June 19, 2019
Brain Injury Association Raises $58K through Series of Walks

October 6, 2018 — The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts, a nonprofit based in Westborough that supports brain injury survivors and their families and engages in prevention and education programs to reduce brain injuries, recently announced it raised $58,000 through a series of three annual Walk & Roll fundraisers.

The amount raised, which attracted 690 participants, fell slightly short of its goal of $60,000 and 800 participants, and represented a slight decrease from the amount raised during the last few years.

Chesa Conrad, marketing and development manager for the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA- Massachusetts), said, "These events remain consistent because of a small group of invested and passionate participants. However, we struggle to grow these events, in my opinion, due to the saturation of the market for walks/5k’s, ongoing transportation challenges for individuals with disabilities, and a general misinterpretation that the event is a community recreation event vs a fundraiser."

This year was the fourth time BIA- MA hosted a walk/fundraising event, and the third year it held three different events over three weekends. They were held Sept. 15 in Cheshire, Sept. 23 in Framingham, and Sept. 29 in Bourne.

The Walk & Roll events generated 28% of the organization's annual budget.

Funds raised, which support ongoing operations, were generated through registrations, sponsorships, and related participant fundraising efforts.

“We’re incredibly excited to kick off this year’s Walk & Roll. We’ve been very fortunate to have locations for our walks that provide the accessibility we need to give access to all of our participants,” BIA-MA Executive Director Nicole Godaire said. This is a time to celebrate the lives of those affected by brain injury and gather for a time of healing, advocacy, and awareness.”

One of the participants in the Cheshire walk, Helene Robillard of Pittsfield, following a car accident and suffering a brain injury in 2015, became actively involved in workshops and support groups, eventually becoming the leader of “Tea and Talk Ladies,” a monthly support group in Pittsfield, a position she has held for close to a year.

Robillard, the featured speaker for that walk, said, "If you or a family member has a brain injury and you don’t really understand what that means, or how that can affect you, the place to go is BIA-MA. The amount of information and support you can get there is just amazing.”

BIA-MA is the first and oldest organization in the state to offer support and resources to brain injury survivors and their families, providing prevention programs, educational trainings and legislative advocacy.

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