Grinnell Regional Medical Center again is leading the distribution of bicycle helmets to more than 500 area third graders.
The GRMC medical staff along with GRMC, area businesses, and individuals demonstrated their commitment to head injury prevention by teaming up to give a new bicycle helmet to each third grader in the GRMC service area.
This year 511 helmets will be given away. Over the previous 16 years, over 4,370 students in the GRMC service area have received a free bike helmet.
Craig Cooper, Bikes to You, Grinnell, sizes up the new bike helmet for Anthony Salgado during the annual distribution day for helmets for 3rd graders at South Tama Elementary School on Tuesday, May 1. Grinnell Regional Medical Center, Deer Creek Health Center, Toledo and area businesses support the project.
News-Herald photos/John Speer
At each distribution an educational program is presented to emphasize the importance of wearing a helmet and to teach bicycle safety. Children who use helmets as soon as they begin riding are more likely to continue that healthy behavior throughout their lifetime.
"A major initiative of the medical center is in wellness and preventing disease and injury," explains Cory Jackson, GRMC wellness manager. "We are thrilled to support the bike helmet distribution program along with many sponsors from the community. This is a great opportunity to educate our youth on the importance of a safe, healthy and active lifestyle. "
Helmets are given out in 12 school districts covering BGM, Central Iowa Christian Academy, East Marshall, Green Mountain Garwin (GMG), Grinnell/Newburg,Lynnville/Sully, Meskwaki Settlement, Montezuma, North Mahaska, Sully Christian, South Tama, and Victor (HLV).
Jackson along with Craig Cooper of Bikes to You, GRMC employees and medical staff, and in some communities like Grinnell, the Grinnell Police department staff, will visit the schools and fit a helmet to each third-grade student as well as discuss the importance of preventing head injury.
Financial supporters of the bike helmet distribution in addition to GRMC and the GRMC Medical staff include Grinnell State Bank, Lynnville Women's Club, Medicap Pharmacy, State Bank of Toledo, Grinnell Bike Club and Robert Wemer.