By James De Mott, Grinnell College Student
Craig Cooper, owner of Bikes to You, was awarded the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation’s Business Partner of the Year Award at their Spirit of Giving event. Bikes to You has occupied an important place in the community’s cycling life since 1992. Two years after opening, Bikes to You became a part of the larger Iowa cycling community being named an official RABGRAI bicycle shop.
Community engagement and non-profit work has been a guiding principal for Cooper and Bikes to You. For more than twenty years, Cooper has worked with Grinnell Regional Medical Center on an initiative to hand out helmets to each area third grader—about 550 helmets a year. Cooper has also donated countless hours to area youth through Poweshiek County’s GALAXY after school programs and to the Imagine Grinnell organization. He has served in leadership positions with the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce.
Cooper was also honored for his work in pioneering the Grinnell Games, specifically the Twilight Bike Criterium, a cycling race running through downtown which is a unique event for an Iowa community to host.
The commitment that small business owners like Cooper have to service are what keep communities like ours flourishing.