Hundreds gathered at the Resurrection Catholic Church in Miramar Beach on Sunday as IMPACT 100 announced the five recipients for the 2019 funding grant. Each nonprofit organization selected received $101,600.

MIRAMAR BEACH — A local group dispersed a total of $500,000 to nonprofit organizations in Okaloosa and Walton counties on Sunday.

Hundreds gathered at the Resurrection Catholic Church in Miramar Beach as IMPACT 100 gave five nonprofits a check for a little more than $100,000 each.

A total of 10 finalists were selected for the 2019 funding grants, each of which was given five minutes to address the masses on how they hoped to use the money. Representatives of the roughly 500-member women’s group then took a vote.

The winning organizations were Muscogee Nation of Florida, AMIKids Emerald Coast, the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, A Bed 4 Me Foundation and Destin Harvest. The grants are divided into five different categories including Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Family and Health & Recreation.

“This will make such a difference in the lives of the kids that we serve, and we are just ecstatic, happy, excited and so appreciative of IMPACT 100,” said Jackie Bytell, GED instructor for AMIKids Emerald Coast.

With the contribution, the group plans to provide vocational training services for Okaloosa County residents ages 12-24 who did not complete high school. AMIKids helps educate and redirect kids with behavior problems between the ages of 12-20.

For Amanda Gordon, president of IMPACT 100, the day was the accumulation of a year’s worth of effort from every member of the group.

“We have 508 ladies who have each donated $1,000,” she said on how they gathered the donations. “We only give $100,000 grants because we want them to be transformational.”

She added that the funds could only be put toward new projects or expansions and not used to pay overhead fees.

According to joyce gillie gossom, a member of the board of directors for IMPACT 100, the group hosts a grant workshop every May, where nonprofits can learn about the grant and how to apply.

She added that while some may think the group’s $1,000 annual membership fee is too much, its combined impact on the community is unmatched.

“Women don’t understand sometimes that you don’t have to be wealthy to be a member of IMPACT,” said gossom, who added that she saves $5 at a time. “You just have to be generous, and you just have to have a heart for other organizations.”

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