GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins’ “Put A Lid On It!” (PALOI) bike helmet safety program, in conjunction with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, will host the first-ever Griffins Bike Rodeo presented by Mobile GR this Saturday, July 30 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Area 2 parking lot immediately behind Van Andel Arena on Oakes St. SW.
As the centerpiece of this free event, kids age 10 and younger are invited to learn and practice bike-handling skills and safety through fun stations staffed by officers from the Kent County Sheriff’s Office and the Grandville and Walker police departments. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s Injury Prevention Program will be on hand to give away and properly fit helmets, while other volunteers will perform basic bike safety checks before kids try the rodeo course. All kids must bring their own bikes and wear a helmet to participate in the rodeo, and they must have a parent or guardian present to either receive a free helmet or ride the course.
Every child will receive a free PALOI t-shirt along with an entry into a drawing to win one of 10 bikes generously provided by Walmart. The drawing will be held at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, and winners do not need to be present.
Families are encouraged to ride their bikes to the event and take advantage of complimentary bike parking at the southeast corner of Van Andel Arena, or bring their bikes and utilize Area 2 vehicle parking that will be free for event attendees.
After riding the rodeo course, kids and their families can visit several tents and activity stations to enjoy free Kilwins ice cream (while supplies last); receive giveaways from the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, the Grand Valley Metro Council, Mobile GR, and Riding for Ryan; visit the Grand Rapids Public Library’s mobile library; and try Hockey Sauce games to win a prize from the Griffins or team sponsors.
While the Griffins Bike Rodeo concludes event programming for the 19th summer of the team’s PALOI program, children age 17 or younger can still visit griffinshockey.com/putalidonit with parental permission to sign a pledge to always wear their helmet. Those who do will be rewarded with a voucher for two free tickets to a 2022-23 Griffins game and be automatically registered for a drawing to win a new bike. The webpage also provides a variety of information for parents, including tips for choosing a helmet and getting their child to wear it.
The “Put A Lid On It!” program is presented by Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Centennial Securities, Huntington, Meijer, Mobile GR, and Safe Kids Greater Grand Rapids.
Photo by Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins