After reviewing funding requests from many nonprofit organizations in Okaloosa and Walton counties, IMPACT 100 of Northwest Florida announced 10 grant finalists for 2019. Representatives of the organizations were present at the announcement, as well as IMPACT 100 officers and members.
The finalists were selected from five focus areas—Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Family, and Health & Recreation. At its November 3 Annual Meeting, IMPACT 100 members will hear presentations from each of the finalists and vote for this year’s five $101,600 grant recipients. Since the conception of the organization in 2012, IMPACT 100 has awarded $2.7 million in grant awards.
The 2019 finalists include:
Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida (Arts & Culture), recognized for making cultural and historical themes and concepts for more accessible to the local and regional community.
Muscogee Nation of Florida, Inc. (Arts & Culture), whose Muscogee Nation of Florida Agri-Tourism Initiative completes a heritage center site to preserve the history of the Muscogee (Creek-Euchee) people and enable visitors and students to learn about the first Americans indigenous to the country.
AMIKids Emerald Coast (Education). The Vocational Training for At-Risk Youth program proposes providing vocational training services for Okaloosa County residents ages 16-24 who did not complete high school.
Children in Crisis (Education). The Healing Impact project focuses on the more than 1,400 children in foster care per year in Okaloosa, Walton, Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. This project would enable CIC to construct a building to host ongoing parenting education necessary to help families to meet the needs of foster and adoptive families.
Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) (Environment). Building a Better Bay: Improving Water Quality Through Community-Led Restoration supports a thriving tourism industry devoted to fishing, boating, and beachgoing; a high quality-of-life for locals; and healthy habitat for the native wildlife we love so much. Unfortunately, the bay suffers the effects of pollution and threatened water quality. Through this IMPACT 100 grant, the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance will shape the building blocks of a better bay.
Panhandle Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) (Environment). A New Run on Life project entails the complete renovation of PAWS’ Fort Walton Beach shelter dog runs. The desire is to provide a safe, healthy environment for the canines in their care. While remaining open to all admissions, this renovation will add space, provide safer quarantine, and help prevent the spread of disease and illness. It will also provide additional access to the public in order to promote and increase adoption numbers, enhance collaboration with community programs and support the new PAWS initiative of becoming a no-kill facility.
A Bed 4 Me Foundation (Family). A bed is a simple thing most of us take for granted, but it’s a luxury to the children of the working poor in our community. Funds for the Big Impact on Big Dreams project would continue to meet this increasing need as well as a reliable all-weather vehicle to transport the beds and bedding to the families.
Crestview Area Shelter for the Homeless (CASH) (Family). Helping Hands Phase 2 / Crestview Area Shelter for the Homeless aims to provide a live-in facility for homeless individuals that provides safety and basic human living conditions. A person can only change and grow when these conditions are met. Phase 2 will empower those in need and support the necessary life changes leading to employment, housing and self-sufficiency.
ALONO Club of Fort Walton Beach, Inc. (Health & Recreation). 52 Beal: ALONO Club of Fort Walton Beach provides a safe, central place for 12-step and recovery meetings for alcoholic and addiction groups, and a supportive location for individuals and groups in recovery. There exists a need to renovate the ALONO facility—a renovation that would include the expansion of the meeting space available and modifications to provide handicap accessibility.
Destin Harvest, Inc. (Health & Recreation). For its Fortify Food Rescue project, Destin Harvest (DH) seeks support to upgrade its fleet of refrigerated trucks that capture daily food donations from 29 grocery stores and retailers in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, DeFuniak Springs and Freeport. DH must upgrade its fleet of trucks to continue to distribute high-volume food donations and take on new stores. DH has already accumulated over $14,000 in repair bills this year alone.
– Susan Page