Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough kids get checkups, shots at back-to-school fair

Brian Carranza, 9, gets shots Saturday at the back-to-school fair at the HCC SouthShore campus in Ruskin. Kids got checkups, dental screenings, free backpacks, school supplies and shoes.

KIM WILMATH | Times

Brian Carranza, 9, gets shots Saturday at the back-to-school fair at the HCC SouthShore campus in Ruskin. Kids got checkups, dental screenings, free backpacks, school supplies and shoes.

RUSKIN

Six-year-old Milsarid Rodriguez sat with her head in her hands. Not crying, not yet.

But soon, Milsarid's wails rang out of the small room at the Hillsborough Community College SouthShore campus in Ruskin after a nurse gave her two shots needed before starting second grade.

When it was over, Milsarid's 5-year-old brother Ricardo clapped his hands. Milsarid didn't exactly smile, but at least the crying stopped.

The Rodriguez kids were two of hundreds who came to the county's back-to-school fair Saturday in Ruskin. The effort, organized by the Back-to-School Coalition of Hillsborough County, includes members of the county's Health and Social Services departments, local chambers of commerce, volunteer organization and faith-based groups.

In addition to immunizations, students received physicals, dental screenings, free backpacks, school supplies, shoes, socks and underwear.

Eris Williams, 27, who brought her 5-year-old daughter, Leila Steelman, for a checkup, said she was grateful for the free services.

Williams' other daughter, 3-month-old Lisa, has been in intensive care for blocked bowels since birth. Williams' husband, who works in construction, struggles to find work in the slumped housing market.

The family, from Melbourne, is staying at the Ronald McDonald House near St. Joseph's Hospital. In a couple of weeks, Leila will start kindergarten at the nearby Gorrie Elementary.

"This is really, really nice," Williams said of the fair. "I know it helps a lot of people."

• • •

At the shoe-and-sock giveaway station, 12-year-old Jonathan Wenzel showed off his new camouflage-patterned backpack. He picked that design in honor of his 3-year-old brother, Cameron, whose nickname is Camo.

"He's having a great day," said his mom, Lori Wenzel.

Wenzel said it was a relief not to worry about buying school supplies. "Especially the way income is, nowadays," she said.

She said her husband, John, works as a foreman for a commercial refrigeration company, and she stays at home with Cameron to save on day care.

Jonathan Wenzel only needed one shot, but "he was pretty brave," his mom said.

"It was horrible!" disputed Jonathan.

At least one kid didn't seem bothered by the shots. Five-year-old Daniel Exiga, who is about to start kindergarten, gave his mom, Maria Exiga, a toothy smile as she marched him over to the immunization station.

Was he scared? "No," he grinned. He bounced in his chair as a nurse filled up her syringe. His mom put her arm around him. He kept smiling.

Then came the prick. And the wince. And the tears.

"Awww, it's okay. It's over," Maria Exiga told little Daniel.

He looked at his arm, back at his mom, and went right back to smiling.

Kim Wilmath can be reached at kwilmath@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2442.

Hillsborough kids get checkups, shots at back-to-school fair 08/14/10 [Last modified: Saturday, August 14, 2010 8:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Editorial: Turn the heat up on AC problem in Hillsborough schools

    Editorials

    Hillsborough County School District students do not want to hear that their buildings are decrepit. They do not want to hear that Florida's legislators are complicit. All they want to hear is the sweet sound of a classroom air conditioner kicking in at full power. Anything less creates uncomfortably hot classrooms and …

    Superintendent Jeff Eakins and the current Hillsborough County School Board did not create this air conditioning mess, but they own it now.
  2. Man in bunny mask part of trio that breaks into Odessa McDonald's to haul away ATM

    Crime

    ODESSA — A man in a bunny mask and two also-masked accomplices broke into a McDonald's early Wednesday, hoisted an automatic teller machine into a stolen minivan, then dumped the ATM and the van into a pond, deputies say.

    Three masked men, including one in a bunny mask, broke into an Odessa McDonald's early Wednesday and stole the ATM.
 [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Plan your weekend Aug. 25-27: Craig Morgan, Wearable Art 13, SNL's Pete Davidson, Rodeo Fest

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    USF

    Pete Davidson: Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson will headline this year's University of South Florida Round-Up Comedy Show, a back-to-school tradition at USF. Expect to hear about his recent trip to rehab, since he's known for his confessional …

    The 12th annual Wearable art Fashion Show was held at the Dunedin Fine Art Center on Saturday evening, August 27, 2016.
DAVID W DOONAN | Special To The Times
  4. Richard Corcoran takes aim at public financing of campaigns

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, may not be running for governor — not yet anyway — but his latest idea will get the attention of those who are.

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes, is proposing an end to public financing of campaigns. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  5. Jeb Bush on the 'most ridiculous example of political correctness in history'

    Blogs

    Jeb Bush on ESPN's decision to pull commentator Robert Lee from a football broadcast at the University of Virginia.