Women On Mission To Effect Change In Our Communities Form Impact The Palm Beaches

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by Amy Woods Sep 30, 2015 09:26 AM

Island Living & Patio in West Palm Beach provided a beautiful backyard-style setting for the launch of north county’s newest nonprofit: Impact The Palm Beaches.

On Thursday, founding members of the local initiative — among them Karen Brams and Karen Kirk, owners of the outdoor-décor business — were joined by friends, sponsors and supporters for an evening of “Wine & Nibbles,” during which the evolution of the endeavor was explained.

“This was an idea that came about a little over a year ago,” said founding member Deborah Johnson, vice president of development for the Everglades Foundation. 

Johnson first learned about Impact100, a south-county organization that gives high-impact grants of $100,000 to Boca Raton- and Delray Beach-area charities, in 2014. She and Impact The Palm Beaches co-founder Bridget Baratta then became motivated to start a similar endeavor to serve the other half of the county.

“I said, ‘We need to do this,'" Johnson explained. “We can radically change the conversation on philanthropy.”

Impact The Palm Beaches’ mission entails recruiting 100 founding members who pledge to donate $1,000 annually to effect positive change in communities from Lake Worth to Tequesta and as far west as Glades. The $100,000 grants will target one of five areas: arts and culture, education, environment, family, and health and wellness. The organization will operate as a donor-advised fund managed by the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties.

So far, more than 60 women have signed up for the Impact The Palm Beaches, and more than a dozen have pledged their commitment. Several came onboard the night of the event and signed their names on a poster to show their dedication to the project. (The group specifically recruits women, but it's open to everyone.) 

Members can serve as much—or as little—as they want, as the yearly requirements are limited to one donation, one meeting and one vote that will decide which charity receives the grant.

So, what's next? 

Requests for proposals will be sent out Oct. 15, and members will cast their vote during an awards ceremony the first week of December. 

For more information, call 561.371.6790, or visit impactpalmbeaches.org.

Check out pictures from the Sept. 24 event, below: 

Karen Kirk

Karen Kirk, Deborah Johnson, Karen Brams and Christine DelVecchio

Danielle Bolla

Danielle Bolla and Mary Stuart

Impact The Palm Beaches

Signatures on the Impact The Palm Beaches poster.

Cari Rentas

Founding member Cari Rentas officially joins Impact The Palm Beaches by signing the poster.

Impact The Palm Beaches

Founding members (front) Upendo Shabazz-Phillips, Danielle Bolla, (middle) Lisa Schneider, Tracey Major, Nancy Maio, Karen Brams, Karen Kirk, Deborah Johnson, (back) Cari Rentas, Christine DelVecchio, Patricia Mahaney, Donna Lloyd-George, Emily Clifford and Jennifer Snow

Impact The Palm Beaches

Mary Stuart, Deedy McKenna, Jan Kranich and Toni May

Impact The Palm Beaches

Jessica Ransom and Tricia Brams

Impact The Palm Beaches

Mariann Barbusio, Mindy Berry and Rita Lombardo

Impact The Palm Beaches

Lisa Schneider and Kate Pingleton