Perry Kiwanis to sponsor annual Bike Safety Rodeo

Perry Kiwanis is sponsoring its third annual Bike Safety Rodeo on Friday, May 13, 5-7 p.m. at Baxter YMCA in conjunction with its Cycle-a-Thon weekend fundraiser. The event, which is free and open to all children in the community, will be held in the parking lot behind the pavilion. In the event of rain, the event will be moved indoors. Pre-registration is not required.

All participants who complete the course will receive a free custom-fitted helmet. If there are not enough at the rodeo, each biker will be fitted for a helmet, and one will be ordered specifically for him or her. In addition, a pair of brand-new bicycles donated by Servant’s Heart of Indy will be given away. McGruff the Crime Dog will be on hand to answer questions, and the Chick-fil-A cow mascot will make an appearance. Kiwanis will serve complimentary grilled hot dogs, chips and beverages to all.

The first 100 bikers will receive a goodie bag with coupons for treats from Chick-fil-A, Dairy Queen, McDonald’s and Jaggers and for kids meals from Bubba’s and City Barbeque.

“We have moved the date for this event to springtime, as youngsters anticipate a summer of safe bike riding,” explained Kiwanis Co-president Dale Nordholt. “We are pleased that members of the Southport Key Club (Kiwanis high school affiliate) will assist at the event.”

“The event once again is being sponsored in conjunction with Baxter and the Riley Safety Store. We are targeting children ages 4 thru 12 who will learn about traffic safety basics both as bicyclists and as pedestrians,” explained Kiwanis event organizer Scott Splichal. “The course will teach the importance of wearing a bike helmet, basic rules of the road, hand turn signals and basic traffic safety signs.”

The last Perry Kiwanis Bike Safety Rodeo attracted young bikers of various ages, including Ira Goul. (Photo courtesy of the Kiwanis Club of Perry Township)

At the Racing for Safety course, children can practice their skills to be safe on whatever types of wheels they use including bikes, bikes adapted to meet special needs, wheelchairs, non-powered scooters, skates or skateboards. To learn more about Racing for Safety and the Racing for Safety Team, visit racingforsafety.org.

“We will have bicycles from Riley to use, but parents as well as kids of all ages are encouraged to bring their own bikes,” added Splichal.

The Bike Safety Rodeo is one of several community service programs conducted by the club during the year. Others include reading aloud to young Perry Township students, cooking breakfast for Ronald McDonald House residents, and organizing the distribution of coats, shoes and food for local families in need during the Connecting with the Community event with Perry Schools in November.

In addition, Kiwanis supports several community organizations including Hunger Inc., Perry Senior Services and Riley Hospital for Children among others, and awards post-high school scholarships for students attending an Indiana college or trade school. Support for these programs is obtained through various fundraisers including a concession stand operated during Baxter YMCA spring and fall youth athletic league games which started April 23, a golf outing set for June 23, and a Chili Cook-off to be held in the fall.

The Kiwanis Club of Perry Township was formed in 1982. It meets Thursdays at the IHOP restaurant, 7521 U.S. 31 South, at 7 a.m., and on Zoom. Contact Co-president Dale Nordholt at   317-626-9396 or Co-president Scott Splichal at 317-319-9345 for more information about the club or visit Facebook.com/KiwanisOfPerryTownship.