Friday, February 10, 2023 – The Grindstone Award Foundation is thrilled to announce that Danielle Bell, who has previously served a successful and impressive two-year term as Director of Human Resources, has recently been promoted to President of the Grindstone Award Foundation.
Danielle is a smart and savvy entrepreneur who runs every aspect of her own real estate business, based in Oakville, Ont., while balancing her busy family life and a roster of volunteer work, including with our growing foundation. Danielle has an undeniably strong passion for giving back to her community and country, which shines through when she speaks of her work with the Grindstone Award Foundation.
Although she has participated in many sports over the years, it was after registering her two kids into hockey that she actually took up the sport herself – and fell in love with everything it has to offer. She hasn’t looked back since first lacing up her skates, and like most hockey players, has made plenty of new friends along the way, including all of those she has met and interacted with while volunteering with the Grindstone Award Foundation.
With two kids in the minor hockey system, Danielle and her husband have seen first-hand the hefty costs that come with getting the chance to play what’s known as the great Canadian game.
“From pricey registration fees, to expensive equipment, to travelling costs, hockey is not an easy game for average Canadian families to easily afford, most unfortunately. As a result, many kids across our country are losing out on core values that can be learned on the ice and applied to life off the ice,” Danielle said of why she’s so driven to get more Canadian kids into hockey.
“From teamwork and sportsmanship to commitment, honesty, integrity and so much more, we can learn a lot from team sport that those who have a chance to play are then able to apply to their academic, personal and professional lives,” Bell said.
“Hockey is much more than just a sport; it’s a tool for success.”
That’s why Danielle is so inspired to help give more girls the opportunity to lace up their own skates, and why the Grindstone Award Foundation is equally as excited to have her as our new “team captain.”
“On behalf of the entire Grindstone Award Foundation board, we are thrilled to welcome Danielle as our newest President,” said Jehan Jiwa, the foundation’s Vice-President. “Danielle brings a wealth of knowledge as well as a true passion for the female game to the Grindstone team.
“She truly understands the value of equal access for all to the game we love, and we look forward to working under her leadership as we continue to grow Grindstone and impact more of the families that need our support.”
While we excitedly welcome Danielle into her new position, we also bid a bittersweet adieu to our outgoing President, Laura Oliver, who will always remain an important part of Grindstone’s rock-solid foundation. As President, the Waterdown, Ont., native helped put the essential building blocks of the Grindstone Award Foundation in place to ensure that we will continue to grow and thrive as a team – so that we can get more girls into the game.
Laura played hockey most of her life and volunteering is one of Laura’s greatest passions. Although she has stepped away from her role as President of the Grindstone Award Foundation, she will always be a key member of our team.
“Thank you, Laura, for leading the way,” Bell said. “We are grateful for everything you have done to set the Grindstone Award Foundation on the right path. You have some big skates to fill but we intend to do our very best to make you proud and inspire more female athletes to get excited and inspired about everything that hockey has to offer, on and off the ice.”
“We would like to thank Laura for her service to Grindstone,” Jiwa said. “She has led our charity with passion and dedication and has helped our foundation reach new and incredible heights. We wish her all the best in her future endeavours.”
Thank you again, Laura, from all of us. And thank you, Danielle, for taking on this pivotal position as we continue to grow the Grindstone Award Foundation and get more girls and women into the game.
About Grindstone Award Foundation
The Grindstone Award Foundation is an official Canadian Registered Charity that started in Kelowna, B.C., Canada. The foundation is among the first charities of its kind in North America, solely supporting girls and women in hockey.
As the female game continues to grow at both the grassroots and professional levels, Grindstone recognizes the importance of investing in the female game to reach as many players as possible and to produce a strong pipeline from minor hockey to elite and professional level sport.
Grindstone’s ultimate goal is to provide much-needed support to families and communities by helping young, female hockey players who have a desire to play hockey but are unable to for financial reasons.
The charity was started in 2014 by Sasha Podolchak and Danielle Grundy, who reside in British Columbia. Grundy is a former high-level female hockey player who studied and played at Dartmouth College. The foundation, which is a volunteer-led team, sponsored its first female player in 2015. Grindstone has since granted close to 200 grants to help get and keep more girls in the game of hockey.
For more information, please contact:
Chair of Communications and Marketing
Grindstone Award Foundation