In the spirit of the Halloween season, Bothwell Regional Health Center’s lobby is decorated with pumpkins, but not just any pumpkins.
The Purple Pumpkin Project contest hosted by BRHC Auxiliary for employees of the hospital is bringing awareness to epilepsy this month. Purple is the color of the Epilepsy Foundation so it was only fitting to create pumpkins of this color.
The contest brought in 12 entries with creativity shining through such as Peppy the Purple Pumpkin Whale created by the Dietetics Department or a pumpkin with fangs and glasses holding a mop from the Environmental Services Department.
The prize-winning pumpkin was a lighted X-ray pumpkin made by Conni Cooper, a night shift radiology technician from the Radiology Department. The pumpkins were judged Thursday and the winning department won Pepsi and pizza.
“It was Conni’s idea to do it for us,” Linda Eckoff, BRHC radiology technician, said. “She’s the big crafty person who does a lot of crafts all the time.”
Individual prize winners were Lisa Church, BRHC Foundation and communication executive director, and Rockie Werneke of the Emergency Department. Individual winners will receive personal pan pizzas.
“October is Epilepsy Awareness Month, so we decided to try a Purple Pumpkin Project,” BRHC Auxiliary volunteer Christine Detherage said. “It’s the MAHA (Missouri Association of Hospital Auxiliaries) state project for the year. Epilepsy was the thing that the president of MAHA wanted this year.”
This was the first year for the group to make purple pumpkins and the turnout was good.
“We are very pleased,” Detherage said. “This is the first year we’ve done it. We were excited. We had 12 entries, so we thought that was pretty good for the first time.”
Detherage added that she hopes the project brings awareness to others about epilepsy and what to look for when someone has a seizure. She also added that they have pamphlets and flyers laying with the pumpkins that have facts about epilepsy, which are helpful resources for those with epilepsy.
“Sometimes when we see people … having a seizure we get pretty stressed out about it,” she added. “This is to help people understand it.”
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes people to have recurrent seizures. A seizure is a brief disruption of electrical activity in the brain.
• Epilepsy is not contagious.
• Epilepsy is not mental illness.
• Epilepsy is not a developmental disability.
For more information contact the Epilepsy Foundation at 800-332-1000 or visit www.epilepsy.com.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 ot @flbemiss.