Bike helmets making summer safer


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) Hundreds of kids are wearing brand new bicycle helmets this summer thanks to a special partnership between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Safe Kids Greater Grand Rapids. Two hundred children will receive a new bike helmet as part of the Put A Lid On It! (PALOI) bike helmet safety program.

The fun begins with the ninth annual “Lids at the Library,” the event will be held at the Kent District Library. The KDL’s Grandville Branch (4055 Maple St. SW) will host the event on Tuesday, June 28 at 2 p.m.

Volunteers from the Griffins, Safe Kids and several program sponsors and supporters 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. Griff will be on hand to entertain patrons, and a variety of information from the Griffins and Safe Kids will be available for pickup.

“Lids at the Library” is the centerpiece event of the Griffins’ award-winning PALOI program, which is presented by Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. 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.

Children age 17 or younger who visit with parental permission and sign a pledge to always wear their helmet will be rewarded with a voucher for two free tickets to a 2016-17 Griffins game and be automatically registered for a drawing to win a new bike.

Ever-present at local bike races and rides throughout the summer, the Griffins will supply themed T-shirts and posters to approximately 70 kids who will ride in the MSU Gran Fondo on Saturday, June 25. The Griffins will also provide their annual grant to Safe Kids, enabling that organization to purchase approximately 100 additional bike helmets and distribute them through its programs and events.

2016 PALOI posters will soon be displayed and distributed by hundreds of schools, libraries, medical offices and businesses throughout West Michigan, while themed T-shirts and posters will be given away to kids during other PALOI-affiliated events.

Information for parents, including tips for choosing a helmet and getting their child to wear it, is available at For more information about the program, call (616) 774-4585 ext. 3046.

Other events for helmet giveaways:

  • Saturday, June 25 – MSU Gran Fondo – Downtown Grand Rapids
  • Tuesday, June 28 – Lids at the Library – KDL Grandville Branch – 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 9 – Happy Helmets on the Heartland Trail – White Pine District Library – Stanton- 10 a.m.

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