Epilepsy foundation uses purple power to raise funds


Neighbors | Sarah Foor .Poland Shepherd of the Valley activity director Paula Blakeman visited the March 26 Purple Prison event to donate cookies to the volunteers at the event. The cookies were shaped like butterflies, the symbol of the Mahoning County Epilepsy foundation, and decorated with purple icing, the color of epilepsy awareness.


Neighbors | Sarah Foor .The first inmate at the Purple Prison was Pastor Nathan Doyle (far left) of Glenwood Christian Church. Doyle was brought to judge Richard Mau (right) by Mahoning County sheriff’s deputy Mike Rosa (center). Mau had Doyle pay his bail by spreading epilepsy awareness among his friends and family.


Neighbors | Sarah Foor .The Mahoning County Epilepsy Foundation’s first inmate during the March 26 Purple Prison event was Pastor Nathan Doyle of Glenwood Christian Church. Doyle paid his bail by calling friends and family to teach them about epilepsy, and shared a smile as he took a look through his contacts for a friend to call.



The Mahoning County Epilepsy Foundation helped paint the community purple when it celebrated National Epilepsy Awareness Day on March 26.

The proliferation of purple included a special event at the Southern Park Mall dubbed “Purple Prison.”

Community officials visiting the mall were “arrested” by Mahoning County sheriff’s deputies and brought to the aforementioned prison in the mall’s center court. While in custody, the prisoners had unlimited use of a telephone to call friends, relatives, co-workers or business associates to raise bail in the form of pledges to Mahoning Valley Epilepsy, in individual rulings set by judge and foundation volunteer Richard Mau.

In the process of paying their bail, the prisoners shared information about epilepsy, which executive director Janet Mau said was the ultimate goal of the event.

“Awareness and education about different types of seizures is our most powerful tool in helping individuals with epilepsy. We don’t want witnesses of seizures to be scared or overreact to what they are seeing. Today will be a success if we can reach 1,000 people through the campaign and help teach the correct course of action for each type of epilepsy,” said Mau.

Along with the work of the “purple prisoners,” the foundation handed out literature to mall patrons regarding epileptic seizures that explained what they may look like and how to help the individual.

Beyond the mall concourse, Mau said many area organizations and businesses celebrated Epilepsy Awareness Day with purple flags and insignia on display.

Paula Blakeman, activity director at Poland Shepherd of the Valley, stopped by the prison to drop off cookies made at her facility. The treats were butterflies, the symbol of the Mahoning Epilepsy foundation, decorated with purple icing.

“Shepherd of the Valley is a long time supporter of the foundation. They do really wonderful work,” Blakeman said.

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