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Impact100 of Northwest Florida awards $448,000 to local nonprofits

Special to Gannett

FORT WALTON BEACH — Impact100 of Northwest Florida has announced its four 2020 recipients of $112,000 grants.

At their virtual annual meeting Sunday, Impact100 NWF members viewed video presentations from each of the finalists and voted for this year's grant recipients. Since its conception in 2012, Impact100 NWF has awarded $3.2 million to nonprofits in Okaloosa and Walton counties.

More:Impact100 NWF announces grant finalists for 2020

The following grant recipients will receive $112,000 each to be used toward the betterment of their causes:

Westonwood Ranch was one of four recipients of the Impact100 Northwest Florida grants.

Education: Westonwood Ranch, Project: Program LIFT OFF

The LIFT OFF program at Westonwood Ranch is an extension of its program for teens and young adults affected by autism and related disorders. LIFT OFF is designed to bridge service gaps as teens exit the school system and are thrust into society without post-secondary or transitional program options. This program will provide hands-on, experiential learning in actual small business operations in Westonwood's aquaponics farm and gourmet pet treat bakery on its holistic campus. Fifteen to 17 financial scholarships would be given to individuals who are economically disadvantaged to attend the 6-9 month program. Westwood Ranch also could fund two new direct care staff positions and complete construction of its designated program LIFT OFF space.

More (2019):Impact 100 doles out $500,000

Environment, Recreation & Preservation: Habitat for Humanity in Okaloosa County, Inc. Project: Habitat ReStore Box Trucks

Through the ReStore, Habitat helps the community by providing affordable home repair items, furniture, cabinets, and appliances. An unseen, but important environmental impact, is that of reducing the stress on county landfills by repurposing household items that otherwise would end up being dumped. The Impact100 Grant would provide ReStore with two trucks for immediate pickup and regular pickups with the other truck.

Family: Opportunity Place, Project: First Steps Empowerment Center

The First Steps Housing, Counseling, and Education Center is at the core of achieving its larger vision of addressing homelessness in Okaloosa and Walton counties. It will enable the center to expand programing and to conduct its work in a trauma-informed space. It will help us break generational cycles of poverty and lay the foundation for a stable, healthy future for the many families working hard to rebuild their lives .

Health and Wellness: ALANO Club of Fort Walton Beach, Inc., Project: ALANO Club Expansions and Renovations

ALANO Club of Fort Walton Beach, Inc. provides sanctuary for those striving to attain recovery and maintain sobriety. The grant will fund expansion to assure growth in membership in established groups and expand support groups. The project components include conversion of the existing patio to an enclosed room for additional meeting space; addition of handicap accessibility such as a ramp, accessible restrooms, designated parking and paving the parking lot; replacement of existing doors and windows; repair of roof; and, requisite floor covering, drywall, trim and paint. The attention to handicapped accessibility will promote greater diversity in the population served.

For additional information about Impact100 NWF or to join the organization, visit www.impactnwf.org.