2023 Summer News

Big Reveal!

On Tuesday, June 13th at our BIG REVEAL event at Old Toccoa Farm, we announced Impact100 Fannin County is 150 Members strong!

Thanks to our inaugural Members, our new Members, and our Membership Committee, led by Cindy Glueckert, we achieved our goal of 150 Members in 2023. 

In addition to our BIG REVEAL, we had the privilege of meeting with 15 non-profits from Fannin County, including last year’s grant recipients. Shout out to Kandy Key for liaising with the non-profits to coordinate their presence.

We’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the remarkable nonprofits who attended. Our members were able to directly interact with representatives from your organizations, allowing them to gain firsthand knowledge of the impactful work you do in our community. This insight will undoubtedly shape the Grant Committee’s decision-making process as they embark on the grant evaluation journey. *See below for the list of nonprofits who attended.

Kandy Key said, “The non-profit fair held alongside the Big Reveal allowed Fannin County Nonprofits to present themselves to Impact100 members, garnering positive feedback. These organizations provide important services and are to be highly recommended for the work they do.”

Finally, a special thank you to Addison, Gina, and the entire staff at OTF for their assistance in making our BIG REVEAL a special event.

We are incredibly excited about our second year as an organization and thanks to all of you, we’ll make an even bigger IMPACT than we did last year in Fannin County!

*Nonprofits who attended our Big Reveal: BR Community Theatre, CASA of Appalachian Court, FC Children’s Fund, FC Family Connection, FC Public Library Foundation, Fannin Foster Families, Feed Fannin, First Fruits, Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society of Blue Ridge, Kiwanis Club of Blue Ridge, Marine Corps League Detachment 1438 BR, North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network, Open Arms of Blue Ridge, and Project Chimps. 

Membership News…

Membership closed on May 31st and we held numerous events to give prospective members opportunities to learn about Impact100 Fannin County. We are thrilled to announce that our total membership for 2023 has reached an impressive milestone of 150 members. This represents a significant increase from the 114 members we had in 2022. The growth and support we have witnessed are a testament to the impact we are making together.

With that said, we’d like to extend a warm welcome to our new members who have joined Impact100 Fannin County this year. We are also immensely grateful to our dedicated 2022 members for their continued support and commitment. The strong sense of community and collective impact that we have fostered is truly remarkable.

The Membership committee has done an exceptional job in attracting new members, and the Events committee has played a pivotal role in facilitating our growth. We owe them a heartfelt thank you for their outstanding efforts throughout the year.

Since the closure of the 2023 membership enrollment on May 31, we have received numerous inquiries from women eager to join Impact100 Fannin County. To explore upcoming events for prospective members and sign up for our newsletter, please visit our website at www.Impact100Fannin.org and click on “Stay in the Loop.” By joining our newsletter, you’ll be one step closer to experiencing the exceptional events and engaging community we have to offer.

Looking ahead, we are pleased to announce that membership for 2024 will open on January 1. We cordially invite you to become part of this exceptional group of women who are making a meaningful difference in our community. Your involvement and contributions are invaluable.

If you know someone who has expressed an interest in becoming a member in 2024 or whom you would like to introduce to Impact, please forward her contact information to the membership committee at glueckcindy5@gmail.com. We will be glad to send them copies of our quarterly newsletter. In addition, there will be some events for perspective members in the late fall. More on that later!

As we continue on this incredible journey, we invite you to join us in shaping a brighter future for our community. Together, we can achieve remarkable things.

Access our member directory and more…

We have rolled out our Member Password access to a variety of member-only information pages on our impact100fannin.org website. All members received an email in April on how to set up their user accounts. Members will have access to a Member Directory, Members only information, our Grants Nonprofits’ information and presentation videos, and absentee voting ballot for Grant Recipients at the end of the year. CLICK HERE for more information. 

Grant News…

Excitement is high among Impact100 Fannin County members about the IMPACT we’ve made and what we continue to do in Fannin County! Through the grant process, we invest in nonprofits financially and partner with them to familiarize ourselves with their programs and services. In doing so, we enable them to think bigger and more strategically about the work they do and the IMPACT they have. 

We are excited to announce the start of the 2023 Grant Cycle! From the amazing Imapct100 Fannin County members we are able to offer three grants this year. One (1) will be $100,000 and two (2) for $25,000 each. What an outstanding impact these generous grants will have in our community! We can’t wait to see what our nonprofits have in mind. 

Step one is for Nonprofits is to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI). This ability went live on June 14th following our Big Reveal. The timeframe to submit LOI’s will close on June 30th. After that time the Grant Review Committee will meet to review, discuss and determine which Nonprofits will move into the Full Grant Application process. Thanks to the expertise and the hard work from a member, Teresa Joel, our entire process will be done online this year! We are so grateful for her support to improve our process in year two of our organization. 

