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Impact 100 2014 Winners Announced

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida

Over a $1 million was awarded among ten area non-profit organizations this weekend as Impact 100 for the Pensacola area made their annual gifts.

David Bear is on the board of directors of the Pensacola MESS Hall, "What we do is we really make an impact in our community with education on Math, Engineering, Science, and Stuff, that is what the MESS Hall stands for and to be able to take our show on the road will reach a lot more people."

They will be taking their program on the road with a new truck after being awarded a grant of $102,500  from IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area. The MESS Hall is one of ten area non-profits who were voted the funds from IMPACT 100's member ship this weekend.

Holly Jurnovoy was president of IMPACT 100, "As of yesterday, I am past president! My last duty was to give away $1 million."

There are two winners chosen from five different categories or focus areas. In the Education area, in addition to the MESS Hall, the East Hill Academy will use the grant to fund the construction of the IMPACT 100 Autism Learning Center.

"In the Family category Big Brothers/Big Sisters is going to run an awareness campaign called '100 Men in 100 Days' and they are going to try to get 100 men in our area to man up and become a mentor," sayd Jurnovoy.

Also in the family category, the St Vincent De Paul Society will use the grant to purchase a new van and upgrade their facility that was damaged by arson.

Meredith Doyen is the executive director of the First City Arts Alliance, "I feel like we're doing the right thing over the last three years we've made a huge commitment to growing and increasing our professionalism and our profile in the community."

First City Arts won in the arts and culture category along with The Santa Rosa County Creek Indian Tribe. In the Environment, Recreation and Preservation area the winners were the Rotary Club of Pensacola Foundation who are building a playground at Maritime Park, and the Miracle League of Pensacola for their Field of Dreams Project.

Larry Thompson is the founder and President of the League, whose mission is to create safe welcoming baseball experience to children with physical or mental disabilities, "Our goal is for these kids to get the most realistic feel of baseball that we can give to them. The fields are made out of recycled car tires, one field weighs 186,000 pounds and with this grant money we will focus on building our third field."

The final focus area is Health and Wellness.

Holly Jurnovoy talks about those winners, "Covenant Alzheimer Services is going to expand their project Lifesaver which provides devices and maintenance to help caregivers and loved ones find people with Alzheimer's and dementia, should they wander. And the only repeat winner we had this year was Our Lady of Angels, St Joseph's medical clinic and they are going to receive new equipment for their waiting room, exam rooms, and some diagnostic equipment."

IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay area had a record membership this year of 1,025 women. Each member donates a $1,000 to join and each member votes for the ultimate winners of the grants.

Jurnovoy says the growth of the group has been phenomenal, "Anybody is invited to join us, we have many returning members who love to come and they bring their friends and that is how we grow."

As she said, Holly Jurnovoy has stepped down as president of IMPACT 100. She has served two years and is now term limited out. She says it's gratifying to see the difference the group has made in the community.

"I think all of us get a long of gratification as we drive around our community and I find myself pulling up at a red light next to a truck we helped finance for Manna Food Pantries or ARC Gateway or the Pensacola Little Theater. I joke that we have a little fleet. You can see it in the way we've helped renovate St. Michael's Cemetary or the expansion that's going on over at the Gulf Coast Kid's House on 12th Avenue.

Now that this year's grants have been awarded, the group will turn its sights on next year's membership campaign. Cyndi Warren who was Vice-President last year has been elected the president. The groups first membership event for the new campaign will be November 13 at So Gourmet in Pensacola.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.