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Thursday, February 22, 2024

The Power of Giving Becomes the Power to Inspire

In January 2006, two Owensboro businesswomen, Martha Clark and Marianne Smith Edge, dreamed of bringing together 100 women who would each agree to pay $1,000 to their organization, Impact 100 Owensboro, but their goal changed when, in three months, 150 women joined and raised $150,000 to donate to a charity of their choice. Their feature in Evansville Living (“The Power of Giving Women,” May/June 2006) bolstered the imagination and spirits of Evansville women as a similar organization begins to form. But, what has Impact 100 Owensboro done since raising the money?

After receiving 50 grant applications, the group voted on Oct. 26, 2006, to donate to Grandma’s Corner, an Owensboro crisis daycare center. The center plans to use the money to enclose the kitchen, install child-size toilets, and renovate and expand its playground. Impact 100 also established a $40,000 endowment for the use of Grandma’s Corner in six years to fulfill future updates, renovations, and expansions.

The group is currently accepting applications for this year, and the organization’s successful 2006 has brought higher but obtainable goals, according to Clark. Impact 100 wants to expand its membership total to 200 women, which would raise $200,000. With a minimum donation of $100,000, the group can donate to two different nonprofits or grant all efforts to one group.

Clark is modest when she reflects on her organization’s achievements, but she knows Impact 100 “empowers women through philanthropy.”

“There’s a lot of positive response from the community,” Clark says, and this response has influenced a new beginning in Evansville. Barbara Dicken, foundation coordinator for the Vanderburgh Community Foundation, along with VCF president Allison Comstock and trustees Lisa Jones, Cindy Fine, Lynn Miller Pease, and Kristen K. Tucker, and committee members Jan Davies, Jingle Hagey, and Lu Porter, became inspired by the Owensboro women and have founded a similar fund in Evansville. The Women’s Fund of Vanderburgh County will kick off its fundraising this year. To become involved or to donate, please contact the Vanderburgh Community Foundation at (812) 422-1245.

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