Tag Archives: Grand Rapids Griffins

Free Bike Helmets!

OK this is too exciting. I have to squeeze one more post in! I just told you about the Put A Lid On It Program, and it has expanded. The Griffins are going to give bike helmets away at various libraries; and I’m just going to cut and paste their press release in the interest of time.

A.P. has a friend over, and in the course of half an hour they have 1) located the shovel and put dirt all over the slide 2) peed in the yard and 3) removed almost all of their clothes. Meanwhile, the neighbor boy wandered down the street, would not come back with me, so I had to run over and alert his grandma to have her go get him.

I have to keep an eye on these boys.

I know a lot of you love the Grand Cycling Classic (the one that used to be the Priority Health Classic, then changed sponsors and dates) – I am still waiting for online registration to open up because it’s in July this year.  I have a link on my Active Kids page. Enjoy!


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – One hundred local children will receive a new bike helmet at no cost when the Grand Rapids Griffins and Safe Kids Greater Grand Rapids host the third annual “Lids at the Library.”

The event will take place on two separate days at branches of the Grand Rapids Public Library and the Kent District Library. KDL’s Wyoming Branch (3350 Michael Ave. SW) will be the site on Tuesday, June 15 at 1 p.m., while GRPL’s West Side Branch (713 Bridge St. NW) will host the event on Thursday, June 17 at 1 p.m.

Volunteers from Safe Kids and the Griffins will be on hand to properly fit these free helmets for the first 50 kids at each location. Helmets for kids ages 1-12 will be distributed (subject to availability), and a parent or legal guardian must be present for a child to receive a helmet. A Griffins mascot will entertain patrons and a variety of information from the Griffins and Safe Kids will be available for pickup.

“Lids at the Library” represents the start of the seventh summer of the Griffins’ award-winning “Put A Lid On It!” (PALOI) helmet safety program, which is presented by Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Since the program’s founding in 2004, the Griffins have worked with dozens of local organizations – including Safe Kids, 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, which earned the Brain Injury Association of Michigan’s 2007 prevention award, targets elementary and middle school students in a seven-county region of West Michigan. Children age 17 or younger who visit griffinshockey.com with parental permission and sign a pledge to always wear their helmet will be rewarded with a voucher for two free tickets to a 2010-11 Griffins game, and they’ll be registered for a drawing to win a new bike.

Ever-present at local bike races throughout the summer, PALOI will co-sponsor the kids race at the Grand Cycling Classic for the second straight year, providing helmets to the first 150 kids who register for the July 10 event.

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

The “Put A Lid On It!” program is supported by Centennial Securities, Comcast, Dean Foods and Delta Subaru.

2010 PALOI Event Schedule

June 15 – Lids at the Library – KDL Wyoming Branch (1 p.m.)*

June 17 – Lids at the Library – GRPL West Side Branch (1 p.m.)*

June 18 – Bike Rodeo at Glen Valley Dentistry in Caledonia (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

June 19 – Bike Rodeo at Walker Ice Arena (8:30-11 a.m.)

July 3 – Kentwood Fourth of July Parade (9:30 a.m.)

July 4 – East Grand Rapids Fourth of July Parade

July 10 Grand Cycling Classic*

Aug. 3 – National Night Out

Aug. 7 – U.S. Coast Guard Festival Grand Parade in Grand Haven (11:45 a.m.)

Aug. 7 – Ada Criterium

Aug. 22 – Gaslight Criterium in East Grand Rapids

All events subject to change

* Helmet distribution event

PALOI By the Numbers

10 – West Michigan police and sheriff’s departments that participate in our ticket voucher reward program.

18 – Michigan counties with kids who’ve made a helmet pledge.

60 – Michigan cities with kids who’ve made a helmet pledge.

1,649 – Different kids who’ve made a helmet pledge through griffinshockey.com since 2004, including many who’ve done so on an annual basis.

9,500 – Free Griffins tickets awarded to kids through the voucher reward program since 2004.

$15,000 – Grants provided by the Griffins to local Safe Kids organizations for the purchase of more than 1,500 helmets that have been distributed free to needy kids since 2004.



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Filed under Active Kids, Breaking News

You have a baby! In a BASKET!

This has nothing to do with Moses, although I can understand why you would thing that from the title. No, it’s about making your kids wear bike helmets. You have to do it. You have to. Every time. Even short rides can pose danger, but mostly it’s just easier to make them get used to it so there is no struggle. My husband has really been the driving force in our family for bike safety, but I am not without my own good reason for wanting to make sure those little heads are protected.

