Impact100 Sonoma awards $100,000 to On The Move

On The Move receives Impact Grant

At its 6th Annual Meeting, Impact100 Sonoma awarded the $100,000 grant to On The Move to fund its program – Sonoma Valley Parent University. As the winner was announced, cheers and applause filled the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Auditorium where Impact100 Sonoma members and guests gathered to hear presentations from the Impact $100,000 Grant finalists, await the tallying of the membership votes, and share in the excitement of the day at a celebratory reception.

Susana GarciaAll three presentations provided important insights into projects that would impact Sonoma Valley. As described by Leslie Medine, Senior Fellow at On The Move, and Susana Garcia (shown right), Parent University Family Engagement Director, the Sonoma Valley Parent University will expand the pilot project funded by an Impact100 Sonoma planning grant in 2014. During the pilot, five parent leaders were recruited to engage parents at El Verano Preschool in classes that increased their skills and confidence – allowing them to support their children’s academic success. Classes ranged from basic understanding of the school system (how to have a parent/teacher conference and understand test scores) to family wellness, English as a Second Language, and becoming a parent leader. With the Impact Grant, the program will expand its programming on both El Verano and Sassarini Elementary campuses to support more than 300 parents of children from preschool through fifth grade.

After receiving the grant, Leslie Medine reflected: “We feel especially proud to have received this acknowledgement knowing that your members became very familiar and really studied our approach and understood what we stand for and how we want to contribute to improving the lives of so many.”  To read her entire thank-you note, click here.

This year, 263 women joined Impact100 Sonoma, providing a total of $263,000 to be awarded to nonprofits serving Sonoma Valley. This enabled the organization to award $20,000 to the other two finalists for the $100,000 grant: 10,000 Degrees for their 10,000 Degrees Institute Sonoma Valley, and Audubon Canyon Ranch for their Summer Science Learning for Underserved Youth at the Bouverie Preserve. In addition, Impact100 Sonoma awarded the remaining funds, totaling $123,000, in smaller Community Grants to the following nonprofit organizations listed below their photo:

2015 Community grant winners2


Becoming IndependentBecoming Independent will receive $15,000 to purchase a new vehicle to transport clients with developmental disabilities to work and volunteer sites.

Ceres Community Project Logo 2015 copyCeres Community Project will receive $15,000 for a planning grant with Sonoma Valley organizations to address critical nutritional needs to improve patient outcomes after they have been released from a hospital stay.

La LuzLa Luz Center will receive $15,000 to offer computer literacy workshops and employment counseling at El Verano Community School for low-income Sonoma Valley Latino adults.

Mentoring Logo with yellow rays
Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance will receive $15,000 to purchase Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics learning tools for their mentees.

JLPP logoJack London Park Partners will receive $15,000 to organize volunteers in invasive species removal in the park and to involve at-risk youth in specific restoration projects.

Community Matters SebastopolCommunity Matters will receive $15,000 to institutionalize the Safe School Ambassador program (an early-intervention program focusing on communication and conflict resolution) at Adele Harrison and Altimira Middle Schools.

VerityVerity will receive $15,000 for the Youth Empowerment and Support project at Sonoma Valley schools to aid students in preventing sexual violence from occurring to themselves or to others.

4Paws4Paws Learning and Wellness Center will receive $2,200 to increase the number of Sonoma Valley canine social therapy teams that provide comfort to healthcare patients and assist children struggling with reading.

Arts Guild will receive $15,000 to support a mobile arts education program at four elementary schools for 1,448 Sonoma Valley K-5 students.

Pets LifelinePets Lifeline will receive $800 for structural enhancements to their kennels and dog play area.

Over the past five months, Constance Grizzell, Grants & Greater Impact; Grace Meeks, who chairs the selection process for the $100,000 Impact Grant; and Diana Sanson, who chairs the selection process for Community Grants, led the process of narrowing 35 initial Letters of Inquiry down to three finalists for the $100,000 Impact Grant and 13 finalists for Community Grants. The finalists were selected after careful review by more than 70 Impact100 Sonoma members who served on financial and grant review committees that were chaired by Ann Iverson, Lynn Lancaster, Kathleen Leonard, Lisa Lilienthal, Karen Roche, Erin Selby, Claudia Sims, and Meg Sokoloski.

sydneyThe Annual Meeting program began with a welcome and reflection by Co-President Sydney Randazzo. In her words:  “Those of us cycling off the Board can reflect on a host of memorable moments—but, I think, all Impact100 members can reflect in a similar fashion. The grants we have awarded in the past five years have already provided:  7,500 meals to 84 families, living with serious health challenges; 600 free dental visits; preschool for 39 students thus far;  a shelter for the Free Bookmobile; flooring and furniture in our community’s homeless shelter; cooking classes for healthy living; classes and mentoring for low-income women to provide financial security and empowerment; and a walk-in refrigerator installed in 2014 that has allowed Lovin’ Oven to make and sell 19,000 cookies and 245 pies. Plus, since the first College Bound Program in 2010, 135 high school seniors will have graduated with a plan for post-secondary education.  And this is only a partial list!”

Billy BartzThat set the tone for members and their guests to hear from Billy Bartz (shown right), Program Officer for Redwood Empire Food Bank, who provided the audience with a glimpse of the results from the $100,000 Impact Grant received the previous year.  That grant provided funds to support the Diabetes Wellness Project of Sonoma Valley, which has provided 300 screenings for diabetes at five different sites in the valley and enrolled 75 clients in the program to receive monthly diabetes wellness food boxes thus far.  He thanked Impact100 Sonoma members for bringing this important program to Sonoma Valley in their effort to stop diabetes before it begins.

After listening to the finalist presentations and casting their ballots, members awaited the results of the vote as they enjoyed watching three of the amazing videos produced by Impact100 Sonoma member Pat Meier-Johnson and her husband, Russ Johnson. Members were clearly moved by all three videos including the premiere of the video below, entitled The Impact of Giving that captures the heart and soul of Impact100 Sonoma.

Pat and Russ have donated their time and expertise to produce digital stories of the nonprofit organizations funded by Impact100 Sonoma in the past five years.  These videos are available on the Impact100 Sonoma website ( and on YouTube.

The annual meeting was underwritten by Union Bank and sponsored by Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards; Idell Family Vineyards; Alice C. King, J.D. Wine Country Wealth Management, LLC; Carneros Caves Cheese; and Laura Chenel’s Chèvre.

Impact100 Sonoma has raised a total of $1,192,000 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.

For a slide show of images from the 2015 Annual Meeting, please click HERE.

For a list of all past grant recipients, please click HERE.

Top photo by Melania Mahoney.
From left to right:  Celia Canfield, Grace Meeks, Sydney Randazzo, Leslie Medine, Susana Garcia, and Constance Grizzell