$20 physicals help students, Booster Club

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— If you've filled your gas tank, shopped at the grocery store or gone to a movie recently, you know $20 doesn't go far in today's world.

But this week Dr. Jim Dudley and a group of physicians and physicians' assistants from Steamboat Medical Group will help middle school and high school students stretch their dollars a little farther.

Through Thursday, student athletes can get a physical for $20, reduced from the regular price of $49. The money will not end up in the doctor's pockets, however. Instead, the money will be given to the Steamboat Springs Booster Club to support next year's high school teams.

Last year, more than 200 students took advantage of the offer and generated $4,7000 for the Booster Club.

"It's a great program," said Richard Lee, Steamboat Springs High School athletics director. "One hundred percent of the money goes right back into the programs."

Dudley wouldn't have it any other way.

When he first started offering physicals to high school students more than 20 years ago, he wanted to do it for free. His father thought it was a mistake, because he didn't think the high school students (or their parents) would realize the value of the gift.

Dudley thought about it, and finally agreed to charge for the physicals -- with one important condition.

"I agreed to charge, but only if I could give the money back to the school," Dudley said.

This year, six other Steamboat physicians -- Steve Ross, Kristin B Wilson, David Williams, Louise Thielen and Tom Sachtleben -- will join Dudley. Several physician's assistants will also help, as well as parents who will help with check-in, phone answering, vision screening, copying and various other tasks to make the event run more smoothly.

The physicals offer student athletes an affordable way to meet a medical prerequisite for competing in school sports.

Students or their parents can make an appointment by calling Kate Parke at 871-3687. The exam is required to participate in school sports.

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