Rave Reviews for First Spotlight


Natasha, Somaya, and Safi greet Impact100 Sonoma guests

Impact100 Sonoma’s new Spotlight Series started Sunday, March 20, with a spectacular kick-off at Natasha Martin’s home.

Natasha hosted the salon in her living room in front of a warm fire on a rainy afternoon. Members enjoyed learning of her experiences in Kenya helping orphans to be able to attend school. This was made possible through a nonprofit organization that Natasha initiated–the Grassroots Alliance for Community Education (G.R.A.C.E.). Based on the premise that “local people best know how to identify and how to solve local problems,” the organization is focusing on education as a tool for transformation and strengthening the community’s ability to act.

natasha 2Other conversation highlights included Donna Halow, sharing some of her experiences in helping develop micro-loans for women in Africa and elsewhere, and Frann Moore, sharing experiences similar to Natasha’s in a nearby village in Kenya.

Natasha prepared English tea, delicious scones and strawberry jam (both homemade), and roll-up sandwiches. She also offered Pimm’s Cup (a summery British drink) to the adventuresome. Natasha’s lovely 18-year-old granddaughter Somaya and her best friend Safi helped with preparations for the gathering.

It was an inspirational and delightful afternoon. Thank you, Natasha, for being the spark for the Member Spotlight Series.

Stay tuned for the second in our Spotlight Series on Thursday, April 14th, 5:30-7:30 pm – A Travel Talk Soiree at the home of Jean Behse.


Attending: Erika Asante, Jean Behse, Connie de Balmann, Kimberley Blattner Pam Gilberd, Donna Halow, Wendy Hoffman, Rosemarie Marks, Alice Micklewright, Marlene Minkin, Frann Moore, Elsa Lane Nelson, Carole Nicholas, Diana Sanson, Jacque Scott

Text and photos by Pam Gilberd, Member Engagement