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Home News Royal Purple kick off BrainLove month with major donation

Royal Purple kick off BrainLove month with major donation

Royal Purple kick off BrainLove month with major donation
Representatives from Royal Purple organizations across Saskatchewan pose for a photo after making their donations and pledges to the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association in Prince Albert on Tuesday. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

It’s been a long two years, but the Saskatchewan Royal Purple members were finally able to kick off BrainLove Month in person on Tuesday.

Representatives from clubs across Saskatchewan met at the Prince Albert Inn to present their donations the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association (SBIA), and finalize plans to promote brain health, brain research, and brain injury awareness over the next 31 days.

“We’ve kept lots of events going, but you need the warm fuzzies to keep a volunteer organization going and keep the fundraising going,” said Sandi Lougheed, chair of the Saskatchewan Royal Purple’s charity partnership committee. “It’s just been wonderful.”

The groups combined to raise $150,000 over the last six years, including an expected $40,000 from fundraising events in 2022. Royal Purple members in the Prince Albert and Shellbrook areas combined to raise more than $5,000.

Lougheed said that wasn’t a surprise, since the Prince Albert area is known for giving strong support to brain injury associations.

Fundraising activities were barely hampered during the last two years of COVID. In fact, Lougheed said it forced them to work smarter.

“We could have used COVID as an excuse,” she said. “Lots of organizations, they didn’t meet. We started Zoom meetings right away. Every time there was an opportunity to hold a public event, whether it was a curling or a walk in the summer time or whatever, we just kept our fundraising going because the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association depends on us.”

The Royal Purple is one of four major SBIA sponsors. For the last eight years, Royal Purple members have made it their goal to be the biggest. In 2022, that finally happened.

Lougheed said they hope to hit the $200,000 fundraising mark next.

“We just need to keep right on being not only the fundraisers, but also the education people—the people who get the word out into rural Saskatchewan,” she said.

SBIA executive director Glenda James was on hand to accept the donations on Tuesday. James credited the charity for their educational efforts as well as their fundraising.

“This (donation) makes all the difference for a small charity like us,” she said. “Because of the Royal Purple’s help in the last 10-12 years, we’ve quadrupled in size, and this is no small part of that.”

While the organization aims to decrease the number of brain injuries, Tuesday’s fundraising dollars will help them increase their program offerings.

Researchers in Ontario have developed a special brain exercise program in conjunction with the SBIA. The program is already offered in Saskatoon, Regina and Moose Jaw, but the additional funds mean other communities can be added to the list.

James said many rural residents have asked for more programming options outside the cities. They’re trying to deliver on that request.

“I was really surprised at how quickly we saw results,” James said about the Power Hour program. “We’re really pleased that this kind of fundraising does that.”

The Royal Purple also began promoting their ‘Save your Melon’ campaign as part of BrainLove month. The campaign aims to convince residents about the importance of wearing a helmet while biking.

“Having Brain Health Awareness Month like this in March really helps us to put the emphasis on prevention and all the things that we can and should be doing to take care of our brains,” James said. “Exercise is a big part of that, and so are helmets and hard hats and any other kind of head protection that you can find.”

During March, residents will be able to make donations at Bootlegger stores across Saskatchewan. There will also be Brain Boogie walks in various communities, and poster contests in Saskatchewan schools.