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A FUN day for bicycle safety

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SAFETY COURSE:Young bicycle riders were able to use the Racing for Safety course thanks to theFrankfort Police Department.
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HELMET HANDOUT: Goodwin Funeral Home's, from left, Linda Wann, Emma McKinney, Baileigh O'Brien and Bonnie Reynolds gave free helmets to children who registered for Saturday's event at Circle Park.
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RACING: Two young boys cross the finish line during A FUN Bicycle Race and Safety Day on Saturday at Circle Park.

By AARON KENNEDY - akennedy@ftimes.com

Dozens of local kids learned about bicycle safety, got some free safety gear and raced at A FUN (Frankfort United Neighborhoods) Bicycle Race and Safety Day on Saturday at Circle Park.

FUN board member and event organizer Jonathan Pitzer said that 50 children were registered for the race.

“It was really well-received,” Pitzer said. “And then people came that didn't know about it. After seeing it, everybody was wanting us to have it again next year, so we plan on it.”

Pitzer believes the event can be even larger next year at a new venue.

“I was shooting for 50, which meant that our total attendance would be 150 people,” he said. “That was pretty good, especially at that park. I have never seen so many people in that little park. It was quite a bit of people, and the weather held off for us.”

FUN brought a handful of other community organizations together to participate in the event.

“Goodwin (Funeral Home) came out and passed out helmets,” Pitzer said. “And the Frankfort Police Department put on the IU Health/Riley Racing for Safety course. They also passed out National Child Safety Council materials.

“The Learning Network of Clinton County passed out games,” he added. “WILO sponsored it on the radio, and Papa John's had a pizza deal for those who signed up online. Since we are a volunteer group, we need as much help as we can get. On Time Heating and Air paid for most of the medals that we passed out to the kids. La Chapas provided a free bounce house, Rhythm and Ink came out and did the face painting, Good Time Professional Audio provided the music and CNR Catering provided the food.

“It was a great partnership between a lot of people to make it happen. That is what we try to do – get everybody working together and back out talking to each other.”

Goodwin Funeral Home was there to give free helmets to many of the 50 kids who registered for the race.

“They contacted us knowing that we have donated helmets in the past,” said Bonnie Reynolds. “We worked in conjunction with them to provide them for the race. The police department has a bike safety night in August every year, and we have provided helmets for that. This was just another opportunity to cover kids' heads and make it a little safer for them. The slogan on our helmet says 'Cover up. Life is ahead.'”

“This is the third time that we have provided helmets for our community,” said Bill Miller. “Last year, we had an obstacle course and safety awareness course here at our parking lot at Goodwin. We gave out a couple hundred helmets then. It is a honor for us to be a part of helping these kids in our community. You had to have a helmet to participate in these events, and a little boy wrecked during the race and skinned up his helmet pretty good, so we are glad he had it on.

“We couldn't have done it without our staff here putting in time to make that happen, so we are glad they were part of it,” he added.

The Open Door Clinic and Healthy Communities of Clinton County also had a presence at the event.

“We had some walking books that had safe pathways for walks,” said Macy Osbon, an intern at Healthy Community of Clinton County. “We had information on those, and then we had bike brochures with safe bike routes for people to go on as well. We gave out flashing lights and reflectors for kids to put on their bikes. We also shared some Indiana laws regarding bike safety and things like that, too.

“It was so fun,” Osbon said. “They were so cute. I thought it was really nice, especially in that neighborhood. I think it was a perfect place to have something like that. The kids had a lot of fun and really liked picking out reflectors. Really, everybody should have one of those on their bike. It was good to teach them about being safe on their bikes, especially during the summer time.”

FUN will continue to offer sidewalk chalk art for kids during each Thursday Thunder event at Veteran's Park, and they have their monthly meeting today at the Frankfort Community Public Library.