When I was not quite two, my parents borrowed my grandparents’ tandem bike.  The bike had a basket in the front which, apparently, was the perfect size for a not quite two year old girl.  Mom hopped on, Dad hopped on, I was in the basket, and away we went! A cute little family on a bike, tooling around the town of Warren, Michigan.  I picture lots of smiling, warm sunshine, and a nice breeze, although I really have no idea. Then:   WHAM. They hit a bump. I flew out of the basket and – this is the part that makes me laugh so hard I can’t talk – my parents ran over me.

My family gets mad at me when we talk about it because I go into hysterics and those who can remember insist that IT’S NOT FUNNY. No, no it’s not. It’s hilarious.

It was the 70’s.

But this is now, and it’s no longer OK to put babies in baskets. My husband wouldn’t even put our kids in the Burley until they were two, and even then it was with little toddler helmets that made them look like bobble-heads.  It’s OK though, because this is where what we need to do and what we want to do converge. You know we love us some Griffins Hockey around here. One of the reasons we can afford to see so many games is the Put A Lid On It program. 

If your child promises to wear a helmet EVERY TIME, the Grand Rapids Griffins will send them a voucher for two free tickets to use during the upcoming season.  It’s a great way to talk to your kids about bike safety, and a reassurance to ours at least that yes, hockey season will come back someday.

While you’re at it, hop over to the Active Kids page to see if there are any bike races your kids can participate in.  It’s being updated all the time, so check back as the summer goes on.

So to recap: no babies in baskets, make your kids wear helmets, and score some Griffins tickets. Good stuff, I tell you.

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Filed under PSA

Things To Do Thursday

Anything fun planned for the weekend? I am trying to pick between a few goodies.  I thought February was supposed to be boring!

  • At Breton Village Mall, the Cabin Fever Reliever is Saturday from 10:30-12.  Joel Tanis (from Come On Over!) will be there, as well as a ‘group art project’, musical activities, and reading games.
  • If you were thinking more outside-ish stuff, there is a Winter Family Day at Meijer Gardens on Saturday from 1-3.  They always put on a good event, but I know it’s one of the pricier places if  you don’t have a membership, maybe you could check out a membership from the Grand Rapids Public Library for the day.
  • Also on Saturday from 11-3 is the 8th Annual (I think I’ve been to almost every one of them!) GRCC Family Matters Event.  It gets bigger and better every year.  It’s swag city for kids, seriously take a bag for all the little goodies they will get.  It’s free, but there is a $3 charge for parking.

The “Planning Meeting” for the my husband’s annual Insane Bike Ride To the Mackinaw Bridge is Saturday at my house, so I need to spend a few minutes figuring out what to feed a flock? gaggle? pelleton? – whatever you call a group of crazy bikers – for dinner.

We have been keeping Sundays pretty low key for a few months and are really seeing the value of a day of rest.  We’re going to a Griffins game on Sunday though – one of those nice afternoon matinees.  GO GRIFFINS! By the way, my kids think Finn is Griff’s wife.  They also think Robin is Batman’s wife, so we have some clarifications to make.  Anyway…the library is good to us… see if you can check out tickets from Grand Rapids Public, or show your Grand Rapids Public Library or Kent District Library Card at the box office on to get a lower bowl ticket for $10.

Another good reason to forgo your rest is Taste of Soul Sunday, a celebration of African American Culture at the main library downtown. For more weekend ideas, check out GR Kids and GR Now.


Filed under Things I Love Thursday

Put A Lid On It!

PALOIB300.jpgEarlier this week, when it was grey and cold and cloudy, A.P. asked me if, since it was ‘winter again’, could we go to a hockey game? Sadly, we have to wait until October.  That is not going to stop me from making today’s Feature Friday “Put A Lid On It’. 

It’s a program to encourage kids to always wear a helmet when riding a bike, scooter, skateboard, or skating.  If you’ve been reading a while, you might have seen this subject pop up a few times.  The biking/scooting/skating season is here, and even if your kid is little and riding around on a tricycle, please get them in the habit of wearing a helmet.  It’s a lot easier than trying to convince them when they’re older that they need one. 

If your kids pledge to always wear a helmet, Griff will send them a voucher for two free tickets.  The website is here.  I had a problem with the form when I tried to enter both kids, and I sent an email asking to add them both.  They oblidged immediately, and sent a voucher for both kids; so we now have at least one free Griffins game waiting for us when it is really hockey season, and it doesn’t just look like it outside.

If your kids need helmets, you can go to the Madison Square Branch or Van Belkum Branch of the Grand Rapids Public Library on Saturday, June 14 from 1:00 to 3:00.  They have 30 helmets at each location to give away.  Call Safe Kids of Greater Grand Rapids at 616 391-SAFE for more information.


Filed under Feature Friday