Cyndi Summers, publicist
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sponsors, partners, volunteers needed for fifth annual Back-to-School Bonanza offering free goods & services
ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – More than two-thirds of the poverty increase since the year 2000 occurred in households located in the suburbs. In fact, suburban poverty now exceeds that of urban areas in absolute numbers and continues to grow at twice the annual rate. And, to make matters worse, suburban communities are least-prepared to deal with the needs of the poor.
Organized by the Rochester nonprofit KidzKare Inc., the Back-to-School Bonanza seeks to highlight and address problems associated with suburban poverty. Its fifth annual health and wellness event will take place on Saturday, August 27, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.at West Middle School in Rochester Hills. In its first four years, Back-to-School Bonanza partners and volunteers provided more than 2,200 children with more than $330,000 in donated goods and services. In 2013, the event received the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Hometown Health Award.
“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, M.D., the pediatrician who founded KidzKare and retired last year from his practice to work full time with KidzKare programs. “In fact, more than 15 percent of students in the Rochester Community Schools qualify for some type of state and/or federal financial assistance.”
The Back-to-School Bonanza annually relies upon more than 100 volunteers and dozens of partners including Rochester Area Neighborhood House, and Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan. Partners provide school supplies, clothing, backpacks, haircuts, well-child exams, dental, vision and hearing screenings, as well as program information and education on physical, emotional and social health. Every effort is made to make the event fun for kids, with many partners offering entertainment including face painting, educational games, music and recreation, as well as healthy snacks and drinks. All goods and services are offered at no charge to Rochester-area kids ages 4 to 18 who are on Medicaid and/or underinsured.
Businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and individuals interested in making an immediate, positive impact on the lives of hundreds of financially disadvantaged children, and those who can help make the event possible through their financial support, are encouraged to visit www.kidzkare.net/bonanza-participate for details on sponsoring, partnering and/or volunteering, or to contact KidzKare at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-505-3522 for more information.
The Back-to-School Bonanza takes place Saturday, August 27 at West Middle School, 500 Old Perch Rd. in Rochester Hills. Admission is limited to 500 children ages 4 to 18 (and their parents/guardians) who are on Medicaid or are underinsured, and who live in Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Auburn Hills or Addison Township (Leonard and Lakeville). Pre-registered attendees will be admitted between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Unregistered attendees (walk-ins) who meet the listed eligibility criteria will be admitted based on availability from 12 to 2 p.m. Online registration is available at www.kidzkare.net; click Bonanza!
KidzKare’s mission is to “create, provide and support programs that improve the physical, emotional, social and educational well-being of children and youth in the greater Rochester area.” In addition to the Back-to-School Bonanza, current programs include Raising Rochester, a multi-community garden program with produce donated to children and others in need; and Recycled Reader, the collection and redistribution of gently used books for children.
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