Bring It Push It Own It: inspiring, uplifting and guiding Fort Wayne’s young women
Aug28

Bring It Push It Own It: inspiring, uplifting and guiding Fort Wayne’s young women

It’s difficult to be a young woman in modern society. Today’s generation is inundated with mixed messages from the media, along with a lack of community engagement, peer conflict, family problems and other issues that can leave girls feeling alienated and inadequate. Bring It Push It Own It, a local female-run nonprofit organization for girls from ages 9-18, seeks to overcome these negative influences by empowering young women through physical activity, mentorship and teamwork. Bring It Push It Own It began in 2013 when founder Tisha Stotlar noticed a lack of self-esteem, positive values, inner strength, coping skills and leadership traits being instilled in young women within their home, school and extracurricular lives. Stotlar started the organization with the important goal of helping girls learn to “push themselves outside of their comfort zones to grow to their fullest potential.” Today, Bring It Push It Own It is run by a full board and advisory committee of predominantly women, offering group fitness and enrichment programming for girls in the Fort Wayne area. “We create an environment that is different than sports yet active—an environment to become a leader as a mentor to other girls, an opportunity to learn how to have friendships outside of your normal circles. Taking you out of your comfort zones is the best way to heighten ourselves and become our best selves, and we provide that in our program and our obstacle run,” Stotlar said. View this post on Instagram This is our girl tribe, open minded, kind, positive, real, healthy minds and bodies, fun, focused on self love, kindness, inner strength, leadership, healthy relationships, empowered to keep going, crush goals, keep believing!! A post shared by Bring It-Push It-Own It (@bringit_pushit_ownit) on Aug 10, 2018 at 12:51pm PDT Bring It Push It Own It offers 10 to 12 week seasonal rotations consisting of weekly meet-ups and additional monthly meet-ups for its young members. Typically meeting at Spiece Fitness, sessions rotate a variety of a group exercise classes including yoga, barre, step aerobics, martial arts and more. Additionally, meetings include an educational discussion on pertinent topics such as identifying toxic relationships and embracing your natural beauty. Girls will also participate in an obstacle course that takes their teamwork, courage and leadership skills to new heights. The variety and challenge offered by Bring It Push It Own It allows its participants to constantly try new things and achieve their goals along the way. As the leader of Bring It Push It Own It, Stotlar is especially interested in addressing the confidence issues that arise around ages 11-14 as young women enter adolescence and transition from elementary to...

Read More
Lions, Tigers, Bears & More: Summer Fest at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary
Jul27

Lions, Tigers, Bears & More: Summer Fest at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary

As the weather warms up, the animals come out to play. A yearly pilgrimage to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is a tried and true summer ritual for families all across northeast Indiana. But for animal-lovers seeking a different environment to experience their favorite wild animals, Black Pine Animal Sanctuary will hold their annual Summer Fest event on Saturday, July 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In place of the usual guided tours of the over 250 animals that call Black Pine home, the sanctuary will offer a day full of keeper presentations and other animal enrichment activities. Summer Fest will also feature food trucks and several vendors selling handmade crafts. Located 45 minutes northwest of Fort Wayne in the small town of Albion, Indiana, Black Pine Animal Sanctuary has provided abused and exploited animals with safe habitats since 2000. Black Pine is home to cats, canines, bears, primates, birds, reptiles and more. According to Lori Gagen, executive director of the non-profit, “Black Pine Animal Sanctuary exists to provide refuge to displaced, captive-raised exotic animals for the rest of their lives and to educate people about responsible animal care and conservation.” View this post on Instagram Happy Caturday! Love, Luna A post shared by Black Pine Animal Sanctuary (@bpsanctuary) on Jan 16, 2016 at 12:46pm PST While Black Pine appears similar to traditional animal attractions, its underlying ethos sets it apart from the zoos and aquariums to which most visitors are accustomed. Rather than breeding animals in captivity and emphasizing profits, Black Pine’s focus is on animals in need. “A true sanctuary does not buy, sell, breed, trade nor seek out animals. While we do allow visitors into the animals’ home so that we can educate them…our educational messages are typically different than a zoo or aquarium,” explains Gagen. Black Pine Animal Sanctuary’s mission is to protect and respect animals rather than profit off of them–it is supported solely by program fees, fundraising, volunteers and a small paid staff. For those who feel conflicted about the treatment of animals in zoos or are looking for more educational enrichment, Black Pine is a perfect summer outing. Gagen notes that the sanctuary teaches the public about the plights of exploiting exotic animals as pets, performers or entertainment. “[The animals’] will to live–and thrive–is inspiring, as is the dedication of their caregivers and our supporters to make it possible.” Summer Fest will allow newcomers and regulars alike to experience the inspirational animals and staff that Black Pine Animal Sanctuary has to offer. View this post on Instagram Buster and company are enjoying their new home, the Richard J. Hoffman Avian Building!...

