Hello my name is Presley Gravatt I am a senior at Fresno State University. I am working towards an Agriculture Communications degree. I come from a family with a dairy and love being outside working with farm animals. However I also love to get all dolled up for my part time job of selling Jewelry and making ladies feel beautiful. I am excited for this opportunity to put in some hours of work with the Central Valley Ronald McDonald House. I am new to blogging but looking forward to finding fun, affordable, family weekends for you and share on this site…Enjoy!!!
4th Annual Walk With Me Event
Easter Seals 4th Annual Walk With Me is a national fundraising event to raise awareness and support for families living with disabilities. Both individual walkers and teams can expect a morning of excitement and fun. Including free rides on Fresno Fire Department’s antique fire engine at the Resource Fair. Wear your running, or walking, shoes!
2-Mile Walk $15
5K Run $25
Kids under 12 are free
*Early registration giveaways!
Sierra Vista Mall
1050 Shaw Ave.
Clovis, CA, 93612
Saturday, Sep 27
135 to The House
135 MILES that is!!! Last year four runners decided to run from Bakersfield to Madera and raised nearly $10,000 for the two towns Ronald McDonald Houses. This Saturday they will be doing it again and joined by other relay teams to make the 135-mile run from Bakersfield to Madera. They will start Saturday at 5am from the Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House, located by Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, and will complete this Ultra Marathon Sunday at the Central Valley Ronald McDonald House here in Madera. Come cheer on the individuals running for our charity and enjoy a free BBQ at the Central Valley Ronald McDonald House in Madera around noon once the runners arrive. Click here to view course map runners will be following
RMHC – Central Valley
9161 Randall Way
Madera, CA 93636-8773
Saturday September 27th through Sunday September 28th
Race Saturday 5am- Sunday noon
BBQ at noon
Visalia Farmers Market
The Visalia’s Certified Farmers Market will be taking place this Saturday. All locally grown from the heart of California’s Central Valley. This event celebrates our region’s rich agricultural history and supports our local farmers. This market will provide you with a wide selection of locally produce and handmade products. All booths will proudly accept WIC Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers and EBT. Bring your whole family and enjoy this healthy community event.
Corner of Mooney and Caldwell Ave
Free parking in Sears Parking lot
Saturday September 27th
Rain or Shine
Gluten Free & Wellness Expo
The Gluten Free and Wellness Expo is happening this Saturday! Come taste and shop Gluten Free and local foods. This day will be packed with great information from educational speakers to watching cooking demonstrations. You will be able to learn personal wellness along with learning how to maintain a Gluten Free Diet. I encourage you to bring a canned food item or donation for the Ronald McDonald House and learn more about what they do for sick kids and their families.
*Goodie bags given to the first 300 guests!
650 W Shaw Avenue
Fig Garden Village
Fresno, California 93704
Saturday September 27th
AUCTION ITEMS AND RAFFLES PRIZES
- Joe Montana signed, framed and matted photo and card set
-Dan Marino signed, framed and matted panoramic photo set
-60″ Flat Screen TV
-Authentic Pete Rose signed Baseball Bat
-Eric Dickerson signed football
- Julius Irving signed, framed and matted 76ers photo
-Jerry Rice signed, framed and matted 49er’s Jersey
-Magic Johnson and Matt Kemp signed, framed and matted 20×30 photo
-Shaquille O’neal Game Issued signed, framed and matted 5′ Tall Los Angeles Laker Jersey
-Lucille Ball Desi ARnez framed & signed checks (I Love Lucy)
-Large Pop Corn Machine
-Marcus Allen signed football
-Round for 4 at San Joaquin Country Club
-Taylor Made 3 Wood Club
-Round for 4 at Fort Washington Country Club with Pro Golfer Michael Weaver
Second golfer to ever play at Masters, Palmer Cup, U.S. Open and Walker Cup in same calendar
year in 2013
-4 Tickets to San Francisco 49ers Game
-Spider Man Poster signed by Stan Lee
-Dan Marino Panoramic signed photo set
- Dodger infield (Russell, Cey, Lopes & Garvey) 20×30 framed & signed piece
-Bill Russell signed ring photo
-Cowboys highlights signed photo
-Willie Mays “The Catch” signed, framed and matted photo
-Cargill Beef Authentic Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Signed NASCAR Hood
-Ricky Stenhouse Jr #6 Retro Large Diecast Car
-Trevor Bayne #6 Diecast Car
BWA NASCAR Fire Suit
-RiverPark Golf Center 4 Free Rounds of Golf
-Lots of great gift cards and more goodies!
