Get free ice cream for wearing bike helmet in Brownville

Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 5:33 PM EDT
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BROWNVILLE, New York (WWNY) - A local fire department and ice cream shop have teamed up to teach the importance of wearing a helmet while riding a bike.

It comes as the Brownville community mourns the death of a local boy whose bike hit a truck towing a trailer.

“This was kind of a big secret. We’ve been working on it with Lickety Split and we’re going to roll it out today,” said Ryan McIntosh, district chief, Brownville Fire Department.

That secret is a reward - ice cream for wearing a helmet while riding a bike.

“Kids that are caught wearing a helmet, which is a good thing, exercising some safety, they will be presented with a gift certificate where they can get themselves a kiddie ice cream,” said Eric Symonds, owner, Lickety Split Ice Cream Shoppe.

The fire department and Lickety Split will hand out 100 certificates. It’s a way to teach safety and connect with everyone in the community.

“I’m hoping it’s huge. This is not just for children, but for adults to wear their helmets. It gives us firemen a little bit more interaction with people in a non-emergency mode,” said McIntosh.

The fire department decided Tuesday to start the program after a bike crash last week. Officials say 14-year-old Caleb Weygandt passed away after colliding with a truck towing a trailer.

“I was actually going for a run, and while I was changing my clothes, within five minutes I started to hear some sirens,” said Symonds. “It’s sad to see something that’s so preventative with a bicycle helmet.”

“We’re hoping that this is just going to keep his memory around and let people know that we’re thinking about him and his family. Hopefully, this will prevent anything like this from ever happening again,” said McIntosh.

The chief hopes to keep encouraging people to be safe by working with more village businesses once all the ice cream certificates are handed out.

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