Read More
Tradition, Nutrition, & Community: The Historic South Side Farmer’s Market
Jul02

Tradition, Nutrition, & Community: The Historic South Side Farmer’s Market

  Nestled along a quiet residential street in downtown Fort Wayne, an unassuming barn-like structure comes to life once per week with the vibrant sights, sounds, and smells of one of Fort Wayne’s oldest community staples. The Historic South Side Farmers Market lives up to its name―the weekly market been an agricultural and commercial pillar of Fort Wayne for nearly a century. Located on 3300 Warsaw Street, it hosts dozens of vendors every Saturday between Easter and mid-December from 7 AM to 1 PM. Strolling through the two long wings of the market’s H-shaped building, you’ll find a bit of everything: vendors on the west side offer local produce, hormone-free meat, eggs, honey, preserves, baked goods, herbs, and more. The east side houses a flea market with antiques, handcrafts, books, and jewelry. South Side Farmers Market has been a Saturday morning tradition for patrons and vendors since 1926, and continues to draw crowds who resonate with the quality food, community engagement, and local business that it fosters. In addition to its regular fare, the South Side Farmers Market also has a variety of seasonal offerings and special events throughout the year. Earlier this year, Indiana State Representative Phil GiaQuinta partnered with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to give away free tree seedlings to South Side Farmers Market patrons. During my recent visit to the market, I noticed a beautiful array of flowers and plants available for the summer months. Perfect for front porches like mine that desperately need a refreshing pop of color as the weather warms up! Ann DeGrandchamp, Secretary of the Allen County Ag. Producers, has witnessed the long history of South Side Farmers Market firsthand. Her grandfather, Frederick J. Schlup, was an Aboite Township farmer who helped to organize and build the market 92 years ago. South Side Farmers Market played a central role in future generations of DeGrandchamp’s family, as her father Richard T. Schlup continued to be closely involved with the South Side Farmers Market as he pursued the family produce business. With such an extensive track record of family involvement, DeGrandchamp considers the market to be “in her blood,” and still participates as a board member and as a vendor with her husband Jack and son Daryl. South Side Farmers Market holds a special place in her heart, just as it does for many of its regular patrons. “I’m pretty attached to the market,” says DeGrandchamp. “I’m pretty attached to healthy eating too. While there is a lot to enjoy about the market, I’d have to say my favorite aspect is the opportunity to sell―and buy myself―the various fresh produce that is...

Read More
Top 5 Things to Know About Riverfront Development
Jun29

Top 5 Things to Know About Riverfront Development

Riverfront Fort Wayne is a community development initiative that aims to better utilize the natural beauty of Fort Wayne’s rivers with new activities, local businesses and community events. Here are the top five things you should know about the ongoing river development project: 1. There’s Something for Everyone View this post on Instagram Thank you to @fwoutfitters for a perfect evening on our rivers! We love Margarita Mondays! #RiverfrontFW #PaddleFW A post shared by Riverfront Fort Wayne (@riverfrontfortwayne) on Jun 4, 2018 at 7:49pm PDT Whether you’re seeking a laidback social outing or an exhilarating adventure, the riverfront development initiative will cater to a variety of interests. Development is divided between the “urban waterfront” of the South Bank and the “recreation and exploration” of the North Bank. Those interested in live entertainment, shopping and family fun can gather in the variety of plazas and venues that the South Bank will offer. Nature lovers can utilize the North Bank’s trails and docks to explore downtown Fort Wayne on bikes, boats,or their own two feet. 2. Three Phases for Three Rivers View this post on Instagram Riverfront Phase ll renderings were released at a news conference today. #RiverfrontFW #FortWayne A post shared by Riverfront Fort Wayne (@riverfrontfortwayne) on Jun 13, 2017 at 3:36pm PDT Riverfront construction will occur in three phases. Phase I (currently underway) will develop Promenade Park between the Ewing Street and Harrison Street bridges. This stage will introduce fifteen exciting new landmarks such as the Old National Bank Plaza and the Parkview Tree Canopy Trail. Phase II will develop the riverfront on either side of Promenade Park, while Phase III will take on the stretch of riverfront between the Van Buren Street and Ewing Street bridges. 3. It’s Been a Long Time Coming View this post on Instagram Riverfront is filled with history as noted by this 1916 marker. Explore it this spring. #RiverfrontFW #Indiana A post shared by Riverfront Fort Wayne (@riverfrontfortwayne) on Apr 5, 2017 at 7:43am PDT Riverfront Fort Wayne has been in the works for several years, requiring extensive planning and community involvement. The downtown development initiative got its start with 2011’s Legacy Fort Wayne grant, and initial riverfront development plans were solidified in 2015. The three rivers have played a historical role in Fort Wayne’s culture and commerce, and riverfront development efforts aim to optimize this iconic natural resource for the city’s future. 4. It’s Already Happening View this post on Instagram Progress on Phase 1. #RiverfrontFW A post shared by Riverfront Fort Wayne (@riverfrontfortwayne) on May 17, 2018 at 6:34pm PDT Riverfront development has already begun! You can stay updated on current construction and upcoming events on...

Read More