Epilepsy Foundation to give away 100 bike helmets to kids at Dragon Boat Festival


Lynn Goad, director of the Epilepsy
Foundation of East Tennessee (left)
and Pam Hughes, Client Services Director,
with their stash of bicycle helmets to be given
away to kids at the Dragon Boat Festival.
Head injuries are the No.
1 cause of seizures.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – As part of the Dragon Boat Festival on Sept. 6, the Epilepsy Foundation of East Tennessee will be giving away 100 free bicycle helmets to kids ages 3-17. The festival is supporting development of enhanced pediatric epilepsy services at Niswonger Children’s Hospital.

“Head injuries are the No. 1 cause of seizures,” said Lynn Goad, executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of East Tennessee. “Wearing a bike helmet has been shown to reduce head injuries by 85 percent.”

The festival will take place at Winged Deer Park beside Boone Lake. The helmets will be given to kids on a first-come, first-served basis. Children must be present to receive a helmet so that the bike helmet can be fitted properly.

This will be the ninth-annual Dragon Boat Festival, organized by Mountain States Foundation. The festival has benefited various causes for Mountain States Health Alliance over the years, and this year proceeds will support the development of an epilepsy monitoring unit at Niswonger Children’s Hospital. It’s part of a large-scale effort to bring more pediatric subspecialties to the hospital.

Paddle teams from businesses and organizations around the area will be on the water competing in the Dragon Boat races on Sept. 6, but there will be plenty to do on shore. The free festival starts at 9 a.m. and offers something for the whole family.

One of the events is a free health fair. The Epilepsy Foundation will be participating, as will a host of other groups and services: Kid Print (with the Johnson City Police Department providing free fingerprinting for kids), the Mountain States Mobile Health Unit, American Cancer Society, Blood Assurance, Mountain States Home Health, Mountain States Outpatient Pediatrics, Jones Chiropractor, Tennessee Donor Services and Mountain States Mega Heart.

There will also be fun activities for the kids on the Dragon Land inflatables.

You can still register to paddle on a Dragon Boat team. For more information, call Mountain States Foundation at 423-302-3131 or text “Dragon” to 90947, or visit www.mshafoundation.org.

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