Backstage: Palm Beach Dramaworks receives Impact the Palm Beaches grant

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Backstage: Palm Beach Dramaworks receives Impact the Palm Beaches grant

Carol Saunders, Special to The Courier Newsweekly

Palm Beach Dramaworks, a theatrical and interactive program that addresses current tensions between law officials and the community, will be presenting to 8,000 children a year thanks to support from 127 philanthropic women united through Impact the Palm Beaches.

This is Impact the Palm Beaches’ second year awarding $100,000 to local nonprofit agencies that serve residents of central and northern Palm Beach County.

Annually, each Impact member contributes $1,000 to a pooled fund. During the annual meeting, nonprofit finalists are invited to speak, Impact 100 members vote, and funds are immediately awarded. Impact the Palm Beaches is a donor-advised fund held at the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties.

This year’s grant finalists included Memory Trees Corp., The Lord’s Place and Palm Beach Dramaworks.

Thirty-seven nonprofits submitted grant proposals that outlined unique programming addressing numerous needs and/or charitable causes within the community in areas of Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Family and Health & Wellness. The finalists joined Impact the Palm Beaches members on Nov. 10 during the Impact Awards gala, an evening dinner awards ceremony chaired by Tish Carlo.

Impact Awards gala

Guests attending the gala were welcomed by founders Deborah Johnson and Bridgette Baratta, who explained the group’s mission and described the successes of last year’s $100,000 grant recipient, Live Fresh Palm Beach County. Live Fresh was able to outfit and operate a mobile shower unit that provides showers and personal hygiene products to homeless people of Palm Beach County.

Brad Hurlbert, CEO of the Community Foundation of the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast, then spoke about the importance of giving toward programs that benefit the community as a whole. Attending Impact members also heard from each of the grant finalists before casting their ballots. Those Impact members who were unable to attend had the option of voting via mail-in before the evening’s presentation.

Emily Clifford, of one of the presenting sponsors, JP Morgan, spoke about her company’s dedication to community support while Impact members tallied the votes.

Baratta and Johnson then took the stage to announce this year’s winning recipient.

Two of this year’s Impact the Palm Beaches grant finalists,
Two of this year’s Impact the Palm Beaches grant finalists, Memory Trees Corp. and The Lord’s Place, received merit award grants of $11,500 each. The recipients are not identified. (Photo: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)
Memory Trees Corp., The Lord’s Place receive grants

Two of this year's Impact the Palm Beaches grant finalists, Memory Trees Corp. and The Lord’s Place, received merit award grants of $11,500 each. The recipients are not identified. (Photo: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)
Two of this year’s Impact the Palm Beaches grant finalists, Memory Trees Corp. and The Lord’s Place, received merit award grants of $11,500 each. The recipients are not identified. (Photo: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Both Memory Trees Corp. and The Lord’s Place received merit award grants of $11,500 each.

Palm Beach Dramaworks’ $100,000 award-winning program, the One Humanity Tour, seeks to safely address the topic of current tensions between law enforcement and local communities through the presentation of a 40-minute play.

The play is then followed by a talk-back about the show’s issues between the school resource officer, a uniformed police officer, the actors and the students. Aimed at sixth-grade students, the goal of the program is to create change by presenting a powerful, relevant story that allows young people to think critically about respect and diversity.

“Palm Beach Dramaworks is humbled and honored to receive the prestigious 2016 Impact the Palm Beaches award for our One Humanity Tour,” said Dramaworks Executive Director Sue Ellen Beryl. “Impact the Palm Beaches is an extraordinary organization whose collaborative mission focuses on social change.

“Their goal to transform northern Palm Beach County with highly effective programs inspired us to connect with the West Palm Beach Police Department and the School District of Palm Beach County to create the One Humanity Tour. This project addresses issues of anger, resentment, apathy and ignorance, and promotes respect, diversity, understanding, and the value of all life,” she said.

Sponsors for this year’s Impact the Palm Beaches Awards include JP Morgan, Daszkal Bolton, The Everglades Foundation, Gunster, Dr. David and Lisa Lickstein, and the Town of Palm Beach United Way.

Impact the Palm Beaches is a dynamic leader of women’s philanthropy: bringing new resources to the community and making philanthropy accessible. Through strategic high-impact grant-making, they engage, develop and inspire women to create change in the community.

For additional information, visit www.ImpactPalmBeaches.org.

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