Friday, April 18, 2014

KCK West Kiwanis to hold 8th annual bike safety rodeo

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Elementary-aged kids will have the opportunity to learn tips on cycling safety, participate in interactive activities that promote health and safety and to sneak a peek at attractions at Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark – including the brand new Verruckt waterslide, the world’s tallest waterslide - at a free family event on Saturday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to noon.

The annual KCK Kiwanis West Bike Rodeo is back for the eighth year and planners anticipate a large turnout. 

Event sponsors plan to distribute up to 300 free bike safety helmets and t-shirts to participants. The event will be held rain or shine in the parking lot and entrance area of Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark, 9400 State Avenue, Kansas City, Kan. Kids are encouraged to bring their bicycles.

The KCK Kiwanis West club, in partnership with Atmos Energy, Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark, Judi’s Bakery, Big D Cycling and numerous community businesses and organizations, are committed to helping area youth ride their bicycles safely.

“During the past seven years, we’ve reached approximately 1,550 kids throughout Kansas City – helping them become safer cyclists,” says Jan Wiley, KCK Kiwanis West member and chair of the Bike Rodeo. “That’s 1,550 young cyclists who understand the rules of the road and the importance of wearing safety helmets to prevent head injuries. We’re really excited about the popularity of this event because it has the potential to save young lives. Our community sponsors are making it possible for us to reach more kids than ever before.”

Rodeo participants should be accompanied by an adult and plan to bring their bicycles to the event.

After having their free bicycle helmet fitted, their bikes will be inspected and they will rotate through seven bike riding skill stations and have the opportunity to earn a bicycle safety certificate. 

“Even though helmets can’t keep a cyclist from falling, they can save lives,” says Kevin Jones, a Kiwanis West member and employee with Atmos Energy, the company that provides free safety helmets. “When they are properly fitted, helmets can reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent if a fall occurs.”

Just as helmets reduce the risk of injury in bicycle accidents, car seats are vital for kids’ safety in automobiles. That’s why the event will also feature a free, drive-through car seat safety check. Experts will inspect car seats and ensure they are installed securely in families’ vehicles, making sure restraints are age appropriate and facing the right direction.

“Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of children from ages 1 to 14,” says Kimberley Holm, a member of the Kiwanis West club and a certified National Child Passenger Safety Technician with the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department. “Even though most parents understand the importance of putting their children in car and booster seats, seven out of 10 kids in child safety restraints are not buckled in properly. We want to reduce that number.” 

Holm will be joined by Donald Paul Jones, the Safe Community Coordinator with the Unified Government Health Department. Together with their volunteers, they will be available to check that child safety seats are properly installed. 

“Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark is thrilled to host this popular community event for the fourth year,” says Chuck Stites, Kiwanis member and Schlitterbahn Director of Development. “In addition to helping kids gear up for a safe bike-riding season, the event promises to offer a morning packed with free family fun.”

In addition, Schlitterbahn Season Passes will be on sale for $5 off the full gate price on that day. Season Pass holder will have an exclusive opportunity to beat the rush and process their Season Pass ID Cards in person during this event. 

Bike rodeo participants will be treated to free donuts, courtesy of Judi’s Bakery; get to enjoy performances by kids affiliated with Kansas Academy of Theatrical Arts; tour attractions at Schlitterbahn; get a close up look at emergency vehicles; get into the groove with fun Zumbatronics workouts; and engage in other exciting activities, games and crafts provided by local businesses. .  And, if this were not enough, the fine folks from Cabela’s will be on hand, providing a free fishing derby experience for the kids. So, you might want to throw some fishing poles in the car, along with your bicycles!

Additional sponsors for this event include: Legends Honda, Legends Toyota, Country Club Bank, Board of Public Utilities, Sunflower Dental, August Resources, PACES, Country Place Senior Living, Chick-Fil-A, Dr. Jane Philbrook, O.D., Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department, Kansas City, Kansas Public Library Foundation, Adventurezip KC, Eric McTye - Edwards Jones, Providence Medical Center, Liveable Neighborhoods and First Legend Bank & Trust. 

If you have questions or need directions on the day of the event, call 816-751-4227. To get to Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark from I-435, take Exit 13 – State Avenue East. Turn left at the second traffic light and enter the parking lot.