Female-run organization awards $500,000 in grants to nonprofits

Impact100 of Northwest Florida, Inc. Held Annual Meeting
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 12:18 AM CST
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MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Impact100 of Northwest Florida, Inc. awarded $500,000 worth of grants to five nonprofits Sunday afternoon. Each nonprofit received $100,000.

The 500+ member organization is devoted to improving nonprofits in Okaloosa and Walton Counties.

“Our effort is we want to support them,” said Marty Broderick, Grant Chair of Impact100 of Northwest Florida, Inc. “We want to give them, we want to award them grants that are transformational.”

That transformation means excelling at the next level.

“It’s just like anything else,” Broderick said. “You always need to grow and go to the next level. There are always new things coming out, and we want to encourage them to always be looking for the next best way to provide their services.”

The grants aren’t just handed out - they’re earned.

“We have a grant writing workshop because writing a grant is a difficult thing to do,” Broderick said.

Multiple other meetings are also required.

One winner on Sunday said the $100,000 will change the direction of his nonprofit.

“It’s honestly, honestly it’s a great honor,” said Michael C. Arena, Executive Director of Healing Paws for Warriors, Inc. “It’s phenomenal. Currently, I use my personal vehicle to pull trailers to go to events and speaking engagements.”

His organization helps train dogs that are then paired with veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, or military sexual drama.

“The cost of the organization is about $15,000 - $18,000 per team, per animal,” Arena said.

The grant funding won’t just help pay the bills, though.

“This grant will be going toward a vehicle that can pull our trailers instead of me putting 50,000 miles just work-related a year on my vehicle,” Arena said.

Broderick said the goal is to get more members every year.

An increase in members translates to more grant funding for nonprofits in the community.