For Hometown News
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- Impact 100's leadership team has concluded its intense vetting process by selecting eight grant finalists to present to the full membership for final selection at the April 11 Annual Meeting at Oak Harbor. Four $100,000 grants will be presented; the finalists not chosen as winners will each split any remaining money over the $400,000, ensuring that every penny of the membership fund is awarded.
"The grant process began last August when 32 agencies attended the Impact 100 grant training session. The agency mentoring process continued into the fall," said Barbara Lowry, vice president of Grants. "Ultimately 20 grant applications were received; many of which were collaboration by multiple non-profit agencies. While this may not sound like a significant number, the proposed projects, in fact, are. The grants awarded by Impact 100 are for new, innovative and transformational projects. Not all Indian River County agencies are in a position to take on large projects at this time. Certainly, very few are in a position to do so on an annual basis."
For the first time the eight projects represent all four focus areas: family; health and wellness; education; and enrichment and environment. Impact 100's grant finalists for the 2013 season include:
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Indian River County: Big Brother Big Sisters and Youth Guidance will collaborate to provide comprehensive mentor training, staff development and a Mentor Roundtable facilitation for Indian River County nonprofits that are implementing a mentoring program. The grant will provide for the hiring of a trainer/coordinator as well as establishing a resource library.
Camp Haven: This grant will be the only shelter for homeless adults without dependent children in the county. The program provides for newly homeless persons to avoid a rapid spiral into chronic homelessness. This will also include caseworker support, life-skills education and shelter, and meals for county men and women in a supportive living opportunity for those who seek to rise out of homelessness. Their grant also includes a new roof and a small commercial kitchen for their new property, formerly the Citrus Motel. Residents stay for six months, with a follow-up program for one year.
Early Learning Coalition: This comprehensive parent education program, "Ready! For Kindergarten," will target 250 parents of four-year old children who are enrolled in Voluntary Pre-kindergarten in Indian River County. Parents will play a major role in supporting their child's intellectual and social-emotional growth using the training and tools provided. Included will be 250 kits at a cost of $206 each. It will also provide for the hiring of a program coordinator.
Environmental Learning Center: This project proposes to buy and install the only children's interactive environmental exhibit in Indian River County. It will include six professionally designed innovative, interactive museum quality exhibits for children that will employ the whole learning wheel -- from goal setting, to experimenting and observing, to reviewing and finally action planning. This complete process allows children to learn new skills and perhaps new ways of thinking and behaving.
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation: (in collaboration with Indian River Land Trust) This Junior Scientists Fellows Program will create an ongoing group of Student Fellows who understand and know how to provide solutions to environmental problems in our community. Students at Vero Beach High School, Sebastian High School and St. Edwards School will learn the science needed to manage critical waterfront lands and habitats along the Indian River Lagoon.
Senior Resource Association: Their grant is for relocating the Adult Day Care Center, the only one in Indian River County, to the Schumann Center. The present facility is inadequate for bathroom and kitchen facilities. Funds will be used to relocate from its retrofitted, cramped 1952 house to the adjacent Schumann Center, which will significantly increase the number of seniors served daily from 35 to 69. The vision requires modifications, including remodeled bathrooms, construction of mobile partitions, installation of safety elements and a porte-cochere, addition of a secure outdoor garden, and appropriate health care furniture which lends to the independence of participants
Treasure Coast Community Health: This grant will provide oral health education and preventative care through the expansion of pediatric services at their Oslo center. The grant calls for converting administrative space to allow for three new dental chairs. This would result in 5,000 new dental visits a year and cut down on their three-month waiting period to be seen. Children six months to four years old will receive application of preventative material on their teeth, providing early interventions and guidance. Instructions will be given to parents on how to provide age appropriate oral hygiene for approximately 350 children.
Vero Beach Theater Guild: This grant will offer a substantial number of elderly residents musical theatre access with "Project Guild on the Go" providing four musical programs and 96 performances among identified 24 retirement, assisted living and nursing facilities. The purpose is to enrich the lives of thousands of elderly residents who formerly were active contributors and volunteers in our community who now cannot access the theater because of financial, health, and/or mobility problems. The grant would be used to purchase a cargo van; sound equipment, software and a portable stage. Performers and staff are all volunteers.
The grant review process begins each January. Panel members study the grant proposals, review financial documents and perform site visits. Those grant requests that are found to meet Impact 100 criteria are then forwarded to the Leadership team for an all-day review and selection vetting process. The finalists are selected and will make their cases before the full membership at the annual meeting April 11.
For more information, visit www.impact100ir.com.