May 31 was a very busy day in Kenai. With so many events going on, no one could say it was a boring day. There was the Fly-in Breakfast, the Beautician Day, many car washes for several organizations, the Kenai Fire Department's barbecue for volunteers, and the Kenai Peninsula Brain Awareness Walk and Barbecue. It was a truly gorgeous day for all, whichever event you chose to participate in.
The Kenai Peninsula Brain Injury Support Group wishes to thank all the participants of the seventh annual Brain Awareness Walk and Barbecue: the walkers, the ones who gave so kindly to fill out those sponsor sheets, the merchants who donated food Fred Meyer, Carrs, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co., Coca Cola, Regal Foods and Save-U-More and The Salvation Army for donating the kitchen to prepare the salads and cakes.
We also appreciate the Kenai Fire Depart-ment for its support and the city of Kenai Parks and Recreation Department for a wonderful place to hold our event. And last, but not least, a special thanks to Elmer Luck for keeping watch over the site of the barbecue and stirring the beans while we walked.
As we went about our communities knocking on doors asking for donations, we were met with "Who are you? Never heard of you before. What do you do to help our community?
To answer, I'd like to say: We've tried for seven years to tell our communities to be safe! Protect yourself as you go about life's activities. That applies to everyone, but especially our children.
If you're riding a bike, skateboarding, four-wheeling, rollerblading, snowmachining or playing sports, wear a helmet.
If you're riding in a car, buckle up.
Put little ones in car seats.
Keep violence out of your life.
Keep gun use safe.
Wear a protective breathing apparatus when using harmful chemicals.
We want to make people aware of the causes of traumatic brain injury. Brain injury is the No. 1 killer and disabler of the world, not just America. Prevention is the only cure.
We have a support group to advocate for people who have acquired a brain injury.
We have a "helmet for life" program.
We have a prevention education program.
The state of Alaska has a newly formed advisory board with members from all walks of life and from all regions of the state with quarterly meetings. April's meeting was in Fairbanks; July's meeting will be in Bethel. In April 2006, the meeting will be in the Kenai-Soldotna area for the Kenai Peninsula.
Nationally, we have the Brain Injury Associ-ation of America Web site, www.biausa.org, and the National Family Help Line, (800) 444-6443.
We walk for a purpose, to make everyone aware. Please keep yourself safe and do not get a brain injury!
We raise funds to buy more helmets and educational materials for the health fair booths and parades. So far our walk has raised $395 toward the purchase of more helmets, this year's fund dedication.
As one of our posters reads: "Just One Brain Injury Will Change Your Mind!"
For more information, please call 283-5711 or 262-6333.
Mary Warrington, Walk coordinator
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