And the $100,000 grant goes to…

Impact100 Sonoma awarded a $100,000 grant to the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation to fund “Smart Start: Preschool for All in Sonoma Valley,” a program that wil support 48 at-risk children.

Ten other nonprofits were awarded a total of $128,000 during Sunday’s fourth annual reception event. More than 200 Impact100 Sonoma members and guests gathered at Hanna Boys Center to hear presentations from grant finalists, await the tallying of the membership votes, and cheer the results.

“Fifty-five percent of our young children in Sonoma speak no English on their first day of school,” said Executive Director Laura Zimmerman in her presentation for the education foundation. “What does that feel like for a child?”

The 2013 $100,000 Impact grant will provide funding for a new preschool at Sassarini School modeled after the current successful program at El Verano School. It will allow 48 at-risk young children to better transition to kindergarten and 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.

The remaining funds were dispersed as Community Grants, ranging in size from $3,000 to $15,000, to these nonprofit organizations:

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.

Impact100 Sonoma, a philanthropic organization that brings together at least 100 women in a common purpose, 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.

Photo by Melania Mahoney:

Members of the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation accept a $100,000 check from Impact100 Sonoma. Back row: Terra Dixon, El Verano preschool teacher; Anne Kuschner, SVEF board; Jan Davis, SVEF board; and Maite Iturri, El Verano principal. Front row: B.J. Bischoff, Impact100 president; Laura Zimmerman, SVEF executive director; Patti England, Impact100 grant chair; Louann Carlomagno, superintendent, Sonoma Valley Unified School District; and Constance Grizell, Impact100.

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