Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis

Member Newsletter

June 2016

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A Message from the President 
Dear women of Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis and our loyal supporters,
Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis president Beth Thomas

Our Annual Meeting on June 7 was an exciting night, ending with the announcement of this year's $100,000 grant winner: The IMPACT Program to Curb Runaway and Human Trafficking of Young Girls, a collaboration between Ascent 121 and Lutheran Child & Family Services. This program was the Family Focus Area finalist and addresses the very real and very frightening issue of human trafficking in Indianapolis. The $100,000 grant will allow them to increase the program's capacity, make improvements to their residential unit, and host a summit on human trafficking.

The three runners-up each received residual grants of $18,333 to be used toward reaching their program goals:
  • Indy Fringe (Arts and Culture Focus Area): The PRISM project brings performing arts programs to young people with special needs
  • Art with a Heart (Education Focus Area): Creative Classroom Connections provides children in poverty opportunities to use visual arts experiences to build classroom successes
  • Dove Recovery House (Health and Wellness Focus Area): The women of Dove House are moving, and their new location requires additional staffing and programming
This dinner was one of our largest, and the electricity in the air was amazing. We owe a big thanks to our Annual Dinner Chair, Annie Wells. Pulling off a complex event like this without paid staff or event planners is a big deal, and Annie was up to the task. Thank you as well to everyone who bought raffle tickets and participated in the wine pull. The Annual Dinner was never intended to be a traditional fundraiser-our main goal is to listen to the Focus Area Finalists and vote on who should receive our grants-but as we've added new opportunities for members and guests to spend a little extra money, the dinner becomes more self-supporting.

I am so fortunate to be involved in an organization full of strong and smart women. Together, we are making an impact on our community.

Beth Thomas


Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis

Learn More about the 2016 Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis $100,000 Grant Winner: The IMPACT Program to Curb Runaway and Human Trafficking of Young Girls

"I met him online and he was so nice. He understood me. He believed in me. He loved me. He picked me up and we took off together. But we went to a hotel and everything changed. I had to make $3,000 a night before I could stop. Ten or twelve men every night. I've been bitten and beaten and tazered. That was my life. But I got away." ~14-year old Indiana girl

Most people find it hard to believe that those words could come from a teenager right here in Indianapolis. But every day, our teens are being used for commercial sexual exploitation. How many? Hundreds of them every year. Traffickers prey on vulnerability: teens in need of love, security, family, attention, shelter, money, food, clothes. Traffickers target vulnerable youth and fill the void by playing the role of the loyal boyfriend who meets their needs. Trauma bonding occurs very quickly. The girls latch on to the hope of unconditional love and acceptance, often complying with anything that is asked of them. If they refuse, violence is used to force compliance.

While law enforcement and the Department of Child Services are doing well to remove teens from danger, there are very few local agencies equipped to provide specialized recovery services for victims of sex trafficking. Lutheran Child & Family Services (LCFS) and Ascent 121 have joined forces to serve this population through the IMPACT Program. They have earned the reputation as Indiana's leading program for teens that have been trafficked. LCFS provides the residential and medical care. Ascent 121 provides highly specialized therapeutic care for the girls and their families.

What will $100,000 do for the IMPACT Program?
  • Help more survivors:  There is a severe shortage of recovery resources in Indiana. The Impact 100 grant dollars will allow the two organizations to hire additional therapists, serve more girls, and provide expert training workshops, webinars, and phone consultation for clinical staff.
  • Make it feel like home:  These girls are victims, NOT criminals.  They deserve surroundings that are conducive to recovery. Presently the residential unit where the girls live has a very institutional feel, much like a detention center. Grant dollars will provide fresh paint, colorful carpeting, and some additional furniture. This will instill a sense of self-worth and dignity that will go a long way in their healing process.
  • Engage the community:  Most people don't realize sex trafficking happens here.  Combatting this issue hinges on raising awareness. The two organizations will host a Human Trafficking Awareness Summit that will help the Indianapolis community better understand the issue by bringing together thought leaders and experts to offer keynote addresses and workshops. The audience will include social service providers, law enforcement, youth workers, educators, parents, and students.
Megan McGuire, chief executive officer of Ascent 121, said, "We're grateful to the members of Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis for awarding us this grant. This funding will enable us to raise awareness, to serve more survivors, and to provide recovery in surroundings that instill the dignity and self-worth that the girls deserve."

"Intervention and care for the highly specialized needs of this population is possible because of the collaboration of the two agencies," said Sven Schumacher, chief executive officer of Lutheran Child & Family Services.

