The Coastal Star

Pay it Forward: Impact 100 set to award $500,000 in grants to local nonprofits

Impact 100 Palm Beach County Co-Presidents Helen Ballerano and Kirsten Stanley. Each member donates $1,000 to create the pool of grant money. Photo provided

By Amy Woods

The organization that has given more than $2.2 million to 36 nonprofits in six years is upping the ante for its April 12 Grand Awards Celebration.

Impact 100 Palm Beach County will meet for the seventh time to select five recipients of $100,000 grants. Members who each donate $1,000 have accumulated the pool of money.

“My personal donation gets combined with multiple donations, and collectively we make an impact,” co-president Helen Ballerano said. “When we do it together, it reaches much further than when we do it individually, and therefore we can make a bigger difference.”

A total of 66 applications, called letters of intent, were submitted requesting support for projects in one of five focus areas: arts and culture, education, environment, family, and health and wellness. The grant review committee narrowed the field to 23 semifinalists and then 10 finalists.

At the meeting, representatives from each nonprofit will give a six-minute presentation about why their project will improve the community.

“This is the opportunity the members have to truly hear what the nonprofits are proposing,” co-president Kirsten Stanley said. “To recognize just how overwhelming the needs are and how appreciative the people are is humbling.”

Two successful projects that exemplify the impact the grants have made are Community Partners’ Trauma Care program, in which a social worker is placed on the scene when a child is removed from the home, and the YMCA of South Palm Beach County’s Drowning Prevention initiative, which has taught 100,000-plus youths to swim.

“Those who don’t win often get funding elsewhere because of the exposure,” Stanley said. “The highlight of the night is the nonprofits.” 

Grant finalists 

The grant review committee announced Impact 100 Palm Beach County’s five finalists March 21. The nonprofits and their projects are:

• Boca Raton Philharmonic Symphonia’s Building a String Orchestra and Self-Esteem

• Flamingo Clay Studio’s Sculpting Young Lives in Clay — The Clay-Mobile

• Lake Worth West Resident Planning Group’s Steps to Success

• Urban League of Palm Beach County’s Project Education Navigator for English Learners

• Delray Beach Children’s Garden’s Expanding Our Nature Education Programming

• Fishing for Families in Need’s Responsible Angling Education

• Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County’s Uplift, A Project of The Door to Sustainability Program

• Place of Hope at the Leighan and David Rinker Campus’ Transitional Independent Living Neighborhood, Phase 1

• Genesis Community Health’s Genesis Smiles Program

• T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society’s Healthy High School Alliance Grand Awards Celebration

If You Go

What: Grand Awards

When: 5:30 to 9 p.m.
April 12

Where: Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Trail,
Boca Raton

Cost: Free for members

Information: Call
336-4623 or visit

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