Anna Stomberg, a senior at Blackduck High School, worked with two friends to organize an annual “Walk for Thought” that has raised more than $12,000 over the past three years for brain injury research.
Three years ago, two students in the Blackduck area suffered severe brain injuries in car accidents. “These tragedies devastated many and affected the whole community,” said Anna. “My friends and I decided we wanted to find a way to help.”
A call to the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota resulted in the decision to host a local version of the association’s Walk for Thought. To promote their fund-raiser, Anna and her partners distribute posters and seek news coverage from local media.
They ask local businesses to become sponsors, and recruit local organizations to help register walkers, collect funds, run refreshment booths, and handle other details. The walks have not only raised a significant amount of money for the Brain Injury Association, but have inspired another Minnesota city to plan a similar event next year, said Anna.
In addition to the walks, Anna and her friends have organized activities in their town throughout the year to focus attention on personal health and traffic safety, with particular emphasis on the importance of wearing seatbelts and driving safely. To ensure that her effort continues, Anna has persuaded local chapters of the National Honor Society and Family Career and Community Leaders of America to coordinate the Walk for Thought after she leaves for college.