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Women-run philanthropy starts Traverse City Chapter

Together, Impact 100 chapters have awarded more than than $45 million.

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY (WPBN/WGTU) -- A global organization, run by women, has awarded tens of millions of dollars to charities across the globe.

Now, there's a chapter here in northern Michigan.

Wendy Steele founded Impact 100 nearly 15 years ago when she realized a lot of her friends wanted to to help their communities, but might not have enough time.

"So as I struggled with that dilemma I solved each aspect of that problem the way you would put together a puzzle, putting one piece in, and then the next, and the next," said Steele. "When I was finished it looked like Impact 100."

Tuesday, there were more than 40 Impact 100 chapters across the globe, including the newly founded Traverse City chapter.

The way it works is each woman gives $1,000 to become a member.

The money then goes into a grant fund that is given away to a non-profit in Grand Traverse, Benzie, Kalkaska, Antrim, or Leelanau county.

Each grant awarded is at least $100,000.

"When you give back and you see the results of what you've done there is actually data that tells you your immune system is improved, you become more optimistic, you're better at problem-solving, you're more creative," said Steele.

Together, Impact 100 chapters have awarded more than than $45 million.

Steele said she came up with the idea to bring the organization to northern Michigan while she was visiting Walloon Lake.

"I love Traverse City and I really love the idea of helping people find different ways to give to the community," said Diana Milock, the Co-President of the Traverse City chapter of Impact 100.

"Impact 100 is completely inclusive," said Steele. "So anyone in the five County area, or beyond, who is remotely interested in this concept, I hope they will decide to get involved, because the only way we can reach our goal is when the entire community comes together. "

Steele said they are trying to get 200 women to join by March 31.

If you want more information, you can check out the Impact 100 Traverse City chapter website.

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