June 22, 2013 Press Release: Impact100 Sonoma Awards $100,000 Grant to the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation and $128,000 among Ten Other Nonprofits

Sonoma, CA—June 24, 2013

Impact100 Sonoma awarded its fourth $100,000 grant to the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation to fund its program – Smart Start:Preschool for All in Sonoma Valley.  As the winner was announced, cheers and applause filled the auditorium of Hanna Boys Center where more than 200 Impact100 Sonoma members and guests gathered to hear presentations from the Impact100 Grant finalists, await the tallying of the membership votes, and share in the excitement of the day at a celebratory reception.

Back row:  Terra Dixon, El Verano Preschool Teacher,  Anne Kuschner, SVEF Board,  Jan Davis, SVEF Board, Maite Iturri, El Verano Principal Front row:  B.J. Bischoff, Impact100 President Impact100; Laura Zimmerman, SVEF Executive Director:  Impact100 Grant Chair Patti England; Louann Carlomagno, Superintendent Sonoma Valley Unified School District; VP of Grants & Greater Impact Constance Grizzell Photograph by Melania Mahoney

Sonoma Valley Education Foundation accepts $100,000 check from Impact100 Sonoma.
Back row: Terra Dixon, El Verano Preschool Teacher, Anne Kuschner, SVEF Board, Jan Davis, SVEF Board, Maite Iturri, El Verano Principal
Front row: B.J. Bischoff, Impact100 President Impact100; Laura Zimmerman, SVEF Executive Director: Impact100 Grant Chair Patti England; Louann Carlomagno, Superintendent Sonoma Valley Unified School District; VP of Grants & Greater Impact Constance Grizzell
Photograph by Melania Mahoney

During the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation presentation, Executive Director Laura Zimmerman shared some eye-opening statistics: “Fifty-five percent of our young children in Sonoma speak no English on their first day of school  – What does that feel like for a child?”  The $100,000 Impact grant will provide funding for a new preschool at Sassarini School modeled after the current highly successful program at El Verano School. The grant will allow 48 at-risk young children to successfully transition to kindergarten with necessary school readiness skills and better prepare them for school success.

This year, 228 women joined Impact100 Sonoma, providing a total of $228,000 to be awarded to selected Sonoma Valley nonprofits. This enabled the organization to award $20,000 to both Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation and WillMar Family Grief & Healing Center as finalists for the $100,000 grant and the remaining funds for Community Grants, ranging in size from $3,000 to $15,000. The following nonprofit organizations were the recipients of these Community Grants:

Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma Valley, in collaboration with the City of Sonoma Police/Sonoma County Sheriff, Social Advocates for Youth, and La Luz, will receive $15,000 to develop a collaborative action plan and coordinated effort focusing on gang prevention.

On the Move/VOICES Sonoma will receive $15,000 to assist under-served youth (16-24), who are transitioning out of foster care, enabling them to move into self-sufficient life.

Literary Arts Guild – Free Bookmobile of Sonoma County will receive $3,000 to purchase and install a galvanized steel vehicle shelter to house and protect the bookmobile.

Ceres Community Project will receive $15,000 to provide meals for seriously ill patients. Teens will work with chefs in the new kitchen at Hanna Boys Center to prepare the meals.

Redwood Empire Food Bank will receive $15,000 to establish a Hub Distribution model improving access to affordable food for local nonprofits dealing with hunger-relief in Sonoma Valley.

California Parenting Institute will receive $15,000 to provide Gang Prevention Parent Support Services at La Luz for Spanish-speaking parents of middle-school children.

Becoming Independent will receive $5,000 to expand their Healthy Living class, which helps teach adults with developmental disabilities how to lead a healthy life.

Hospice by the Bay will receive $8,500 to support a “Home Away From Home” Hospice Suite within the Sonoma Valley Hospital’s skilled nursing facility.

Over the past five months, VP Grants & Greater Impact Constance Grizzell, Impact100 Grant Chair Patti England, and Community Grants Chair Lorraine Ashton led the process of narrowing 45 initial letters of inquiry down to 7 nonprofits invited to apply for the $100,000 Impact Grant and 18 organizations invited to apply for Community Grants. The 3 Impact Grant finalists and 13 Community Grants finalists were selected after careful review by more than 80 Impact100 Sonoma members who served on financial and grant review committees, chaired by Celia Canfield, Sharon Delaney, Carrie Fogg, Nancy Lilly, Louise Massie, Susan McQuaid, Grace Meeks, Elsa Lane Nelson, Karen Roche, and Erin Selby.

The annual meeting was led by Impact100 Sonoma President B.J. Bischoff and was underwritten by Union Bank and sponsored by The Red Grape, Carneros Caves Cheese, Charles Creek Vineyard, Madrone Ridge Winery, Walter & Pistole Attorneys at Law, Hanna Boys Center, Trish Roque Design, and Debbie Drummond Information Technology Specialties.  Hors d’oeuvres were prepared and served by students from the Sonoma Valley Teen Services Skills for Life program, the 2011 recipient of the Impact100 Sonoma $100,000 grant.

Impact100 Sonoma is a philanthropic organization that brings together at least 100 women in a common purpose: to award an Impact Grant of $100,000 every year to a Sonoma Valley nonprofit organization that would otherwise not have access to that level of funding. Impact100 Sonoma has raised a total of $690,000 for Sonoma Valley nonprofits since its founding in 2009. The organization’s mission is to increase the number of women involved in local philanthropy, raise awareness of the unmet needs of nonprofits in Sonoma Valley, encourage members to become more involved with local charities, and make an impact on the long term sustainability of Sonoma Valley’s nonprofit community. 

Impact100 Sonoma is currently inviting additional women to join the organization. Information about Impact100 Sonoma may be found at www.impact100sonoma.org or by calling 707-939-5007.

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