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Pilot Club sponsors Brain Awareness in March
The mayor and Pilot members attending a proclamation signing are, from left: Sharon Mauler, Janice Walker, Amanda Swigart, Mayor Joe Andrasek, Renee Johnson, Norma Ward, Barbara Watson and Sally O’Connor.

Pilot club members were honored by Mayor Joe Andrasek when he proclaimed that March 11-17, 2019, was Brain Awareness Week.

The Brain Awareness Week campaign unites families, schools and communities in a worldwide celebration of the brain. The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives founded the now-global campaign in 1996. Since its start, more than 2,800 partners in 82 countries have participated in the campaign. The Society for Neuroscience and many others serve as partners. Neuroscience education and outreach is encouraged year-round.

In this year-round initiative, the Great Bend Pilot Club serves to advance Pilot International’s purpose and goals for education to communities regarding protecting your brain for life. The Pilot Club volunteer members conduct programs, projects and fundraisers that include many areas of charitable service at the local level. The emphasis supports the overall service focus of Pilot International: brain safety, brain research, and assistance to those with brain-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, chemical dependency, traumatic brain injuries, brain cancer, autism and numerous other developmental, emotional and mental disabilities.

This month Great Bend Pilot Club is also presenting a brain awareness program from Pilot International’s award-winning BrainMinders program at four senior health facilities. BrainMinders is Pilot International’s signature program originally designed in 2001 to teach safety to children to help prevent brain injuries. It was made possible through an in-kind grant given to Pilot International Foundation and a gift from the estate of Callye Harrell Neese. Stuffed animals are used with a safety script to teach safety at home, school, on the playground and while in public. Realizing the need to teach brain injury prevention to people of all ages, Pilots have expanded the program to include presentations for youth and seniors.

In 2017, an appointed Pilot International BrainMinders committee developed an enhanced website presence and a program with revised and new materials for presentations to preschoolers, children, youth, and seniors. These materials include new snippets (scripts), additional puppets, new coloring and activity books, an updated logo, stickers, bookmarks, T-shirts, banners, and BRAIN-O for Seniors. The Pilot Club of Great Bend is taking the new BRAIN-O (Bingo) game to four of our senior living locations. Instead of calling out bingo numbers the call-cards have a safety picture with written tips. For instance under the B heading is a call-card with a pictures of a cane. The safety tip reads: “if you need a walking cane, make sure you have one that will not slip on the floor. Walking canes can help you walk around independently. Another example under the R heading is a call-card with a picture of eyeglasses. The safety tip reads: “if you wear eyeglasses, keep them clean so you can see better and prevent accidents. When you take them off, put them in a designated safe place where you can easily find them.” If those pictures are found on the BRAIN-O card, then it is covered and the person is on their way to achieving a BRAIN-O!

Join the Great Bend Pilot club at the upcoming Chamber coffee scheduled for April 18 at the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce offices and learn more about this service organization.