GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins’ “Put A Lid On It!” (PALOI) bike helmet safety program will kick off its 17th summer in July with a pair of drive-thru helmet distributions at Griff’s IceHouse at Belknap Park (130 Coldbrook NE).
Up to 200 kids will receive a free helmet through this event. Parents or legal guardians are required to pre-register online at griffinshockey.com (NOTE: registrations have reached their limit and are now closed), which involves measuring their child’s head to determine the correct helmet size and choosing a pickup date of either Wednesday, July 15 (10 a.m.-Noon) or Tuesday, July 21 (Noon-2 p.m.).
This new initiative temporarily replaces the Griffins’ long-running “Lids at the Library” events with the Grand Rapids Public Library and Kent District Library, which have served as the centerpiece of the team’s summer PALOI programming since 2008 but had to be canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Volunteers from the Griffins and presenting sponsor Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital will staff the drive-thru distribution, which is designed to minimize contact for all. Parents who have pre-registered will pull their vehicle up to a curb at the east rink of Griff’s IceHouse, provide their name, and be given a bag that contains their child’s helmet, instructions on how to properly fit and wear it, and a PALOI t-shirt that celebrates the joy and freedom of bike riding.
Since founding the award-winning PALOI program in 2004, the Griffins have worked with numerous 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 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 2020-21 Griffins game and be automatically registered for a drawing to win a new bike.
Through a new partnership with The Motion Initiative (TMI), the Griffins will provide helmets to kids served by that organization in the Black Hills neighborhood on the southwest side of Grand Rapids. TMI works to facilitate adventure, freedom, and hope, through the gateway of cycling, to those that need it most.
The Griffins will also make their annual grant to Safe Kids Greater Grand Rapids, enabling that organization to purchase approximately 140 additional bike helmets for distribution through its other programs and events.
Information for parents, including tips for properly fitting a helmet, is available at griffinshockey.com/putalidonit.
The “Put A Lid On It!” program is supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Centennial Securities, Huntington, Meijer, and Mobile GR.