-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.
On August 4th Chelsee Gooler and her daughter Alyssa, head from their room here, at the Ronald McDonald House, to the hospital to hold her baby for the first time.
In January 2014, Chelsee was given news that her unborn baby was diagnosed with a Diaphragmatic Hernia (he would have a large hole is his diaphragm) as well as omphalocele (he would be born with his liver outside of his body), and was originally given a 10% chance of surviving birth. Unable to deal with these odds, she found a specialist in Fresno that was able to give her hope. On July 1st she gave birth to Parker-James Kenneth Gooler at Fresno Community Medical Center where more complications arrived. Parker-James’ lungs were so small they were almost non existent. Her baby was on a minute to minute basis. In mid-July, he needed to be transferred to Children’s Hospital Central California to receive even more specialized treatment; however, the transportation proposed big risks.
Chelsee and her family didn’t know what to do, so it was in a local hotel room that they got the call that her son had flat lined. The twenty minutes it took her to get to the hospital will never be given back. She remembers barely being able to sit still in the car for those precious minutes. As she rushed to her baby, she saw his body lifeless. As she reached out to hold his hand, her miracle baby squeezed back. For a split second, Parker-James opened his eyes to let her know he was going to be ok.
It was then; she vowed to never stay that far away from him. She camped out in the hospital waiting rooms so she could be there, available around the clock. When a social worker told her about the Ronald McDonald House next door, we were full with a waiting list; however, our Day Room was available. Our Day Room allows families to rest, shower, have a meal or nap for up to 8 hours a day. Chelsee, her 10year old daughter Alyssa, and her father Kenneth used our Day Room twice before being able to check in to a guest room.
“I was so relieved, the first night we got to stay here; I actually got to rest, and that was really helpful. There was actually food in the kitchen so we didn’t have to eat cafeteria food.”
Parker-James was born with his intestines floating up into his chest cavity, which pushed his heart over and crowded out his lung development. This created hypertension in his lungs which gave them no room to develop.
On Wednesday, July 30th, the doctors were scheduled to perform surgery to move his heart, stomach and intestines back and to seal his diaphragm. As the planned hour and a half long surgery extended to almost four, the family got worried, but when the doctors came out they gave Chelsee news that nearly brought her to her knees. They said that Parker-James was recovering and they were surprised at how well he was doing.
“After the surgery, it was so nice to come back to the House where volunteers had made dinner. We got to relax for a little while and not have to worry about where our meal was going to come from.”
After they ate together, the three of them headed back to the hospital where nurses surprised them with great news. Parker-James miraculously was wide awake after all the medication he had been given. This was a huge step forward for him.
“Parker means keeper of the park or keeper of the unit, and I really feel like he has brought my family together, and James is from my favorite section of the Bible, James 2:17, it means without action, faith is meaningless. Kenneth means warrior and that’s exactly what he is; my miracle baby.
They know they have a long road ahead, but Chelsee manages to tell her story with a smile on her face, because she knows her baby boy will continue to defy the odds. Alyssa will be starting 5th grade independent study in a few weeks and is excited to see her baby brother grow.
It’s our gift to be able to keep this family close so that Parker-James can be healed and return home. We get that incredible gift because of your support.
From the Gooler Family and from all of us, thank you.
- August 9, 2014 – Rock The Pantry
Boomers - Fresno, Ca | 10a-2p | Hosted by our ALLSTAR volunteer Arie (her second year planning the event)
She saw a need within our pantries and now each summer gets that need met. Bring your family to
Boomers with pantry items (canned food, nonperishable, cereals, snack bars, anything easy to make) and enjoy a free concert and fun! Info@RMHCcv.org for more information.
August 9, 2014 – Fig Fest
Whole Foods - Fresno, Ca | 9a-1p | Proceeds of Beer Garden Benefit RMHC Central Valley
Savor gourmet food samples, extraordinary wines and craft brew from Central California’s best chefs, food purveyors, winemakers and breweries.
For more information visit http://www.californiafigs.com/figfest14
- September 27-28, 2014 – 135 To The House Benefit Run
Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House – RMHC Central Valley | 12p | David Thull and Ultra Runners
For two years, David Thull has organized a 135 mile run from the Ronald McDonald House in Bakersfield, CA to our House in Madera, CA. Relay teams and solo runners will complete this run from Saturday – Sunday.
Join us Sunday, 9/28 for a BBQ at the finish line. For more information visit facebook.com/micasarun
- October 6, 2014 – 3rd Annual Fore the House Golf Tournament
Fort Washington Country Club -Fresno, Ca | 7:30a | Hosted by Cargill and presented by WDS.
Now one of our largest fundraisers of the year. Enjoy a VIP round of golf, $75 to the Taylormade PRO shop, local drinks and food, and the chance to spend a day networking and raising funds for our mission. Sponsorship opportunities
- October 10, 2014 – Red Stripe Crawl
Fresno’s Tower District, Downtown Visalia and Downtown Merced
STAY TUNED FOR MORE INFORMATION
- October 26, 2014 – Color Me Rad
Woodward Park – Fresno, Ca | 7a | Have you gotten rad yet? If not, you need to sign up today.
A fun 5k that leaves you looking like a piece of art. Use code: RMHRAD2014 and get 10% off of registration and automatically donate 15% to us. Register here
- November 8, 2014 – 8th Annual Red Heart Ball
Fresno Convention Center – Fresno, Ca | Hosted bar 5-6p, dinner, dancing, live auction, 6-11p. If you’ve never gone to this event, you should put it on your calendar now. Marie Wilson kept our 500 guests on the dance floor until the lights came off! Get your date, your dancing shoes, your fancy gowns, and your masks ready for an unforgettable evening. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities here.
If you’d like more information about any of the events above, contact us and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can! Alicia@RMHCcv.org