GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Two hundred children will receive a new bike helmet at no cost in the coming weeks as the Grand Rapids Griffins and Safe Kids Greater Grand Rapids host a pair of events during the 18th summer of the Griffins’ “Put A Lid On It!” (PALOI) bike helmet safety program, presented by Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
The Griffins’ 13th annual “Lids at the Library” helmet giveaways will be held at branches of the Grand Rapids Public Library and the Kent District Library. KDL’s Plainfield Township Branch (2650 5 Mile Rd. NE) will be the site this coming Monday, July 12 at 1 p.m., while GRPL’s Madison Square Branch (1201 Madison Ave. SE) will host the event on Friday, Aug. 6 at 2 p.m. As part of COVID protocols, each event will be held outside on the grounds of the library.
Volunteers from the Griffins, Safe Kids and program sponsors will be on hand to properly fit these free helmets for the first 100 kids at each location. Helmets will be distributed to kids ages 1-12 (subject to availability), and a parent or legal guardian must be present for a child to receive a helmet.
Every child fitted with a new helmet during “Lids at the Library” will also receive a free t-shirt, and a variety of information from the Griffins and Safe Kids will be available for pickup.
“After pivoting during the pandemic last year to host a pair of drive-thru bike helmet distributions, we are thrilled to be able to fit helmets for kids in person again this summer,” said Randy Cleves, the Griffins’ senior director of public relations and founder of the PALOI program. “We are grateful to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and our local libraries for helping us resume our Lids at the Library events in a fun, outdoor atmosphere that is safe for children, parents and our volunteers.”
“Lids at the Library” is the centerpiece event of the Griffins’ award-winning PALOI program. Since the program’s founding 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 2021-22 Griffins game and be automatically registered for a drawing to win a new bike.
The Griffins are also providing their annual grant to Safe Kids, enabling that organization to purchase approximately 140 additional bike helmets for distribution through its other programs and events.
Additional information for parents, including tips for choosing a helmet and getting their child to wear it, 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, Mobile GR, and Safe Kids Greater Grand Rapids.