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Kids turned away from school sports for lack of funds

Original post made by Ptown Press on Sep 8, 2010


I was saddened today when my sons school basketball team had to turn away students. The kids had not had their sports physical for the sole purpose that their parents could not afford them.

One kid is working odd jobs to try and try to raise $68 for himself to get a physical. The counselor told him he could get a physical at the local urgent care for $68. He had to tell them he only had $42 so far. I am willing to pay for his but does anyone know of a doctor that would supply services to kids while their parents may be going through a tough economy?

Comments (31)

Posted by P-Town parent, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 8, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Try Axis Community Heath Web Link

which provides medical services on a sliding scale.


Posted by son of Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Sep 8, 2010 at 8:10 pm

"which provides medical services on a sliding scale."

that's just plain dangerous. why don't they just do it in a regular office environment like everyone else? they think they're Cirque du Soleil or something?


Posted by Scott, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2010 at 8:17 pm

I think Washington Township Medical Group in Fremont, right off 680, does them for $35. Please post here if donations are needed to help this kid get a physical...I can drop off at the school office if you provide info - no need to ID the kid.


Posted by Ptown Press..., a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Sep 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Thanks to all...and Scott...its people like you that never make me question why I love this town.

It is a total of 2 boys who cannot afford the medical. One is actually trying to support his mom who is out of work by taking odd jobs after school. So when the counselor told him it was "only $68" he whispered to my son "but I only have $42 so far". It broke my heart. I will give them your recommendations and I will see if the school can do something as well. But they only have until Friday to get their physical so I have to work fast.


Posted by Jenny, a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 9, 2010 at 6:04 am

Can't the sports team host a bake sale to help the kids or something? Host a garage sale. What about team uniforms, will the kids have to pay that too? I would be willing to add a few dollars to help him out as well. If you direct us to the school and an office person I can hand deliver it tomorrow morning.


Posted by Scott, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2010 at 7:30 am

Thanks, Ptown Press. The doctor at Washington Township is Steven Curran, a Pleasanton resident, great guy, with two kids in the Pleasanton schools. Hopefully something can be worked out to beat the deadline - I'm sure that there's some way we could get these kids there tomorrow if necessary. We take this stuff for granted when our kids join teams...it seems a particular shame that some have to search for this money just to participate in a quality activity. Let us know how we can help - $, ride to the physical, etc.


Posted by Ptown Press, a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Sep 9, 2010 at 8:10 am


Ugh this story just gets more sad. I just talked to his mom to get approval to take him to his physical. She was hit by a car and is on disability. I am going to try and get him an appointment today or walk in right after school. These kids go to Hart Middle School and if you all can make those donations, (feel free to call the principal and leave at the office) I will arrange to get them there right after school. We do raise money during the year for other events, it is just that today is the last day to get them physicals. The last day they can try out is tomorrow. Its a total of $68-$70 for this additional child.

Thank so much to all who can help!!


Posted by Scott, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2010 at 8:43 am

Wow...just what they need. I'll drop off $ this morning at Hart - if you need help getting them to an appointment or anything else, leave word here. Thanks for your help.


Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 9, 2010 at 9:54 am

Is there a published/confirmed list of students in need? I'll gladly "sponsor" a few students that need help so long as I know the money is going directly to pay for a medical physical, or other like service.

I'll still vote no on a parcel tax though - so long as it doesn't contain long term sustainable provisions.


Posted by Ptown Press, a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Sep 9, 2010 at 11:14 am


Okay here is the latest.

I spoke to the office at Hart and they are very familiar with the struggles of this particular family. I explained to them the situation so they are aware about the donations coming in today and what we have arranged and they can also write a tax write off letter if necessary. I have gathered some funds here from work as well as backpacks for this family.

I will be taking the mom and the student to the urgent care today right after school. Hart would prefer not to give out the names of these students and I agree. At this time, I will focus on getting this child and one other these physicals. So needless to say I think we are good.

I am soooo proud of all of your efforts. If you could have seen this childs face, when he had to walk out of the gym and waved to his friends telling them...I'll see you tomorrow....WELL DONE PLEASANTON!!!


Posted by Scott, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Glad we could help. Stopped by the Hart office this morning. Let us know what else we can do...and thanks for all your efforts!


Posted by Gail, a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Impressive community response....I've lived here 5 years and every day appreciate what a wonderful community we live in....nicely done.


