Sunday, May 18, 2014

Strike Out Stroke™ SPRING Is Here.

But first, a word from our director:

Director’s Corner
Tenth Anniversary of Stroke Camp

When John was reading the last newsletter he said “Why is my name never in here?” When I clarified, what he really meant was that I am always writing the articles, not him. So, I took that as an opportunity for him to “write” an article. Since John has aphasia and can no longer spell or hardly read at all, he dictated the “gist” of what he wants to say and trusts me to convey the message, so here goes.

“Almost 13 years ago, I had my stroke. It was a bad time for me, but also for Marylee and Granny (Marylee’s mother). I couldn’t talk at all and was almost like a baby. Now since we do the camps, I have a chance to talk better, see people all over the U.S. and we all help each other. I have more friends and people to love than ever and don’t know what we would have done these 10 years without all these camps. I love seeing everybody and the special people who volunteer and help us so we can do the camps. 

Marylee’s family has helped us for all 10 years. I am one of the lucky ones.” 

So there you have it, (almost) in John’s own words what this 10th anniversary year of Stroke Camp means to him. 

Marylee Nunley, 
Executive Director

And now a word from our online store:

Now introducing the 2014 line of Stroke Camp and Strike Out Stroke™ merchandise! Strike Out Stroke™ shirts are $15 for M-XL $17 for 2XL and (bulk pricing available-call for more information) and hats are $20 each. The Stroke Camp merchandise this year is a zip-up hoodie in your choice of either white or light steel. Hoodies are $40 for S-XL and $45 for 2XL and 3XL. We will be bringing the zip-up hoodies to each of the camps to sell; however, order now if you want to guarantee your size and color. 
Order yours today at

Strike Out Stroke™

SPRING is here. When we think of spring, we also think of America’s favorite pastime, baseball. Whether it is watching a major league event or seeing grandchildren play tee ball for the first time, almost everyone enjoys participating in or watching baseball. In fact, more people attend major league baseball games than the other 4 major sports (football, basketball, soccer and hockey) combined. In 2013, over 70 million people attended major league baseball games.

Almost every community has some form of baseball, which creates a unique opportunity to educate millions of people about the signs of stroke and the immediate need to call 911. In 2010, Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp trademarked the term Strike Out Stroke™ and began building a National Stroke Awareness Campaign through professional baseball. In 3 short years, this campaign has grown from a few major and minor league events to over 20 major league and 50 minor league events in 2014.

Last year over one million people heard the FAST message about stroke. This year we are expecting over two million people will hear the FAST message. With over 800,000 people experiencing a stroke each year, it is imperative that all of us take the responsibility to educate others about the signs of stroke and the immediate need to call 911. Strike Out Stroke™ is a unique avenue to educate communities around the country about stroke. Common elements that are included in Strike Out Stroke™ events are: pregame ceremonies, first pitch by a stroke survivor, messaging on digital boards, information distribution, broadcast interviews, and tv/radio promotional spots. The single message that is brought to each community is FAST.

Use FAST to remember the signs of stroke:

      (F)ace: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face 

      (A)rms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift

      (S)peech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their
                      speech slurred or strange?

      (T)ime: If you observe any of these signs, Call 911 immediately!

Peoria, IL Area News

Fifth Grade Education
and Strike Out Stroke™

In the past two months, Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp has
educated over 700 fifth grade students and teachers in the greater Peoria, IL area. With the help of the stroke coordinators from the Illinois Neurological Institute Comprehensive Stroke Center and numerous stroke survivors and caregivers, the stroke awareness and FAST message was presented to 30 classes in 11 schools. During the classes, students are taught about what a stroke is; how to recognize a stroke (Give Me 5 and FAST); ways to prevent a stroke by eating healthy, exercising, and not smoking/doing drugs. 

