Many people's lives have been touched by one of the Petaluma's many, committed nonprofits, and now the Petaluma Community Foundation wants to honor one such organization for its dedication to the community.

To do so, it's created the Community Choice Grant, a $1,000 award that will be given to the Petaluma nonprofit that gets the most votes from the public.

"The genesis of this idea is really to have community engagement," said Marilyn Segal, executive director of the Petaluma Community Foundation. "This idea gives community members a way to be connected with us and we will learn even more about the programs out in our community." She added that the grant is separate from the foundation's annual grant program, which has guidelines and eligibility criteria.

Starting March 1, community members can vote for their favorite local nonprofit. Votes will be tallied at the end of the month and the grant will be awarded on April 20 at the annual Denny Murray Grant Awards & Community Celebration at the Sheraton Sonoma County - Petaluma. Tickets for that event go on sale March 1.

Voting ballots are available at the following Petaluma sponsor locations: Acre Coffee, Athletic Soles, Club One, Cucina Paradiso, Ethical Clothing, Hollingsworth Jewelers Galley, MoonEssence, Tomasini's Rex Ace Hardware, Sole Desire, Summit State Bank, and Whole Foods Market.

Petaluma Community Foundation is devoted to encouraging informed and meaningful philanthropic giving to enhance quality of life in the greater Petaluma area. As a foundation, it identifies community needs, encourages collaboration among the nonprofit community and seeks funding solutions that have broad-based impact. In 2012, Petaluma Community Foundation awarded $125,000 in grants to 10 local nonprofits.