A fixture of the VillageFest Fourth of July festivities for the past decade is on hiatus.
Headstrong for Jake founders Tom and Otis Clough decided this year that the organization would take a step back from the annual helmet distribution and bike rodeo they had hosted at VillageFest since the mid-2000s.
The Cloughs, parents of the organization’s namesake, sent us this explanation:
After careful consideration, we have decided to take a break this summer and will not be hosting the bike rodeo/helmet fitting at VillageFest this coming Fourth of July. We truly appreciate everyone’s support, especially our volunteers who have selflessly shared their Fourth of July holiday with us every year for the past ten years. With your help, we have distributed over 12,000 properly fitted helmets to children throughout our community. It is the wonderful actions of all of you that have helped to keep Jake’s memory and message of safety alive. Each and every time we see a child riding a bike with their blue and white Headstrong helmet, we think of Jake and feel his powerful presence all around us. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Otis and Tom
The Cloughs wanted to be sure to get the word out that there would not be a bike helmet distribution this year because the Prairie Village newsletter recently sent out to city residents incorrectly states that the group will be back for Monday’s festivities.
Otis said the group is currently re-evaluating how the foundation can best promote bike safety.
“It is possible that we could return to VillageFest again,” she said. “We are certainly not ruling that out.