You can learn more about Ascent 121 at and LCFS at

The IMPACT program joins the other 12 local nonprofits who have received $100,000 grants as a result of Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis' collective giving. Previous high-impact grantees are: Indianapolis Parks Foundation for Indy Urban Acres Flower Farm (2015); Social Health Association of Indiana (2014); Tindley Collegiate (2013); Jameson Camp, Inc. (2012); Outside the Box, Inc. (2011); Rock Steady Boxing (2010); Outreach, Inc. (2009); Herron High School and Horizon House (2008); Indy Reads and Craine House/Fairbanks (2007); and Wishard (2006).  
Thank You to Annual Dinner Sponsors and Donors  
Thank you so much to the many wonderful sponsors who underwrote our Annual Dinner this year. Dinner sponsors are so very important: because all members' donations go directly to the grant pool, we require additional funds to help defray the cost of the dinner.

We are thrilled and very grateful to have had our first-ever Presenting Sponsor for the dinner: W3 and Financial Partners Group. W3 was created when four women of various backgrounds discovered they had a lot of the same questions, and they wanted to have fun together looking for the answers. W3 (which stands for Wellness, Wisdom and Wealth) is where the conversations begin, but do not end. Past W3 topics have included breast cancer research, stress management, retirement planning, skincare, nutrition, and philanthropy.

Thank you so much to this year's Silver Sponsors of the dinner: REI Real Estate Services and Simon Property Group. Thanks to Annie and Mike Wells of REI who believe in the power of women giving collectively in our community, and to Tina Brennan who is chair of the Simon's Charitable Contributions Committee. Note that Simon has been a sponsor throughout Impact 100's eleven-year history.

There were four Bronze Sponsors this year who also believe in supporting Impact 100's women philanthropists. Thanks to Bright Ideas, Column Capital, One America, and RenPSG for their sponsorship. We are also grateful to  Hedges & Associates for purchasing a table at the dinner.

Please join us in recognizing the organizations and people who supported this year's raffle, wine pull, and in-kind donations (in no particular order):
  • Bobby Cooper Salon/Donna Oklak
  • Indianapolis Zoo
  • Seasons 52/Annie Wells
  • Eat Your Heart Out/Andi Cohen
  • Bright Ideas /Bev Middaugh
  • Rock Steady Boxing
  • CS Accoutrements/Cathy Simmons
  • Doncaster/Amy Micon
  • Beth Thomas and Dennis Dawes
  • Barb Maurath
  • Wine Donors:
    • Anne Nelson
    • Annie Wells
    • Barb Fleming Cecil
    • Beth Thomas
    • Charlitta Winston
    • Donna Oklak
    • Kathy Jenkins
    • Kelly Hartman
    • Kelly Spaulding
    • Larissa Warne
    • Laura Dahlem
    • Pat Scahill
    • Roberta Jaggers
    • Terry Mumford
Previous Winner Events 
  • Outside the Box (2011): Inside the Bottle, Thursday, June 16
This event features a wide selection of wine and beer tastings along with food samplings from some of Indy's best independent restaurants. Along with the tastings, guests can look forward to an evening of dancing, live and silent auctions, and an incredible program, all on the grounds of the stunning Lucas Estate. All proceeds from this event go directly back to Outside the Box and its mission to empower adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. To purchase tickets go to:
  • Outreach (2009): 20th Birthday Party, Monday, June 20
Outreach has invited Impact 100 members to join them in celebrating their 20th Birthday at Prime 47 Downtown. That's 20 years of helping Indy's homeless teens and young adults find hope, and partnerships with incredible volunteers, donors, churches, companies, and schools. Go to for more information and to buy tickets.
Sponsor Event

Please join W3 for their next event, "Planning for Business Owners," on Wednesday, June 15. 78% of small-business owners intend to sell their businesses to fund their retirements, but fewer than 30% have a written succession plan. Presenter Lori Epstein, VP of MetLife Premier Client Group, will talk about addressing this issue through a customized strategy to safeguard your family's financial future, grow and protect your business, and retain your employees. As always, you are welcome to bring along others with an interest in this topic. The workshop is 5:30-7:00 pm at the offices of Financial Partners Group. For more information or to RSVP contact Whitney Schmitt at [email protected].
Upcoming Impact 100 Events
  • July 11: Meet the 2016 grant winners at Bright Ideas in Broad Ripple. All four finalist organizations at the June 7 Annual Meeting and Grant Presentations are scheduled to speak, and members will get the opportunity to learn more about how they will spend the money. This is a good event for members and guests to learn more about this year's grantees.
  • August 24: Brew-ha-ha 2016 at the Blind Owl 4:30-7:30 pm. This is a social event for all members and guests.
  • September 14: Membership kick-off event at Outside the Box. This event is open to members, guests, and all those interested in knowing more about Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis.
  • Watch this calendar for more information on these upcoming events (dates to be announced): 
    • October: Follow the Impact at Herron High School
    • November: Community outreach program
    • December: Holiday Party

Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis | P.O. Box 40531 | Indianapolis | IN | 46204