WILTON – If you raised a daughter in Franklin County over the last decade, chances are she’s participated in Fit Girls. The 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit, Fit Girls of Wilton Maine, has served over 985 girls since 2011. The 6 week afterschool program operates in the fall and spring out of two schools, Academy Hill on Wednesdays and Cascade Brook on Thursdays. All 4th and 5th grade aged-girls in Franklin County are invited to participate. The Fit Girls mission is to promote healthy bodies, healthy minds, and healthy hearts through running, reading, and caring.
In the fall the girls train for the Fit and Fun 5K Benefit, this year on October 21, 2023. All are welcome! They attempt to accumulate 26.2 miles, the length of a marathon, while training. A book with positive messaging and most often with a female protagonist is provided to each girl participant. The book is the basis for various discussion points each session such as “What does it mean to try your best?” The girls also actively practice kindness and respect for all.
Fit Girls welcomes a new Executive Director, Karli Erickson as Founder Deb Aseltine steps back from the helm. Of Aseltine, Erickson reports, “We cannot begin to fathom the impact she has made on the lives of so many girls and families over the years, and the impact her legacy at Fit Girls will continue to make. Our community has been blessed to have Deb’s enthusiasm, love, and true passion for running, reading, and caring as the backbone of our program. Her strength of body, mind, and spirit inspires us all.”
Coach Karli is the substitute school nurse in RSU 9 and mom of two elementary school aged girls. She is a longtime advocate of teaching and fostering a healthy, active lifestyle for kids. Erickson is excited to invigorate the community service element of Fit Girls. The girls will plant flower bulbs at the two elementary schools in the fall and hopefully sow perennials and wildflower seeds in the spring. “Our goal through the service project is to work together to make a positive difference, a more beautiful world, and connect the message of taking care of ourselves, each other, and the earth” says Erickson.
Fit Girls continues to be offered at NO cost to the girls and families participating in order to make it easily accessible for everyone. A healthy snack is also provided each session. They are funded by grants, currently from the Onion Foundation, their community partners, Franklin Savings Bank, who sponsors tee shirts each year, Tyngtown Club and Wilton Lions Club as annual contributors, and donations from local area organizations and individuals. Fit Girls is grateful to Kyes Insurance and E.L. Vining & Son for starting a contribution this year. Fit Girl’s funding directly affects their offerings. All donations can be made to Fit Girls PO Box 493 Wilton, Maine 04294.
For more information or to sign up for the 5K, visit fitgirlsofwiltonmaine.org.