We will continue to keep all Impact100Fannin County members up to date as the grant review process moves froward. Look for email updates as there is new information to share. It’s going to be an exciting year as we continue to make an IMPACT on our community by supporting the amazing Nonprofits who work in Fannin County. And we want our Grant Applicants to think BIG!

Event News…

We would like to express our deep gratitude to Blue Jeans Pizza, Blue Ridge Arts Center, Bear Claw Winery, Blue Ridge Community Theatre, and The Tavern at Old Toccoa Farm for graciously hosting our events. Their support has been instrumental in creating memorable experiences for our members.

We are delighted to share that we recently gathered at Bar 21 and Hook and Eye, where several new members made the decision to join our ranks. These social outings have not only been enjoyable but have also served as opportunities for like-minded individuals to come together and create lasting friendships.

Mark your Calendar! 
The summer social events are all member only events, with the exception of the September 19th event at Vertigo. Please bring a spouse or significant other to come and play pinball. All members will receive an invite to all events with details as well as an opportunity to RSVP.

July 11 – Hook and Eye
August 8 – The Four Elements
September 19 – Vertigo (Plus one)
October 30 – Annual Meeting w/video presentations and voting
November 14 – Evening of Impact – Grant Awards
December 11 or 12 (TBD) – Holiday Social

Member Spotlight: Michelle “Mick” Swim, Pioneering Female Owner of Bear Claw Vineyards

In the picturesque town of Blue Ridge, Georgia, a remarkable woman has made her mark on the local community and the state’s winemaking industry. Michelle “Mick” Swim, the owner of Bear Claw Vineyards, Inc., has not only realized her dreams of owning a vineyard but has also become a trailblazer as the first 100% female-owned “Farm Winery” permitted and bonded in Georgia. Mick’s journey to success is a testament to her unwavering determination, hard work, and commitment to making a positive impact.

Twenty years ago, Mick visited Blue Ridge and little did she know that it would become her home and the birthplace of her entrepreneurial endeavor. The idea of running a vineyard seemed like a distant dream, but Mick’s passion for winemaking and her desire to secure a future for her autistic son motivated her to turn that dream into reality. In 2014, she purchased a plot of farmland and established a corporation with the intention of transforming it into her own vineyard. Thus, Bear Claw Vineyards was born.

Mick’s journey was not without its challenges. While building her vineyard, she continued working full-time as CFO for a manufacturing company in Atlanta, commuting between Atlanta and Blue Ridge for over seven years. This relentless dedication allowed her to finance her vineyard project and bring it to fruition. In September 2017, Bear Claw Vineyards opened its doors to the public, offering visitors a unique experience and a taste of Georgia’s burgeoning wine scene.

What sets Bear Claw Vineyards apart is not only its exceptional wines but also the profound significance behind its establishment. Mick’s goal was to create a legacy for her son by putting the vineyard into trust for his benefit. This act of love and foresight underscores Mick’s dedication to her family and her community, setting an inspiring example for others to follow.

Beyond her impressive entrepreneurial journey, Mick has actively engaged in philanthropic and community-building efforts. She joined Impact100 Fannin County, a nonprofit organization that caught her attention due to its commitment to donating every dime contributed to selected nonprofits, unlike organizations that retain a portion of the funds for administrative costs. Mick’s involvement in Impact100 showcases her desire to make a genuine difference in the lives of others and her passion for supporting local initiatives.

Additionally, Mick has found a network of like-minded women in the North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network for whom she sits on the board. This community has provided her with valuable connections and support, empowering her to further contribute to the growth and development of the region. Through her participation in this network, Mick has proven that when women come together and support one another, they can accomplish incredible things.

Mick’s journey exemplifies the power of perseverance and the immense impact women can have when they pursue their dreams with determination. As the first female-owned Farm Winery permitted in Georgia, Bear Claw Vineyards stands as a symbol of Mick’s unwavering spirit and her dedication to making a positive mark on her community and the wine industry.

Mick’s story serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women, who may face unique challenges along their paths. Her success demonstrates that with hard work, determination, and a supportive network, it is possible to break barriers, achieve remarkable milestones, and make a lasting impact.

As we shine the spotlight on Mick Swim, let her story remind us that no dream is too big, no goal too ambitious, and no challenge insurmountable when we approach them with unwavering dedication, resilience, and a belief in our own abilities. Mick Swim has proven that all women can indeed make an IMPACT when they wholeheartedly pursue their passions and refuse to be limited by societal challenges.