-Two round trip tickets with a destination of your choice provided by Southwest Airlines
-An overnight stay in an Ocean Front Suite at Hallmark Resort in Newport, OR
-Dinner and Two night stay at the Pine Inn and II Fornaio Restaurant in Carmel, CA
- One night stay and brunch at Dolphin Bay Resort in Pismo Beach, CA
- Two tickets to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
-Take a ride through Yosemite on the Sugar Pine Railroad for 4
-White water rafting for 4 on the Stanislaus River with Sunshine Rafting
-Family 4 pack to tour the USS Midway Museum and Flight Simulator
-Holiday portraits including the sitting fee for your Christmas cards photos
-2 Tickets to the San Francisco Ballet Co
SPA & HEALTH
-Laser Hair Removal by Body Del Sol
-3 Vershape Treatments by Athenix Body Sculpting Institute
-Get fit with boot camp sessions provided by Jennifer Alcorn
-A special gift from Estancia Spa
-A gift certificate to train at Fitness Social
-Dentist Teeth Whitening treatments
FOR THE KIDS
-Family 4 pack to Blackbeard’s and Boomers for a weekend of fun with the family
-An hour of party entertainment by Bubbles the Clown
WINE AND DINE
-Local wine from Chateau Lasgoity
-Enjoy a tour, tasting for 6 and a bottle of Tinta Port from Ficklin Vineyards
-A VIP tour of J Lohr followed my tasting for 8 and 20% your purchase
-Tasting and Appetizers for 6 at Milla Vineyards
-Two cases of wine provided by the Wine Group
-Fleming’s gift certificate
-Golf four 4 including your golf cart at Copper River Country Club
-Brand new digital camera and photo package from Horn Photo
-A brand new bike from Steven’s Bicycle
-Browning Hunting Knife
….AND SO MUCH MORE!
“We never knew my daughter had any problems, you look at her and you see a normal two year old,” said Ashly Cardoza two days after her baby had open heart surgery.
Rylee Campos seemed like a normal two year old; playful, happy, and cranky at times. After their pediatrician told them he was worried about her weight (she’s two years old and weighs 21 pounds) and heard what he thought might be an innocent heart murmur, he suggested they take a trip to Children’s Hospital Central California.
“When we came in for the sonogram, I kept thinking the doctor’s would tell me everything looked fine and she was going to be ok.”
Instead they found that Rylee’s pulmonary veins on the right side of her heart were pumping abnormally and there was a hole in her heart, her lungs were being heavily over worked. Her case is very rare; she would need to have open heart surgery before the age of 5. The doctor’s told her the sooner the better. On Tuesday, September 2 Rylee went into surgery. They stayed here, at the Ronald McDonald House, Monday night to prepare for the 5 am surgery.
“It was so helpful to get to wake up and be so close. I kept telling her that she was going to go see her friends in the hospital.”
As they headed to the hospital Ashly felt numb, she wasn’t sure how to react to what was about to happen.
“It finally hit me when they started wheeling her in – they are going to cut into my baby’s chest.”
The surgery took 8 hours. Doctors told her everything went perfectly and two days later she is doing great. Ashly is very thankful to the staff at Children’s Hospital Central California and the Central Valley Ronald McDonald House.
On Wednesday night she decided to stay in Rylee’s room with her incase she woke up in the middle of the night. While she was going through procedures, Ashly and her husband Justin came to use our Day Room to shower, do laundry, and just be able to breathe easily.
“The day room here helped so much. We got to come relax, take a shower and I got to do laundry. Don’t get me wrong I WANT to be by my daughter but even the doctor said it is good for me to step away for a little bit and rest.”
If everything goes according to plan their family should be heading home on Sunday. Ashly and her husband were both able to take a break from their positions at Tachi Palace to make sure they are able to care for their daughter at home.
*We will keep you posted with updates about their journey, but for now the family is resting and ready to go home early next week.
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read our latest news. We’re approaching the busiest months our organization faces each year.
Our 3rd Annual Fore the House Golf Tournament is just around the corner with 1 foursome currently available for purchase. If you’d like to participate, please click here to sign up. We hope to see you at Fort Washington Country Club on October 6th!
The much anticipated 8th Annual Red Heart Ball is nearing and we cannot wait to let you experience the incredible event. We’ve got many surprises for you and are thankful for the donors who have already purchased their sponsorships. If you’d like to find out more, click here to purchase tickets, donate silent auction items, or ask questions about the event. We hope to see you on November 8th!
