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Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Letter: Festival highlights brain injuries

In response to the Aug. 16

Times

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article, "Farm Museum to shift to office of tourism," it concerned me to read Donald Dell's comments that there are activities such as bike rides being held on the Farm Museum property that "have nothing to do with agriculture" and, "if he had his way," these events would not take place .

The bike ride is the non-profit Brain Injury Association of Maryland's "Eat a Peach Bike Challenge," which is held each year at the Farm Museum's Agricultural Center to coincide with the Peach Festival. It is a major fundraiser for BIAM which brings hundreds of participants from the Delmarva region to ride in Carroll County. "Eat A Peach" promotes brain injury awareness, encourages a healthy and safe lifestyle and provides free youth bicycle helmets to kids attending the festival. While I respect Dell, I disagree with his statement that bike races do not promote agriculture and tourism.

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I am a nurse at the RA Cowley Shock Trauma Center and a resident of Carroll County. I have the privilege of sitting on the board of the BIAM. Both Trauma and BIAM have cared for many Maryland citizens, including farmers from Carroll County from tractor injuries, falling in their barns, etc. BIAM has offered them support and resources after they leave Trauma and return to their communities in Carroll County.

By coordinating the ride with the Peach Festival and beginning and ending the event at the Ag Center, BIAM draws hundreds of riders, families and volunteers to the festival who otherwise may never have traveled to Carroll County. BIAM advertises the Peach Festival on its website, email, newsletters and printed materials at no cost to the Farm Museum. For over 10 years, the excellent relationship and partnership between the Peach Festival and the Eat a Peach bike ride has raised support for the festival and money for BIAM and the patients it serves.

I don't know if Dell was aware of these facts. A decision not to allow the bike ride at the Ag Center would damage the important work of BIAM, as well as the success of the Peach Festival. Carroll County agriculture and tourism are both strongly supported by this event. I truly hope that when the Farm Museum shifts leadership it will embrace and celebrate this longstanding relationship between the festival and BIAM.

Karen Memphis

Manchester


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