Press and Sun-Bulletin from Binghamton, New York on May 21, 1978 · 65
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Press and Sun-Bulletin from Binghamton, New York · 65

Binghamton, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 21, 1978
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Students check Mood:preMres at. home By MARIE McCULLOUGH Some of the students in Sister Barbara's eighth grade class at Saint Joseph's school in Endtcott had trouble pronouncing sphygmomanometer, but they all used it correctly. 1 The hard-to-prounounce instrument is the familiar black cuff tightened around an arm to measure blood pressure. The eighth graders learned to use it as part of a blood pressure screening program piloted in this area by the Broome County Heart Association and the state Health Department. For three days last week, two cardiovascular nurses and a health education student lectured the eighth graders and supervised their practice with the instruments. Then the students took the sphygmomanometers home and measured their parents' blood pressure. "The main purpose of the program is to get the kids interested in health care," explained Patricia Fell, a cardiovascular nurse from C. S. Wilson Memorial Hospital. "The secondary purpose is to screen the parents for high blood pressure." She noted that, although 10 to 15 percent of the population has high blood pressure, only half that number are aware of their illness. - In Georgia, where the Heart Association initiated the program, more than 20,000 persons had their blood pressure measured all by seventh, eighth and ninth graders. "They found the kids were as accurate as doctors and nurses," Fell said. Sister Barbara's class was no exception. The pairs of students handled the squeeze bulbs and valves and cuffs of their sphygmomanometers deftly, listening for the quiet thumping of pulses through stethoscopes. Barbara Kuklis, the other cardiovascular nurse, and Janette Rosenberg, a senior from the State University of New York at Cortland, moved around the room, instructing and encouraging them. "I love this. It's our best course," said, eighth-grader Andrea Sowfta as she inflated the cuff on Kerry Logan's arm. "First I pump up the cuff until I can't feel any pulse, then I deflate it and wait a few seconds. Then pump it up 30 millimeters of mercury higher than before . . . ." After the whole procedure was demonstrated, Kerry patiently allowed the cuff, which feels like a tourniquet when inflated, to be puffed up several more times so the reporter could hear the "systolic" and "diastolic" pressures. "Better change arms,!' urged Rosenberg. During the classes, the students learned that normal blood pressure for a person aged 18 to 45 years is 120 over 80. But, even more important, they learned about the factors that tend to increase the risk of high blood pressure, such as obesity. They learned about harmful effects of high blood pressure on the brain and kidneys and how diet and medication can control the disease. i v tm- rutin i -rn-ii The sphygmomanometer is used to check blood pressure. " ' 1 " V ? & - - i iiti A man--- "v v. ri flail ITOIf' i " ' s'. ' i ' " x- S.J - Mike Robinson, 13, of 935 N. McKinley Ave., Endicott, watches the blood pressure gauge strapped to his arm. Staff photos by Dave Tinney Kerry Logan, 14, of 319 Wilson Ave., Endwell, reacts with surprise to the thumping of her blood pressure. ' ' Nurse Pat Fell instructs Jim Pietras, 14, of 2803 Country Club Road, Endwell, and Mary Gallagher, 14, of Glen Aubrey, on the proper way to take blood pressure. Suzanne Goguen, 14, of 3005 Smith Dr., Endwell, stares at the blood pressure gauge, right, and then adjusts the stethoscope to hear the tell-tale thumping of pulse. Regatta's aim is river consciousness By BCD AYRES Starting at high noon with the roar of a cannon on June 11, a flotilla of assorted rafts, canoes, kayaks and other rivercraft will descend the Chenango River from the Chenango Country Club. The occasion is the Third 1st Annual Admiral Wilson Yegatta Regatta, with contestants . vying ' for cash, trophies and the coveted Admiral Wilson's Mounted Carp Award. Why? The answer, according to the official entry form for the race, is "Why Not?". For those requiring more mundane reasons for trying to sail a home-made raft down the river, the regatta also will raise money to benefit the Broome County Chapter of the American Cancer Society. "You're having fun while donating to a good cause," said the Admiral himself. Ward M. Wilson, described on the entry form as "a Binghamton resident, stock broker, and renowned civic leader." Wilson first attempted to organize a race on the river in 1974. A second attempt to sponsor the first annual Yegatta Regatta failed in 1975. By 1976, Wilson knew the race either had to become reality or be forgotten. "We figured if we didn't do it on the Bicentennial birthday, we'd never get it done," he said, adding that the date of the first regatta coincided with his own birthday. So the third attempt to hold the first annual Yegatta Regatta became successful, and the race became the Third 1st annual' Yegatta Regatta. (Actually, the First 3rd First Annual Yegatta Regatta. The next year was the Second 3rd 1st annual etc.) If the name isn't confusing enough already, Wilson further muddies the waters of nomenclature by insisting that "Yegatta" should be spelled "Yegotta," (meaning "You got to"). Yet all the posters, public relations releases and entry forms give then name of theYace as the "Yegatta Regatta." But then, what's in a name? Wilson said more than 150 crafts were registered in the regatta last year, although some of them did not travel far. He recalled the craft of one couple from Elmira, who brought a hollow refrigerator to the banks of the majestic Chenango River. The daring adventurers sailed almost 10 feet downstream before their not-so-seaworthy craft sank beneath the gentle waves of the indominable river. Last year the regatta provided $2,500 for the Cancer Society. Wilson hopes to double that amount this year. The money comes from entry fees. Each raft must have a sponsor, who pays a $25 fee. Each person in the race must pay a $2 entry fee. In return, the sponsors and participants are able to indulge in free food and drink in a festival at the conclusion of the race. They also receive an official Commemorative Regatta Pin. People who simply watch the race must buy their refreshments. This year the post-race festivities will be in the urban renewal lot next to the Treadway Inn in Binghamton. The regatta itself actually combines two races. The first is for home-made craft, with the second for manufactured craft such as canoes, boats and kayaks. The second, however, is much more of a race than the first. "Even though (the first) is a race with first, second, and third place, a lot of people just relax, sit in a comfortable seat, and sip their favorite, uh, drink," said Wilson. The second race begins at 1:30 p.m., 90 minutes after the homemade craft have begun their journey to Binghamton. The primary aim of the two races is to let people know they can have fun on the rivers. Wilson said he first envisioned the race as a way to make people aware of the recreational value of the rivers; helping the cancer society was secondary. Much of the work behind the regatta is done by members of the Susquenango Port Authority, Ltd.. 89 State St., Binghamton. The Authority has about 250 members, each of whom pays $1 annual dues. Its aim is to promote "the developmental and recreational potentials of the Chenango and Susquehanna Rivers in Broome County." Wilson, a Binghamton resident who lives at the end of Avon Road on the banks of the Susquehanna River, said he enjoys the river in his own 14-foot aluminum boat, which was named the Susquehanna Queen for the first regatta, and was painted red. white and blue. Entry forms are available at the Cancer Society. 216 Main St., Binghamton. People who turn in their registration forms before June 2 will . , be listed in the official regatta program. Entrants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and all participants must wear a personal flotation device, such as a life-jacket. This raft won last year's Admiral Wilson's Mounted Carp Award, the premier prize for amateur raft-riders. '

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