The Rapidian

Kids to learn bike safety, receive free helmet at annual event

Young professionals from BL²END will be running the Bike Helmet Block Party to encourage bicycle safety this Saturday at the Salvation Army.

Bike Helmet Block Party

Business Leaders Linked to Encourage New Directions

The Salvation Army Fulton Heights Corps

1235 Fulton Street East

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

June 29, 2013

12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Members of BL2END

Members of BL2END /Courtesy of BL2END

Community outreach is an important initiative of BL2END.

Community outreach is an important initiative of BL2END. /Courtesy of BL2END

Business Leaders Linked to Encourage New Directions (BL²END) want to keep kids safe when they get out their bikes and are exercising the freedom of school's hiatus. BL²END will be running Salvation Army's annual Bike Helmet Block Party this Saturday, giving out helmets and teaching bike safety. The event takes place from noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army Building at Fuller and Fulton.

The group will be handing out free helmets at the event for those who don't have the ability to purchase a helmet. Last year, Salvation Army gave away 280 helmets and this year they have a new goal of 300.

Promoting the use of helmets and bike safety is the main goal of the event. BL²END will be instructing young bikers in valuable skills that enhance the fun and healthy hobby. Angela Thompson, Community Outreach Chair, hopes people will stay around for the resources available after getting their helmet.

"I would encourage people to take advantage of that," says Thompson. "Don't just get the bike helmet and leave. Stick around."

The event will teach proper bike safety, maintenance and attire. Attendees are encouraged to bring their bikes, as they will be checking and adjusting them at the event. Bike safety courses and preventative bike maintenance lessons will also be available at the event. Thompson says they're also going to make it fun to get kids interested in biking.

A raffle will be held around 3 p.m. for four kid's bikes. Additional fun activities like games, crafts and a bounce house will be available throughout the event.

The Bike Helmet Block Party is sponsored by Ada Bike Shop. The Girl Scouts will also be at the event assisting alongside BL²END.

Thompson says that community outreach is an important initiative of BL²ENDBL²END is a professional organization that offers an environment of growth and development for young business professionals of color, although it is open to all ages and races. The group does regular events that pertain to their three strategic initiatives: community outreach, social networking and professional development.

Those interested in joining BL²END or registering for a future event should check out their website. The next community outreach event will be the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute Rhythm Run in August. Contact BL²END or the African American Health Institute for more information.

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