Impact 100 Jersey Coast plans International Women’s Day event

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NJ First Lady Tammy Murphy to speak at virtual event

By Liam Umbs, The Coast Star

Impact 100 Jersey Coast [Impact JC] will be holding a virtual event on Thursday, March 11 to celebrate International Women’s Day and the accomplishments of women in the local community.

Impact JC is a group of women volunteers that award six-figure grants to local nonprofit organizations. When joining the organization, members make a donation of $1,100, of which $1,000 is pooled together into the Impact grant fund. Nonprofits seeking a grant for a specific project will apply, and then members of Impact JC will review applications, visit sites and vote on which nonprofits will receive the grants.

Deirdre Spiropoulos, the president and co-founder of Impact JC, sums up the process as “One woman, one donation, one vote.”

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The International Women’s Day event will kick off with a performance by ShockWave, an all-female a capella singing group at Rutgers University. The event will then feature an interactive panel discussion with leaders from three past Impact grant recipient organizations: Covenant House New Jersey in Asbury Park, St. Mark’s Center for Community Renewal in Keansburg and the Monmouth Museum in Lincroft.

With funding from Impact JC, Covenant House New Jersey has been able to continue providing a safe and clean place to live for young people experiencing homelessness. St. Mark’s Center for Community Renewal expanded and modernized its kitchen, allowing it to operate a USDA-certified soup kitchen and pantry. Monmouth Museum will provide personalized art programming to adults with special needs.

Ms. Spiropoulos said that attendees can expect to hear about how these organizations are serving the community and rising to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They’ll talk a little bit about some challenges and some opportunities in face of COVID and really just unpack a little bit more around how they’re serving the community,” Ms. Spiropoulos said.

“They’ll be talking a little bit about the women aspect and really empowering and lifting up women in our community.”

New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy will also make a special guest appearance. She will discuss the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund [NJPRF], a statewide initiative designed to fight the medical, social and economic impact of COVID-19. Impact JC has provided funding to NJPRF.

The March 11 event will also be the final event of Impact JC’s membership drive, and aspiring members are encouraged to sign up that night.

In past years, the annual event has been a large gathering held at Bell Works in Holmdel, where members can meet interested women from the public.

“It’s always wonderful because it’s towards the end of our membership drive and it really gives the women who have been wanting to meet us a chance to come together, see us in action, meet other members and interact with them,” Ms. Spiropoulos said.

This year, the event will be held on Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Ms. Spiropoulos is still hopeful that this virtual event will provide a celebratory and empowering experience.
“I think just the fact that it’s Women’s Day and bringing women together is hope. We’re hoping to get that kind of differentiating. It’s not just another Zoom to be watching,” Ms. Spiropoulos said. “We really want it to be interactive and inspiring.”

The International Women’s Day Celebration will be Thursday, March 11 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. A link for registration can be found under the “events” tab on impact100jerseycoast.org