Barbecue backs children’s safety

BrainTrust Canada charity is serving lunch at Cenotaph Park from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in support of putting helmets on youth in Vernon

A fundraiser barbecue is being fired up Wednesday to keep Vernon kids safe.

The Okanagan-based BrainTrust Canada charity is serving lunch at Cenotaph Park from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in support of putting helmets on youth in Vernon.

“Youth are the highest risk for brain injury,” said Magda Kapp, director of communications for BrainTrust Canada. “A primary reason for this is that the brain is not fully developed until the mid 20s and judgment is one of the last things to form, and at a young age youth think they are invincible.

“The sad truth is, however, that brain injury happens in an instant but can last a lifetime, and through smart choices such as helmet use we can reduce preventable injuries.”

The public is invited to attend the fundraiser barbecue and enjoy lunch in support of a great cause, thanks to sponsors A&W, Buy Low Foods and Kal Tire. A hamburger or hot dog plus fruit bar and juice is available for a minimum $5 donation.

The Helmet Safety Program is a partnership between BrainTrust Canada and the City of Vernon Community Policing and Vernon Moves to promote helmet compliance and reduce preventable brain injuries.

This year, the program exists because of the generous funding from the Funtastic Sports Society, who provided a grant toward the purchase of helmets. Funtastic’s mission is “Building a Better Community through Sport” and by purchasing helmets, more youth in Vernon will be able to participate in healthy and safe activities.

For the Helmet Safety Program, Vernon City Bylaw Officers and Community Policing will be out on the streets interacting with youth throughout the year and providing helmets to youth who cannot afford them, as well as rewarding youth for positive safety behavior through “positive tickets” that include free services and products from generous local companies such as A&W, Domino’s, the Greater Vernon Recreation Centre and The Electric Paper Company.

Brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability under 44, and approximately 20 per cent of these are sports-related. However, up to 85 per cent of brain injuries can be prevented from helmet use.

BrainTrust Canada is a not for profit association that provides community rehabilitation to individuals with brain injury in the Okanagan, and also has a strong focus on brain injury education and prevention.  For more information, visit www.braintrustcanada.com or 1-888-762-3233.