Canadian Royal Purple President Sandi Lougheed paid a visit to the Prince Albert Lodge on Saturday to update the local members on what is in store for the volunteer organization in the new year.
“For us, this is a very exciting time,” said Lougheed. “All of the story I have to tell about Royal Purple is one of growth and expansion.”
In July of 2022, the Canadian Royal Purple adopted brain injury awareness and prevention as their national cause, an undertaking that is near and dear to the hearts of the Saskatchewan Lodges. As a result, every Lodge in Canada held Purple Thursday in October in recognition of the intersection between interpersonal violence and brain injuries.
“Prince Albert, Shellbrook, and Saskatchewan have led this cause all across Canada,” explained Lougheed. “We’re heading into March, which is Brain Love month across Canada for the first time.”
March 1 will be the kickoff in Prince Albert for all Saskatchewan members of Royal Purple to make their annual contribution to the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association. In eight short years, the organization will have donated close to $200,000. The entire month will be dedicated to raising awareness for brain injuries and each Lodge in the province will be putting on local events to promote the cause.
“For those of us that really care about brain injuries and preventing them, either because we have a personal encounter in our own lives with a brain injured person or we know someone who has had a brain injury or who’s child has had a brain injury; it’s really exciting to have the concentration and awareness actually happening,” Lougheed added.
According to Lougheed, there’s a brain injury in Canada every three and a half minutes and is the leading cause of injury and death in children.
“Some people survive completely; for others, it’s a life-altering, life-long injury. There’s no store where you can go and purchase a new brain, it’s the only organ in the body that we can not get transplanted,” Lougheed said. “Brain injuries are serious, but a majority of them are preventable.”
Upgrading the awareness and prevention programs with Canadian youth is an important step in changing children’s lives, said Lougheed. One of the programs they promote is a national poster contest for grades one through eight, which recently expanded from only two provinces three years ago to now being Canada-wide.
The Canadian Royal Purple have also announced their expansion into the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador within the next few months, bringing with it around 10 new members. Lougheed shared that they are expressing interest in expanding to other eastern provinces like New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
“It’s exciting for the local Lodges to understand that this is an expanding organization, really and truly what is usually not the story for volunteer organizations in our time,” said Lougheed, who contributes the growth to the adoption of their new national cause. “A lot of them are shrinking, having difficulties, not growing; the exact opposite is true for us. We’re expanding almost faster than we can keep up as volunteers.”
Lougheed added that the organization’s growth speaks to the dedication of the Canadian Royal Purple members and their ability to make a difference.