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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Two hundred local children will receive a new bike helmet at no cost when the Grand Rapids Griffins and Safe Kids Greater Grand Rapids host the seventh annual “Lids at the Library.”

The event will take place on two separate days at branches of the Grand Rapids Public Library and the Kent District Library. GRPL's Main Library (111 Library St. NE) will be the site on Tuesday, June 24 at 3 p.m., while KDL's Kentwood branch (4950 Breton Rd. SE, Kentwood) will host the event on Wednesday, July 2 at 10 a.m.

Volunteers from the Griffins, Safe Kids and several program sponsors and supporters will be on hand to properly fit these free helmets for the first 100 kids at each location. Helmets for kids ages 1-12 will be distributed (subject to availability), and a parent or legal guardian must be present for a child to receive a helmet. Griff will be on hand to entertain patrons, and a variety of information from the Griffins and Safe Kids will be available for pickup.

“Lids at the Library” represents the start of the 11th summer of the Griffins’ award-winning “Put A Lid On It!” (PALOI) helmet safety program, which is presented by Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Since the program’s founding in 2004, the Griffins have worked with countless local organizations – including police departments, pediatricians, schools, libraries, bike shops and sporting goods stores – to encourage helmet usage during wheeled sports, prevent head injuries, and reward kids who wear their helmets.

PALOI, which earned the Brain Injury Association of Michigan’s 2007 prevention award, targets elementary and middle school students in a seven-county region of West Michigan. Children age 17 or younger who visit with parental permission and sign a pledge to always wear their helmet will be rewarded with a voucher for two free tickets to a 2014-15 Griffins game, and they’ll be registered for a drawing to win a new bike. Numerous local police departments, including Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Grandville and East Grand Rapids, traditionally participate in the voucher program as well, distributing them to helmet-wearing kids they encounter in their communities.

Ever-present at local bike races throughout the summer, the Griffins will co-sponsor the kids race at the Herman Miller Brickyard Criterium for the sixth straight year, providing helmets to the first 150 kids who register at the June 28 event. The Griffins will also provide their annual grant to Safe Kids, enabling that organization to purchase approximately 100 additional bike helmets and distribute them through its programs and events.

2014 PALOI posters will soon be displayed and distributed by hundreds of schools, libraries, medical offices and businesses throughout West Michigan, while themed T-shirts will be given away to kids during PALOI events.

Information for parents, including tips for choosing a helmet and getting their child to wear it, is available at For more information about the program, call (616) 774-4585 ext. 3046.

The “Put A Lid On It!” program is supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Centennial Securities, Gatorade, Huntington and Macatawa Bank. 

2014 PALOI Event Schedule

June 24 - Lids at the Library* - GRPL Main Library (3 p.m.)

June 27 - Zeeland Criterium Kids Race - Downtown Zeeland (6 p.m.) - Tentative

June 28 - Herman Miller Brickyard Criterium Kids Races* - Downtown Grand Rapids (1 p.m. registration, 3 p.m. races)

July 2 - Lids at the Library* - KDL Kentwood Branch (10 a.m.)

Aug. 17 - Delta Subaru Gaslight Crit Kids Race - Downtown East Grand Rapids (11:30 a.m.) - Tentative

All events subject to change. * Helmet distribution event

 2014PALOIposter560.jpg 2014PALOIposter560.jpg

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