The Salvation Army and Boulware Mission each received $100,000 grants from Impact 100 Owensboro at the organization's annual meeting Thursday night.

In addition, St. Benedict's Homeless Shelter received a $41,000 residual grant.

Next Gen, an Impact 100 teen group, also announced its grant award winner Thursday night. Western Kentucky Regional Blood Center will receive $13,000 from Next Gen members.

During the past 14 years, Impact 100 has given more than $3 million in grants to community nonprofits.

"To think $3 million has been raised by women to put back in our community is mindboggling," Impact chairwoman Carol Bothwell said.

Impact 100 is a women-only giving group. Members pool resources by donating $1,000 annually for a full membership or $500 for a half membership. At the annual meeting each October, members vote on which community nonprofits will receive grants.

The Salvation Army applied for a $100,000 grant to remodel and expand its kitchen, which was built in 1986.

In a presentation before members voted, Capts. Aaron and Rebecca Abram told the audience that the kitchen's freezer has been broken for months.

"We're excited to have the support of Impact 100 and many others in our community as we accomplish our mission to bring hope to the Ohio Valley one life at a time," Capt. Aaron Abram said of earning one of two $100,000 grants.

The Boulware Mission needs to replace 70-year-old sewer pipes and remodel and expand bathrooms.

"This is not a wishlist item," executive director and CEO Leigha Taylor said. "... If these pipes burst, we would be forced to close."

Also at Boulware, two small bathrooms serve nearly 50 clients. Water trickles from the faucets and showerheads, and the toilets don't flush properly.

"You all answered a prayer for us," Taylor told the audience after the announcement. "We appreciate it more than you know."

St. Benedict's will use the grant for its new women and family services unit at the corner of Ninth Street and Hickman Avenue. Also, the $41,000 residual grant will help the nonprofit open its men's shelter 24/7. Currently, it is open only 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.

The show of support from Impact members is inspiring, said Harry Pedigo, St. Benedict's executive director.

"We hope it inspires our clients to go out and achieve whatever they set their minds to," Pedigo said.

The five finalists for the two $100,000 grants were Boulware Center, H.L. Neblett Community Center, Friends of Sinners, Western Kentucky Regional Blood Center and the Salvation Army.

The RiverPark Center and St. Benedict's Homeless Shelter vied for the $41,000 residual grants.

Next Gen's three finalists were Dream Riders of Kentucky, Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Kentucky and Western Kentucky Regional Blood Center.

Bothwell said Impact members are overwhelmed to think they have donated more than $3 million to the community in the past 14 years.

"We all need to realize what a giving city we live in," she said.

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, rbeasleyjones@messenger-inquirer.com

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