Posted by Dana Fowler, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I applaud Hart School for helping out these families in times of need. Certain school districts would object to such open forum but this is a reality of todays economy. Many families are in need and working in an emergency room I constantly see kids that have no medical insurance. Thank you Hart School and the people of Pleasanton for showing you are truely the ones with HEART.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 10, 2010 at 3:01 am

Is there anything else can we do for the family / families.


Posted by Pretty Sad, a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Sep 10, 2010 at 7:06 am

Hey...How's that "hope and change" working for everyone now??? I though everyone gets FREE healthcare with Obama Care.


Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 10, 2010 at 7:34 am

This puts a total smile on my face:). I am sure this is going to be a more common scenario for the next few years. With the cuts in school funding for sports, music etc. many of our kids will have to turn to our community for help. Scott... you are a godsend I wish I could give you a hug.

Good luck to the young boy...


Posted by Rhonda Donnoly, a resident of Birdland
on Sep 10, 2010 at 8:00 am


I love when things happen quickly to help someone in need. This boy is not alone and there is much that can be done to help other families. I think as a community, to educate these families and let them know the options available to them is a good start. To Hart Middle School faculity, for bringing awareness and support that we all need a helping hand at times and to all those who contributed.


Posted by momof2, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 10, 2010 at 9:49 am

A few years ago a medical team offered Sports Physicals after school at Amador for $35.00. It was thorough, efficient and high-quality (my kids' regular pediatrician was participating). I'm not sure if they're still offered, but watch for it in time for Winter Sports or call the Athletic Director. Maybe the School or Booster's club could set up a 'scholarship fund' for these physicals, so future students-in-need could participate.
Good luck to everyone in these tough times. I love this town too!


Posted by reasonable, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2010 at 10:32 am

I'm so glad this worked out, but am I missing something?

Don't most health plans (even MediCal or Healthy Families) provide for free annual physicals for kids/youth? Won't the doctor who gave the physical sign off on the sports physical? That is how we have done it every time.....

Even someone on MediCal should be able to do this, no??


Posted by Bruce Gach, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Sep 10, 2010 at 10:57 am

Have the mom of these students call me at 925-455-5050 and I will arrange for the physicals for these two students.

Bruce Gach, M.D.
Livermore-Pleasanton Pediatrics Group


Posted by parent, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 10, 2010 at 11:33 am

Way to step up Dr. Gach!!!! You are a good man!!!!


Posted by another parent, a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Sep 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Thank Dr. Gach - we love you!!


Posted by Ann, a resident of Verona
on Sep 10, 2010 at 12:29 pm

and that's why I've been with Dr. Gach for more than 18 years- truly a good man!


Posted by Chris, a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I take all three of my children to Livermore-Pleasanton Pediatrics...Dr. Gach and his group are amazing! Thanks for stepping up Dr. Gach!


Posted by Resident, a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Sep 10, 2010 at 3:41 pm

God bless all of you!!!


Posted by Concerned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2010 at 2:50 pm

An FYI -

The health clerks and the school nurses have the information for families who need to sign up for medi-cal and healthy families insurance - they also have contacts in the medical community to get kids what they need. Do not forget about these important staff memebers as a resource. But thanks to all who pitched in. Good to know you are kind neighbors.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 11, 2010 at 4:22 pm



It also seems that the schools have funds set aside for situations like these, making it possible for those in need to enjoy just a little more privacy.


Posted by A FAN, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Dr. Gach was my best friend's Dr when she lost her first baby full term through a rare birth defect. That baby would have been exactly the same age as my daughter. Dr. Gach helped her through the loss and through the healthy birth of three more children. It has been more than a couple of decades and we still talk about Dr. Gach's kindness. I think of her every time I hear his commercial. Way to go Dr. Gach!


Posted by Laura, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2010 at 10:26 pm


I don't know who this Dr. Gach is, but what an incredible gesture. And if you look at the initial comment from Ptown Press, that is all they were really asking for. They never asked for funds and in this economy most schools have no additional funds to help assist. And apparent they were trying to keep this private out of the respect of the kids. And look at these comments. Unbelievable Pleasanton. Unbelievable. This story just made my day.


Posted by doctor, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 12, 2010 at 6:22 am

Yes - I am a pediatric provider in Pleasanton/Livermore and have done several sports physicals on kids for free during the past couple of years when the school staff calls the office and expresses a need. None of us mind - we just need to get the call. Please do not be afraid to ask!


Posted by Glenn Wohltmann, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Please see the piece we did on this: Web Link


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