Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts Receives $44,000 Grant from Local NJ Women for Paterson Music Project

Wharton Institute for Performing Arts was recipient of $44,000 grant from Impact 100 for The Paterson Music Project.

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts was selected as a recipient of a $44,000 grant for The Paterson Music Project from Impact 100. Over 200 Garden State members of Impact 100 selected three grant recipients at their gathering on November 2 at Olde Mill Inn. 

The Paterson Music Project is an out-of-school program for children of diverse backgrounds, that uses music to empower children through the communal experience of ensemble learning and performance. The program is modeled on the highly successful El Sistema, the national program of Venezuela that has produced Conductor Gustavo Dudamel, renowned music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Hector, son of a single mom, has been bullied at school and struggled socially. But he has a passion for the viola and now has what he calls his “viola family.”  

Sign Up for E-News

This was just one of the stories Impact 100 Garden State members heard as more than 200 of them gathered to select their three 2016 grant recipients. Anticipation was palpable as seven finalists took turns at the podium to describe their mission.  “I fell in love with all of them,” said Christine DiCesare, Co-Chair of the Grants Committee.  The members listened to all the presentations and then voted.

The Impact 100 grant will fund free weekly programming that will include additional opportunities, such as a city-wide orchestra for students like Hector and an intergenerational choir for students as well as their families, teachers, and other members of the community. Hector, son of a single mom, has been bullied at school and struggled socially. But he has a passion for the viola and now has what he calls his “viola family.” 

Roots & Wings, an organization based in Denville, was awarded a $100,000 grant for their service to aged out foster youth. Aged-out foster youth are among the most underserved, disconnected and statistically vulnerable segment of our society.  

The Interfaith Food Pantry, located in Morris Plains, also received a $100,000 grant. Clients of the Food Pantry are the working poor, senior citizens on fixed incomes, single parents, the disabled (mentally and physically), the unemployed, the homebound and others in crisis. Impact 100 funds will set up a Healthy Choice Mobile Pantry Program, providing not only for the purchase of a refrigerated vehicle but also for a supply of fresh foods and outreach to existing food providers.

An additional highlight of the evening was the keynote speaker, Wendy Steele, who created the first Impact 100 in Cincinnati in 2001. Impact 100 Garden State follows that model and there are now 39 other Impact 100s globally. By the end of 2015, Impact 100 women had funded more than $33 million in high-impact transformational grants in their local communities and they are on track to significantly increase those amounts in 2016.

Steele spoke of how she originated the concept of Impact100. In warm and personal terms, she told of losing her mother as an adolescent and how the community rallied around her father and two sisters.  It wasn’t just an occasional casserole, but rather the ongoing support of friends and family that became a formative experience for Steele. “Community activity was always important to me because of what happened. Giving back was very important.”

And she motivated the women in her audience to act as the new membership campaign opened. “Impact 100 Garden State is poised to break the million dollar mark in their collaborative giving in 2017. They need you, women of Garden State, so that they can make even more transformative, dream-big grants in your communities.” 

Founded five years ago, Impact 100 is a unique organization of women dedicated to improving the lives of New Jersey residents by supporting nonprofit organizations that serve Morris, Passaic, Somerset, and Sussex counties. Each member contributes $1,000 toward membership and the entire amount funds grants for nonprofit programs that will transform their communities.  Since its first giving year, in 2012, Impact 100 members have contributed  $769,000, offering at least one $100,000 grant each year.

Impact 100 is a Special Project Fund of the Community Foundation of New Jersey,  which supports charitable giving focused on making NJ communities stronger.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Enjoy a Lifetime of Discovery in Union County Parks

July 18, 2018

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and Union County residents are invited to celebrate this year by exploring “undiscovered” programs and activities found throughout the nearly 6,200 acres of the Union County parks system.

“Union County was one of the very first counties in the United States to establish its own county-based park system for nature conservation and ...

Union County Honored for History Projects

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that two national achievement recognitions for history projects have been presented to the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, a division of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Union County is rich in history, and this Freeholder Board is committed to engaging the public with ...

Union County College Foundation’s 3rd “Close the Gap” Campaign Surpasses Goal

CRANFORD, NJ – With over 150 guests and volunteers in attendance, the Union County College Foundation surpassed their goal and raised nearly $55,000 at their 3rd Annual Close the Gap Campaign cocktail reception. Held on July 11, in the Richel Student Commons at the College’s Cranford campus, this campaign was developed by a small group of dedicated community volunteers to support the ...

ReNew Salon and Spa Welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo

GILLETTE, NJ - ReNew Salon and Spa welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo to their staff. Mormilo brings with her over 20 years of excellent customer service in the salon and spa industry.

She has extensive product knowledge, focuses on keeping up-to-date on industry standards and practices, believes in mentoring young stylists, and is a team player who strives to ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer

Arts & Entertainment Travel

Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer at NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, July 22, 2:00 PM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Moths and other Pollinators

Education Green


Tue, July 24, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant , Scotch Plains

Hear the Story of Amelia Earhart, America's Most ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Special June Episode of 'Berkeley Heights Here & Now' Features 6th Annual Street Fair

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Berkeley Heights Communications Committee (BHCC) today announced a special edition of Berkeley Heights Here & Now is available on the Township website,


The special episode features the 6th Annual Berkeley Heights Street Fair held on June 24 and includes onsite interviews with attending residents/visitors, event ...

And Over Here is the Dining Hall 2

My very first job in admissions was while I was still an undergraduate myself as a tour guide.  Very early on they indoctrinated us with some tricks of the trade.  It’s a dining hall, not a cafeteria.  A residence hall, not a dorm.  If you have to divulge some negative bit of information, sandwich it between two positives.  There were instructions for glossing over ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...