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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Helmets First!

One of the organizations you'll see next Sunday (June 1) if you attend The Gerry Frierdich Road to Recovery Bicycle Ride is a group called Helmets First!

Helmets First, based in Columbia, Ill., is an effort led by Dr. Joseph Cangas to encourage children to wear helmets while riding bicycles. Helmets First will be giving helmets to the first 50 children ages 5-12 who sign up for the Gerry Frierdich benefit.

The mission of the group is simple: "To promote the safety of children by providing helmets and helmet education, as well as rewarding those who wear a helmet, so that they may grow to be healthy, productive members of society."

According to the group's Web site, it has given more than 2,500 helmets to children and provided bicycle helmet education to more than 4,000 children. With the help of police departments in Columbia, Waterloo and Salem, the group also rewards children who wear helmets.

Helmets First also will be giving away 250 helmets at the grand opening of the McKinley Bridge bikeway on June 1. The McKinley Bridge bikeway will connect the Riverfront Trail in St. Louis with the Confluence Trail in Madison County, Ill.

The group is willing to provide free or discounted helmets for youth organizations, and it's also seeking donations and sponsorships so it can continue to provide helmets. It sounds like a worthy cause to me, so go check it out.

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