More than 4,000 Minnesotans are reportedly hospitalized with head injuries each year, and in an effort to combat this number, the American Academy of Neurology is giving away 1,000 free bike helmets Saturday.
The giveaway will take place at the Mill City Farmers Market, located on Chicago Mall between the Guthrie Theater and the Mill City Museum, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
It coincides with Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges’ declaration of Brain Health Awareness Day. She said in a statement Tuesday that she wants to continue to promote efforts of this practice, as biking is encouraged and practiced daily in Minneapolis.
“Wearing a helmet is one of the best and most simple ways to protect your brain,” Hodges said.
Local Super Bowl champion Ben Utecht, former tight end for the Indianapolis Colts, and a neurologist will be present to talk about the importance of wearing a helmet to prevent a concussion.
Utecht, who also played for the Cincinnati Bengals and the Minnesota Gophers, suffered from five known concussions during his football career.
This is the AAN’s third year of raising awareness and preventing head injuries in Minnesota. The event is part of a larger donation from the AAN to the city of Minneapolis through a partnership with nonprofit organizations including the Minneapolis Police Department’s Bike Cops for Kids.
“Through our bike helmet giveaway this Saturday at the Mill City Farmer’s Market, and by donating helmets in support of other local organizations with the same mission, we hope to educate Minnesotans about why it’s important to keep your brain healthy by wearing a helmet during any bike-related sport,” Catherine Rydell, executive director and CEO of the AAN, said in a statement Tuesday.