean Research and Conservation, for a project to provide students studying marine science at Indian River Charter High School with a unique Water Tribe collaboration of scientists, conservationists, educators and students to safeguard the Indian River Lagoon.

The Senior Resource Association had sought funds to develop a comprehensive needs assessment of older adults.  Many seniors in Indian River County live in isolation, with little or no resources, and a needs assessment would examine issues and needs to more effectively use the limited resources available.

The Education Foundation of Indian River County is seeking to establish a collaborative effort to fund expenses associated with building a Nutritional Kitchen/Science Lab, hydroponic garden, community garden and outdoor classroom at Vero Beach Elementary School, providing a model green school as a prototype for other schools.

“It just resonates with our community,” said Laura McDermott, when asked why Impact 100 in Indian River has been so successful.  “They want to make a difference.  And you can be as involved as you want to be, but your vote still counts equally.”

“I think we will get to 400 next year,” said Suzanne Bertman.  “With the level of enthusiasm and friends telling friends; I’m sure we will.”

Impact 100 has already begun work on its 2012 campaign; the Fall Membership Event will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011.  For full details, visit {igallery 370}

Related Articles

Comments are closed.