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Home News Brain Boogie celebrates 20th anniversary

Brain Boogie celebrates 20th anniversary

Brain Boogie celebrates 20th anniversary
Local residents taking part in the Brain Boogie begin walking down the Rotary Trail on Saturday. -- Photo by Marjorie Roden

An intrepid group of roughly 25 people set out from the Elks’ Lodge and took to the Rotary Trail in Prince Albert on Saturday morning to participate in the 20th anniversary of the Brain Boogie.

The event is a fundraiser for the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association (SBIA). The local leader, Tracey Monette, was very enthusiastic about the day’s activities.

“The event started in Regina,” Monette said. “Originally it was called Positive STEPS Walk, which stands for STrategies for Education, Prevention, and Support. Over the years, as it expanded to different places, it took on other forms, so the name change seemed in order to accommodate the various iterations.  Sometimes it was a golf tournament, other years, it was a dance. One year, it was a concert.”

Monette was quick to acknowledge the event’s founders.

“The event was started by Barb Butler,” Monette said.

“Barb saw the need for local programs but the organization lacked the funds to organize them, so the walk event was started to address that need. Since that time, it’s expanded around the province, each one operating with local volunteers.”

Mentorship was a big thing for Butler.

“The support and mentorship of the previous director Lisette Couling, who was an invaluable support during the first years of the event. Sadly, Lisette passed away shortly after her departure from SBIA.”

On the local level, both organizations and individuals make a huge difference with the fundraising.

“All of the funds that are raised stay within the province,” Monette said. “The funds raised, here in Prince Albert, will actually stay here in Prince Albert.”

The top fundraiser for this year’s event was Murray Taylor, who individually raised $5,000 for local initiatives.

“This is my ninth year doing it,” Murray said before the walk began.

“My ex-nephew-in-law got hurt in a snowmobile accident and he was in long term care in Shellbrook. He passed away a couple of years ago. I’ve continued on ever since…we have lots of people who are in need of (help) in Shellbrook.”

Taylor himself played a lot of hockey and other sports growing up. He had a horrific accident while playing in 1979, that that also spurs him to support the event.

“Sometimes by the way I act, I think maybe I’ve had brain injuries, but nobody knows,” he said. “It could be the simplest things, so for me, it’s a worthwhile cause.”

Alana Ross, MLA for Prince Albert-Northcote, was also taking part in the event.

“An accident can happen so easily and so quickly, and change a person’s life forever,” said Ross.

“We are so proud as a government to work with organizations like this, to be able to promote that safety…to improve the quality of life of people in our province.”

One of the larger organizations assisting with local fundraising, according to Monette, the Saskatchewan Royal Purple women.

“They’re a big partner of ours. They have the Brain Love campaign so they come out and volunteer. They also do the Brain Boogies around the province as well.”

At the end of the 2 km walk, each participant received a gold medal, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Brain Boogie.

More information about SBIA including initiatives and ways to donate can be found at www.sbia.ca