Danielle Reed: Book Launch & St Albert Chamber nomination

by Lucie Roy

It is a busy time for Danielle Reed, who will have her Book Launch for It’s Time to Stop Making Bagels, A Journey Towards Embracing Imperfections on 29 October at the Old Timer’s Cabin in Edmonton.

Fit & Fierce was nominated for a Community Business Leadership Award for the 2019 Small Business Award for St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce.

Though they did not win at the Chamber presentations this year, Fit & Fierce Co-Founders Kelsey Vickers and Danielle Reed were very excited to be nominated.

Fit & Fierce is a program that started as a simple idea at the back deck of a residence in Sturgeon County.

Reed said they were having a conversation and with Vickers’ background in physical training and Reed’s background in teaching and coaching they decided to bring their skills sets together to create something for young girls.

Within the hour, their name Fit & Fierce was set. That was eight years ago and today the program includes girls from Sturgeon County, Morinville, and Edmonton.

The program is for young girls from Grades 4-12 and takes place once a month from September to June.

Reed said changing lives and making an impact in the world has become really something that drives her.

The program that was run out of a garage and loft out of Sturgeon County has now expanded to include a leased space in St. Albert.

In the first year they had 27 girls enrolled. The second year of the program saw 30, then 37, 51, 62, 84 and last year 112. This year they have 160 with about nine on the waiting list and have also incorporated day camps.

Reed said the point behind the program is to address three issues they felt were really important for girls: mindfulness, nutrition, and fitness.

Reed said Fit & Fierce members do a huge contribution every year to the Food Bank. Last Year they donated more than 3000 pounds of food to the Food Bank and that was from nightly drop-offs from the girls.

“These girls are so proud,” said Reed.

They talk about nutrition and the need to have healthy stuff and for those using the Food Bank how it may be their only meal for the day.

Every May they bring their donations to the Food Bank and receive a tour of the facility, and for them to hear some 50 some teens in their own town will receive the food and get to eat like they do it is an eye-opener for them.

Reed said the Food Bank has been a huge part of what they do and because they are not just St. Albert they joined with the Adoptive Family Group here in Morinville and decided to adopt a family for Christmas.

The kids made a list of what the family needed, pantry, toiletries, toys, stocking stuffers and more.

“What happened on that day blew my mind. We did not just give a hamper to one family, we gave hampers to about 8 families,” Reed said.

Reed went on to say that when you look at the keys to mental wellness one of them is contributions and really want the girls to know that it is important, and how we grow a strong mind by doing a bunch of things, by knowing who you are, by finding a place where you belong, by finding that you have a purpose and meaning in your life, by finding hope and enjoyment, by being resilient.

“Contributing and we give back and make a difference and that has become a huge part of what we stand for,” Reed said, adding some girls that have left Fit & Fierce have returned as mentors.

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