Brain Boogie returns to raise funds and awareness for SBIA

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Walkers let out a cheer before departing down the Rotary Trail for the Brain Boogie on Saturday morning.

A walk to raise awareness and funds to help support people with acquired brain injuries returned to Prince Albert on Saturday morning down by the Rotary Trail.

The Brain Boogie is a fundraiser for the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association (SBIA). It funds programs that break the isolation that brain injury causes. All funds raised stay in Saskatchewan to support local programs for brain injury survivors and their caregivers.

Tracey Monette operations manager of the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association, said the walk will help those in Prince Albert struggling with brain injuries.

She said the turnout of more than 20 walkers was less than normal but coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, any turnout was positive and allowed them to build up for next year.

“That’s why we’re excited to finally have some programming back here in P.A. because that will start help build in the community as well,” Monette said.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Walkers departed down the Rotary Trial for the Brain Boogie on Saturday morning.

The SBIA strives to prevent brain injuries and to improve the lives of those impacted by brain injury. Brain injury is a leading cause of death and disability in children and those under the age of 44. The SBIA aims to change these statistics through prevention awareness and events like the Brain Boogie.

Elaine Perkins of the Prince Albert and Shellbrook Royal Purple, a past provincial president of the Saskatchewan Royal Purple explained that the Saskatchewan Royal Purple began fundraising for the Brain Injury Association in Prince Albert. The fundraising event has now spread across Canada.

“We provide a lot of support for and have partnered with the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association,” Perkins said.

The two have partnered in the Brain Love Campaign, which has already raised over $100,000 and Perkins expects it to reach $200,000 soon.

“If you’ve seen one person with a brain injury, you’ve only met one person with a brain injury because it’s different for everybody and it can happen to anybody anywhere at any time,” Monette said.

Monette explained that there is no cure for brain injury. Once you have it, you have it for life.

“They’re living with it forever and so the community there needs to be community programming,” she said.

With the Royal Purple being active in communities they can help spread the word, according to Perkins.

“The Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association is limited as to how much they can get out into the community. Therefore, now with the Royal Purple, it helps get it out even more,” Perkins explained.

The Royal Purple host events like poster contests and golf tournaments to help raise awareness. Perkins said that it is part of what the Royal Purple does to advocate for great causes like the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association, and Monette said that they were grateful for that.

Monette was also in charge of a Brain Boogie in Saskatoon last Thursday that saw 70 people registered. On Saturday, there was also one happening in Regina and one in Moose Jaw on Sunday, as well as a gold tournament in Yorkton.

The SBIA is also launching a new program at the Alfred Jenkins Field House, which starts on September 9 at 1 p.m.

“We’re quite excited,” Monette said. “We’re about to launch a new program here in P.A. and it’s called the Brain Power Hour, so once a month on a Saturday we’re going to get the group together of brain injury survivors and their caregivers if they want to go. Then we’re going to lead them in a little exercise and then a walk around the track.

“It’s just a great opportunity for them to get together and have a sense of community, get around like-minded people and get to get a little exercise.”

With the success of the Brain Boogie and Brain Love, it will soon be expanding across Canada.

“We are pretty excited,” Monette said. “We’re launching Brain Love Brain Boogies across the country. We want to create this as a national event and go across the country.

“We started the Saskatchewan brain boogie but now that Royal Purple has partnered with us, the Royal Purple is taking the Brain Boogie across the country nationwide.”

Through this, the Royal Purple would partner with each provincial Brain Injury Association.

“That way people are getting helped across the country,” Monette said.

The Brain Injury Association is also holding Purple Thursday in October in Saskatoon featuring Anna-Maria Tremonti.

“We’re going to have a little daylong symposium, and it’ll be about teaching people in the industry what to watch for in regards to brain injury and interpersonal violence,” Monette said.

The total funds raised by the event were not known by deadline.