RochesterAugust 8, 2012
Back-to-School Bonanza to assist children in need
By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer
ROCHESTER — School-age children in the Rochester area who are on Medicaid or without health insurance are invited to attend the first Back-to-School Bonanza Aug. 11.
Organized by KidzKare — a nonprofit affiliated with Kidz 1st Pediatrics in Rochester Hills — the free health and wellness event will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Community Service Rooms at First Congregational Church, 1315 N. Pine St. in Rochester.
“It seemed logical that the physicians that take care of kids every day put on a free health clinic for kids who are either uninsured or have Medicaid here in the Rochester area and try to bring all services under one roof,” said Kathy Campbell, KidzKare director.
The event will allow children up to 18 years old on Medicaid or without insurance in the Rochester Area Neighborhood House service area to receive a variety of services and products for free to prepare them to go back to school.
“Kids will get a mini-physical; a dental, vision and hearing screening; a free haircut; school supplies; clothes; and then we have the bookmobile coming and face painting and all that kind of stuff. It’s going to be big,” Campbell said.
Doctors from Kidz 1st Pediatrics will provide free physical exams for day care, school and sports during the event, and Dr. Richard Muir and Jostock Dental Group will provide free dental screenings. Accent Eyecare, Pearle Vision Center and Oakland Optometry will offer children free vision screenings, and children will receive free hearing screenings as well as a free haircut from Secrets Salon and Spa.
“When we talked about doing the event, we said we don’t just want to screen kids, we also want to be sure that we take care of them, so if we screen them for vision and they need glasses we wanted to be able to refer them to someplace or somebody who could actually continue to provide a service to them,” Campbell said.
Those attending the event are asked to come for their physical exam, dental, vision and hearing screenings during the following times, based on the child’s last name: A-C will be from 10-11 a.m., D-G is 11 a.m. to noon, H-L is noon-1 p.m., M-P is 1-2 p.m., Q-S is 2-3 p.m. and T-Z is 3-4 p.m. To get on the schedule, call (248) 651-8197 and press 1 for KidzKare and Kathy Campbell. Leave a message with the number of children and their names, and you will be placed on a list for services. Sign-up is not required, and walk-ins are welcome.
Children can also stock up on back-to-school clothing donated by the Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan and local churches, as well as school supplies provided by Blessings in a Backpack, Ready Set GO! and the Rochester Area Neighborhood House.
Linda Riggs, executive director of the Rochester Area Neighborhood House, said the Neighborhood House has been providing back-to school supplies to kids in need for a number of years.
“We have often talked about how we wished we could do more when we do our back-to-school supplies because we see families who have so many other needs as they are getting ready to go back to school. … When we connected with Kathy and her group we realized we might be able to do more, so it was very exciting, and we are thrilled to be a partner,” Riggs said. “This helps us reach more families in need and helps make it a little bit easier for them to get more of their needs met.”
The event will also provide free snacks and drinks, face painting and outdoor bowling.
The event wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of local businesses and nonprofits, Campbell said.
“This community has been amazing. For a long time I was out inviting people to participate, and now people are calling me,” she said. “We have about 40 partners at this point.”
At press time, additional participants and sponsors included Wayne State University Physician Group, Rochester Community Schools, Classic Lanes, Salon 35, Via Linda Salon, Mario’s, Brooksie Way Minigrant, the Rochester Lions Club, Leader Dogs for the Blind and the Rochester Hills Public Library.
For more information about the event, call (248) 651-8197.
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