Smyrna United Church of Christ

Organized by:
Smyrna United Church of Christ

Participating Organizations:

Sponsoring organization: Smyrna United Church of Christ, participating organizations: Molalla Adult Center. Oregon Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Canby Adult Center, Senior Health Benefits Assistance Program of Clackamas County, Long Term Care Ombudsman of Clackamas County.

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:

We had one event during that week, but we have held monthly events Sept-June for the last two years.



Type of Events Held:

  • Other
  • Other: Lunch and program with activities

Target Audiences:

  • Other
  • Other: General public - planned for middle aged and older adults

Approximate Number of People Reached:

We are now averaging 40-55 people at each monthly gathering, and a local senior center is now bringing a bus, as well.

Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

Goal: To provide peer-reviewed, evidence-based health information on cognitive well-being activities to middle-aged and older adults in local communities near our congregation. We serve 8 communities in two counties surrounding our country congregation, and have nearly tripled in attendance in the last three years, covering a wide range of topics, including exercise, healthy nutrition, sleep, socialization, managing your medications, recognizing the warning signs of dementia, planning for incapacity, advocating for loved ones, maximizing your Medicare wellness benefits, and meditation for stress reduction were recent topics. An overview of brain wellness activities at local senior centers was our program during BAW, with 56 in attendance. A healthy light lunch is always served, and a packet of materials is distributed each month, with information from the NIH, and other gold standard health sources (including the Dana Foundation – thank you!). We also always include brain activities in the packets, which generally run about 25 pages a month.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Press Release/Media Advisory
  • Website

Other Publicity Methods:

We send press releases to the local papers each month, and they have been great in getting the word out. We also call people who have been attending to remind them, and more have been bringing friends with them. We will need to cap this program at 65 people based on room - we are nearly there!

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

Press releases have been great visibility for us! We are so lucky to have responsive editors. We also run a weekly ad in the paper - I'm not sure many people notice that, but I think it lets the editors be more open to also supporting us through looking at our press releases and running a short article each month. We make sure the press release includes useful health information, not just info on the gatherings.


Of the Dana Foundation publications/resources distributed at your event(s), if any, please indicate the three most popular. Please choose up to three. If "other," please indicate below:

  • Q&A: Answering Your Questions About Brain Research
  • It’s Mindboggling!
  • Staying Sharp: Successful Aging and the Brain

What downloadable materials from the Foundation did you use for your events?

  • Puzzles: Mindboggling Series
  • Puzzles: BAW Favorites
  • Brain Briefs Fact Sheets

What other downloadable materials would you like the Foundation to provide?

  • Fact Sheets
  • Activities/Experiments
  • New Puzzles/Games

Which BAW graphic materials did you use in publicizing your events?

  • BAW Logos

Feedback & Keys to Success

How do you feel BAW participation benefited your organization and the local community?

It helps us, out in the country, look more connected to the world beyond!

Did/do you like our Facebook page?


Event Photos

event single

Contact Information

Contact Name:

Deborah Patterson

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:

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