‘Put A Lid On It!’ Returns for 20th Summer
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Several hundred children will receive a new bike helmet at no cost this summer through events and initiatives that will comprise the 20th summer of the Grand Rapids Griffins’ “Put A Lid On It!” (PALOI) bike helmet safety program, presented by Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.
Kicking off the summer, the Griffins’ 15th annual “Lids at the Library” bike helmet giveaways will be held in conjunction with the Grand Rapids Public Library and the Kent District Library. KDL’s Grandville Branch (4055 Maple St. SW, Grandville) will be the site next Tuesday, June 20 from 10-11 a.m., while GRPL’s West Leonard Branch (1017 Leonard St. NW) will host the event on Thursday, June 29 from 1-2 p.m.
Volunteers from the Griffins, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s Injury Prevention Program, and PALOI sponsors will be on hand to properly fit these free helmets for the first 100 kids at each event. 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 will also receive a free t-shirt, and information from the Griffins and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital will be available for pickup.
PALOI will cap off its programming season in August by hosting the second annual Griffins Bike Rodeo presented by Mobile GR in the Area 2 parking lot (on Oakes St. SW) immediately behind Van Andel Arena, the hockey team’s home since 1996. The date will be announced in the coming weeks. Kids age 10 and younger are invited to test both their bike-handling skills and their knowledge of the rules of the road while learning about bike safety through a series of fun and challenging stations staffed by officers from the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. The free event will feature helmet giveaways and basic bike safety checks for kids, plus games and activities. Families are encouraged to ride their bikes to the event or utilize Area 2 parking that will be free for event attendees.
Since its founding in 2004, the Griffins’ PALOI program has 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 2023-24 Griffins game and be automatically registered for a drawing to win a new bike next spring.
The Griffins will provide their annual grant to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s Injury Prevention Program, enabling that organization to purchase approximately 140 additional bike helmets for distribution through its other programs and events. In addition, through a continuing 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.
Additional information for parents 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 Bank, Meijer, Mobile GR, and Safe Kids Greater Grand Rapids.