GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – One 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 fourth 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 Ottawa Hills Branch (1150 Giddings Ave. SE) will be the site on Thursday, June 16 at 2 p.m., while KDL’s Wyoming Branch (3350 Michael Ave. SW) will host the event on Friday, June 17 at 2 p.m.
Volunteers from the Griffins, Safe Kids, Centennial Securities and Delta Subaru will be on hand to properly fit these free helmets for the first 50 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. A Griffins mascot will 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 eighth 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 Safe Kids, 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 griffinshockey.com/putalidonit with parental permission and sign a pledge to always wear their helmet will be rewarded with a voucher for two free tickets to a 2011-12 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, participate in the voucher program as well, distributing them to helmet-wearing kids in their communities.
Ever-present at local parades and bike races throughout the summer, the Griffins will co-sponsor the kids race at the Grand Cycling Classic for the third straight year, providing helmets to the first 150 kids who register for the Aug. 20 event. The Griffins will also provide their annual $1,500 grant to Safe Kids, enabling that organization to purchase more than 150 additional bike helmets and distribute them through its programs and events.
2011 PALOI posters featuring the theme “Don’t be a dummy. Wear your helmet!” 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 griffinshockey.com/putalidonit. For more information about the program, call (616) 774-4585 ext. 3046.
The “Put A Lid On It!” program is supported by Centennial Securities, Comcast, Dean Foods, Delta Subaru and MetLife.
2011 PALOI Event Schedule
June 16 – Lids at the Library – GRPL Ottawa Hills Branch (2 p.m.)*
June 17 – Lids at the Library – KDL Wyoming Branch (2 p.m.)*
June 18 – Walker Bike Festival – KDL Walker Branch (8:30-10:30 a.m.)
July 2 – Kentwood Independence Day Parade (9:30 a.m.)
July 4 – East Grand Rapids Fourth of July Parade (Noon)
July 4 – Grand Rapids Fourth of July Parade (5 p.m.)
Aug. 2 – National Night Out at Celebration! Cinema South
Aug. 6 – U.S. Coast Guard Festival Grand Parade in Grand Haven (11:45 a.m.)
Aug. 20 – Grand Cycling Classic*
All events subject to change.
* Helmet distribution event