Everyday our House is full with 18 families, our Day Room is used by 2 or 3 families, and our Meals of the Heart Program is giving at least 16 meals to families at Children’s Hospital Central California.
All of that SUPPORT happens because you understand it’s value and you trust us with your time and money. Thank you for your trust and thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve our families.
When you come from a large family, often the holidays get a little overwhelming trying to accommodate everyone’s schedule without offending the new inlaws, travel times and general logistics. So last Thanksgiving I decided to open my home to family, friends, and in-laws the week before Thanksgiving so every one could be together without the added stress of eating two meals and rushing around. My daughter’s and I referred to it as Fakesgiving. It was one of the best we’ve had.
This freed me up to do something different on actual Thanksgiving. As I’ve done in the past, I decided it would be to make a dinner for the families staying at the local Ronald McDonald House. My daughter, Hannah works as their Development Manager and has shared hundreds of stories about the families they host. Being a parent, I couldn’t imagine having a child in the hospital and being away from home. I planned my shopping list, enlisted the help of my daughter and her friend, and we went to work the day before and got up early to prepare the dinner for 50-60. Working in someone else’s kitchen is always full of guess work but we managed to pull it off without too many glitches.
As the families started to trickle into the common area of the house, you could sense their hesitation but also read the little bit of relief on their faces as they smelled the familiar aroma of roast turkey and gravy. The first woman who I greeted was from Minnesota, and was curious to know if she could make a plate for later after she had visited her daughter. I went to get some foil for her and went about the business of greeting the other guests and refilling platters of food.
As I was refilling one of the dessert plates, I noticed a family with a small toddler and they looked as if they had been injured and were sitting away from the other guests so I went over to welcome them. I sat with their little guy Enrique while they dished up their meal. In the course of our visit, they told me that they had been in a bad car accident the evening before while traveling to their parents. Their son and daughter had both been injured in the accident and one of them had been airlifted while the other traveled by ambulance with his mom. These sweet parents hadn’t had a minute of sleep since the day before, had two seriously injured children next door in the hospital, and were trying to keep little Enrique content. The tired Momma from Minnesota returned later for her meal and I brought her a much needed cup of coffee. She asked me if I worked there, and I explained that my daughter did and that she motivated me to volunteer. She told me the story of her daughter; a seventeen year old visiting her seventh hospital because she was born without a stomach. Talk about a reality check for me.
As I was cleaning up some of my pots and dishes I had brought from home, Enrique’s mother came back into the kitchen. Grabbing my hand she thanked me and said that our dinner and welcoming atmosphere were the best thing that had happened for her family in weeks. And then I cried. Walking out to load up the car, I saw my daughter talking to the Mom from Minnesota (I’m mad I forgot her name) and she was giving her a little package with toothbrush, toothpaste, soap etc. so that she could have it with her at the hospital for her long day. And then I cried again!
What started out as a gesture of kindness, turned into one of the best Thanksgiving memories for me.
Those simple human connections are one of the best gifts I have received. Thank you Ronald McDonald House.
If you’d like to volunteer visit: http://www.rmhccv.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer
As we continue to look for ways to accommodate the many needs of our current and future families, we ask for your support and input.
If you’re a past family or have stayed at another Ronald McDonald House, we’d love to hear from you. What did you love about the way we operated? What could we improve on? What did another chapter do that made you feel taken care of? Any feedback is welcome. We can’t get better without your help! Please send us an email or call with any ideas you have.
Contact: 559.447.6793 or Info@RMHCcv.org
We’re currently experiencing the calm before the storm as we’re getting ready to roll into our busy season full of fundraising events. Your attendance and support of those events is key in their success. We’re always looking for new corporate partners and innovative ways to honor their support. If your business is looking to expand it’s community involvement, we’ve got opportunities for you and can even create something tailored to your goals.
Contact: Alicia@RMHCcv.org for more information. She’ll be happy to connect with you.
Lastly, I couldn’t wait to share the below video with you (click on the photo to watch). You probably remember the incredible story the Whitaker Family shared with us earlier. If you read it and followed them here, you know their miracle baby, Eva, came into the world weighing just over a pound. The family, from Visalia, stayed with us, for the majority of their journey and last weekend, finally got to return home. It was our pleasure and gift to be alongside The Whitaker’s the last four months and we were able to because of your support.
Thank you for allowing us to be there for The Whitaker’s and families just like them.