Grinnell Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors learned about UnityPoint Health – Grinnell Regional Medical Center Foundation and PWA Fitness Center – Postels Community Health Park Bike Helmets for 3rd Graders program today from Foundation coordinator Donna Fischer and PWA trainer Holly Pettlon. This program was started in the mid-90’s when Dr. Philip Brooks went to Craig Cooper at Bikes to You and wanted to help get helmets on heads in Grinnell. Craig and Dr. Phillips took the idea and ran with it.
They started a fund for donations and identified 3rd graders as the target age as many kids that age can fit into an adult sized helmet. The doctors association at the hospital pooled funds to help purchase the first few rounds of helmets and GRMC took over fundraising in 2005. They now work to fit all 3rd graders in the UPH-GRMC service area with helmets, which includes students at: BGM, East Marshall, Grinnell-Newburg, Grinnell Christian, HLV, Lynnville-Sully, Meskwaki, Montezuma, North Mahaska, South Tama, and Sully Christian schools. This year, they handed out helmets to 475 students.
Holly, Craig, and other GRMC staff members visit each school in late April/early May and talk about the importance of bike helmets, that they should be worn anytime a student is riding on something with wheels, and how they should fit correctly. Their team then fits each individual student properly with a bike helmet that they can take home that day!
Helmets typically retail for $40-60 but Craig is able to source them at a discount for the program. A $20 donation can typically purchase a helmet for a student in the area. If you’re interested in learning more, reach out to Donna or Holly. Donations can be made by mailing a check to: Grinnell Regional Medical Center Foundation 210 4th Avenue Grinnell, Iowa 50112 or online at http://www.unitypoint.org/…/grinnell-regional…/donate
Pictured L-R: Marissa Pronschinske – Grinnell Chamber, Donnette Ellis – Grinnell College Community Connections, Matt Karjalahti – REMAX Partners Realty- Grinnell, Jess Dawson – REMAX Partners Realty- Grinnell, Jack Mathews – Our Grinnell, Briana Gaunt – Community 1st Credit Union, Jeff Finch – Wes Finch Auto Plaza, Rachel Arseneault – Timm Agency, LLC-American Family Insurance, Donna Fischer – Grinnell Regional Medical Center Foundation, Jennifer McAlexander – JM Consulting & Hawkeye Lock & Security, Holly Pettlon – PWA Fitness Center, Matt Moyer – Bayer Crop Science, Dorothy Spriggs – Carriage House Bed & Breakfast, Breanna Burke – UScellular Grinnell, IA – Premier Wireless, Lisa Cirks – Cirks Financial Services, Fran Conn
Photo 2: Thank you notes from students at South Tama