by Alanna Last Saturday my Lily and I were lucky enough to attend the Ottawa Children's Gala. I had been wanting to take her since I heard about last years fun. I had looked at the price of the tickets and thought "Maybe next year". This year ended up being different. I was commissioned to do a banner and tags for the candy buffet at the event which in turn earned me an adult ticket!! I really had no idea what to expect. We got all dolled up in our best (well I had to go shopping) and headed off to the Hampton Garden Inn.
WOW!! What an event it was. There was face painting, Princess', the most wonderful meal and entertainment from Orpheus and Pulse N' limited (amazing). The rules for the night were 1. let the children do what they want and 2. remember rule one!! My Lily had a blast. Dancing, running around after Snow White and the list goes on.
This post, however, is not about the fun we had, it's about the cause. Behind all of this fun is a very serious and important message. Think First is the brain child (excuse the pun) of Dr. Charles Tator. It was developed out of a concern for the increasing number of brain injuries in children. The group is Canada wide and growing. They educate children from kindergarten up in the importance of helmet safety. They even go so far as to replace ill-fitting helmets and provide helmets to children who are not able to afford one.
What I learned at the Gala was how VERY important it is to not take a chance. There were three very well spoken teens who are the spokespersons for the group. All three had serious head injuries which could have been prevented just by wearing a helmet!! Their message to children/teens and parents - It takes two seconds to put on a helmet - Just do it!! This applies to ANY winter sport - including tobogganing and almost all summer sports. I know that hearing their message certainly reinforced my strict policy on helmets with my children and any children in my care!!
Another wonderful thing about this group is that they will go anywhere to share their message. If you are part of an event or planning one, think about inviting them to set up a table with their Jello brain demo and educational materials. We are planning to invite them to our endo of the year school social. The children will be asked to ride their bikes to the event where they can have their helmets checked. It is a great time just before the end of school when the adventure begins.
Have a look at the site. Check helmets. Better fun than sorry.