NeuroRestorative Georgia and the Walton Foundation for Independence have partnered together to sponsor the Fifth Annual Brain Injury Awareness Walk.
The event was first started in response to an idea from a brain injury support group at NeuroRestorative, said Patty Goolsby, project director at NeuroRestorative.
“With March being Brain Injury Awareness Month, five years ago the group wanted to do something to raise awareness in the community and to kind of let folks know about our group,” Goolsby said. “From a brainstorming session from all the survivors that were there that evening, we came up with a walk. “
When the participants are at the walk, they can choose how many laps they want to do, she said.
“We really didn’t set a distance because everybody’s abilities are different,” Goolsby said. “Four times around the track is a mile, so, for those that are able, we would like for them to walk as many laps as they can.”
Besides the walk, there will also be food and music for walkers and volunteers to enjoy.
“We do have a karaoke machine that’s coming,” Goolsby said. “Last year we did it some, it just kind of depends. If we have lots of people there they’ll just play the music in the background, but if it’s a smaller crowd we’ll do karaoke. The larger the crowd the harder it is.”
If people don’t want to walk, but still want to help, they can donate money instead. The most the organization has raised is approximately $2,700 and this year they set a goal of $10,000, she said. The funds raised go toward sending survivors to camp.
“Every year in the fall they have a camp called Camp Hardgrove (a statewide camp) and it’s for adult survivors of brain injury,” Goolsby said. “I went as a counselor last year and so I’m even more passionate this year about sending folks. So, the money that we raise goes to scholarships folks to go to camp and I think we sent seven or eight from Augusta last year.”
As to why people should participate or donate, Goolsby thought there were a few good reasons.
“It helps us raise awareness for brain injury and that’s our mission as a support group,” she said. “Also to be able to send folks to camp. A lot of them, financially after their injury, haven’t been able to do a lot of those extra things because after their injury a lot of them can’t work any longer and funds can be tight. So, we would like to be able to send them to camp at no cost to them and help them to enjoy things that we get to enjoy every summer.”
The Fifth Annual Brain Injury Awareness Walk
Columbia County Amphitheatre
Saturday, March 8
$20 per individual; $10 for brain injury survivors