The stroke survivors and caregivers in attendance tell their post-stroke experience and the students are given an opportunity to ask questions. The students also participate in a disability simulation where they are given an opportunity to complete a task such as putting on and tying a shoe or putting on a belt using only one hand. Students are encouraged to participate in the stroke poster contest where the winner gets to fly in the OSF LifeFlight helicopter and land in centerfield at the Peoria Chiefs game on June 1

Peoria Chiefs, Peoria, IL 
and Strike Out Stroke™

Our 6th annual Strike Out Stroke™ game with the Peoria Chiefs will be Sunday, June 1. Gates open at 5 pm and the first pitch is at 6 pm. At this event you can expect to see:

• Winning fifth grade stroke posters on display,
• Fifth grade poster contest winner landing in centerfield in the OSF
  LifeFlight helicopter and throwing out the first pitch,
• Dream Team of stroke survivors on field before the game,
• Stroke awareness and education throughout the game,
• EMT and AMS personnel on hand with ambulance,
• Stroke survivors and caregivers honored throughout the evening,
• Promotion of FAST message to all in attendance,
• Fireworks at the end of the game.

Complimentary tickets are available for stroke survivors and caregivers. Additional tickets (for family members and friends) are $11 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under. The $5 kids ticket includes a voucher for free food.

It is imperative that you call or email by Monday, May 26 with the number of adult and youth tickets needed (this includes survivors and caregivers wanting complimentary tickets). Don’t wait-reserve your tickets now. 309-688-5450 or email

Major League Baseball Games

Promoting Strike Out Stroke™ 
2014 Schedule

                                May   4 Atlanta Braves
                                May   6 Pittsburgh Pirates
                                May   8 Texas Rangers
                                May 10 San Diego Padres
                                May 15 Minnesota Twins
                                May 17 New York Yankees
                                May 17 Colorado Rockies
                                May 24 Cincinnati Reds
                                May 30 Arizona Diamondbacks
                                May 31 Seattle Mariners

                                June   1 Chicago White Sox
                                June 14 Houston Astros

                                July   5 Anaheim Angels
                                July 13 Baltimore Orioles

                               August 14 Boston Red Sox
                               August 17 Washington Nationals
                               August 24 LA Dodgers
                               August 31 St. Louis Cardinals

                               September 4 Milwaukee Brewers

In addition to major league baseball, there are numerous Strike Out Stroke™ events across the country in minor league communities. For more information, explore and be sure to “like” Strike Out Stroke™ on Facebook. For questions and interests in sponsoring a Strike Out Stroke™ event in your community, contact Larry Schaer, Associate Director at 1-866-688-5450 or Through working together, we can Strike Out Stroke! 

Cardinal/Cub Tickets For Sale 

We are also selling tickets for the Cardinal/Cub game in St. Louis, August 31 Ticket sales will benefit our Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camps throughout the nation. Cardinal/Cub tickets for Aug 31st game in St. Louis are $30 and helps our great organization Retreat & Refresh stroke camp. One of our members in the Peoria area has the tickets on hand. Call the office at 309-688-5450 and ask for Lauren-she will help get your tickets to you. Don't wait-call today!! Hope to see you at the game!
Strike Out Stroke™ is a division and registered trademark of Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp.

In Other News

2015 Cruise!
Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp is in the final 
planning stages of its second cruise! The locations 
selected are Cozumel, Mexico and Nassau, 
Bahamas in the Western Caribbean. The ship 
will be docking at both. Mark your calendar for 
February 21-26, 2015 if you plan to join us. 

A full page flyer is posted on our website and will be in the next issue of our newsletter. We have reserved handicapped rooms as well as inside, outside, and balcony rooms. Prices start under $500 per person double occupancy. 

A deposit of $100 per person will hold your room. Our travel agent, Johanna McCarty, who understands stroke very well, will help you coordinate your entire trip or just the cruise segment. She will do as much or as little as you request. We are very excited to be offering this opportunity to cruise once again. More information is available upon request, just give Johanna a call.

Johanna McCarty, Arrow Travel, 
(217) 532-2847

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