Rochester Wellness Event Addresses Suburban Poverty

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ROCHESTER — An event called Back-to-School Bonanza!, will seek to highlight and address the problem of suburban poverty. The event takes place Aug. 8 in Rochester Hills.

“Despite our improving economy and our reputation as a wealthy region, the number of families who need this type of support here continues to grow,” says Jay Mitchell, the pediatrician who founded KidzKare, the nonprofit organizing the event.

Event partners provide school supplies, clothing, backpacks and haircuts, as well as well-child exams for daycare; school and sports; dental, vision and hearing screenings; and education on physical, emotional, and social health. All goods and services are free for Rochester-area kids 18 and under who are on Medicaid or are underinsured.

The event will include face painting, educational games, music and recreation, as well as healthy snacks and drinks.

In its first three years, the Back-to-School Bonanza! has provided more than 1,600 children with more than $250,000 in donated goods and services. In 2013, the event received the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Hometown Health Award.

The Back-to-School Bonanza! takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 8 at West Middle School, 500 Old Perch Rd. in Rochester Hills. To register, volunteer, exhibit, donate, or sponsor, visit kidzkare.net.

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