To become a sponsor of the Walk for Thought, please contact Lori at
612-378-2742 or 800-669-6442.
34 13th Avenue NE, Suite B001 Minneapolis, MN 55413
Toll Free: 1-800-669-6442
Walk for Thought Team Profile: Terri Traudt and Team Nichole
"My original motivation was to turn heartbreak into action on Nichole's behalf. But, it didn’t take long for it to open up."
Terri Traudt had only been involved with the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance for a year when she was elected to the board of directors. Her niece, Nichole, had received a severe traumatic brain injury in a car crash in 2001 and Terri became the family's advocate: making calls, looking for resources and doing a lot of legwork. As a new member of the board, she was put on the idea committee for a new fundraising event.
"There was a very intentional desire to make the new event more accessible to a wider audience. Ultimately we wanted to highlight the fact that everyone is welcome at the Walk: a cross section of the brain injury community, not just donors."
Terri was also aware of the need for the Walk to become an educational tool as well as a fundraiser.
"In an odd sort of way, we were wishing for a high profile opportunity to bring attention to brain injury. I would rather we didn't have wars and polytrauma, but it's that whole beauty from ashes thing. If something bad is going to happen, why not turn it into something positive?"
Terri's team, "Team Nichole" has been a key fundraiser for the Walk for Thought from day one, raising $6,000 the first year.
"That first Walk was exciting because we didn't know if we were going to have 20 or 200 people. But, we got there and it was very energizing. It was like a wedding: we saw the flaws but the feedback was really positive and everybody had a great time. We felt like we really struck on something."
For Terri's family, the Walk for Thought isn't just an annual charity event; it is a major family event.
"It's become as much a part of our annual calendar as Easter or Christmas or Thanksgiving. It's also the one thing I ask everyone to participate in or donate to. I usually send an e-mail and two or three follow-ups. I include information on how to donate if they can’t come to the Walk. I suggest they donate using the online form, but I find a lot of value in sending a personal e-mail."
And, with this being the tenth anniversary of Nichole's brain injury, Terri sees an opportunity to get people back on her team.
"That first year we had 75 walkers because it was really fresh in peoples' minds, but it wanes over time. By marking Nicholes ten year anniversary with brain injury, we have a really big opportunity to raise awareness on her behalf."
Check out the following for more information about the Walk for Thought: