A pair of Colorado children’s authors, Joseph Caldara and Curt Fulster, will be hold an author reading and book giveaway event at the Denver Ronald McDonald House on May 19. During the event, they’ll be reading from their books to the families staying at the house, speaking about their experiences as authors, and even giving away book copies.
The Ronald McDonald House is a charity organization affiliated with Children’s Hospital. Because there are only a small number of Children’s Hospitals in the country and each specializes in different treatments, families of hospitalized kids often travel from out-of-state or even out of the country. Like any other travelers, these families must take care of hotel reservations and costs, rental cars, food, gas, and a lot of other factors. Add to all that the fact that their children are receiving extensive medical treatments and you’ve got a recipe for extreme stress.
The RMH provides these families with a free place to stay, food, and even entertainment. That’s where Caldara and Fulster come in; they hope to give the Houses’ families a break from the continuous hospital visits and, hopefully, produce a few laughs and smiles.
There are two Ronald McDonald House’s in Colorado: the original house in downtown Denver and the newer house in Aurora. Caldara and Fulster visited the Aurora House on Saturday, May 12, at 6:30 p.m. They’ll be going to the Denver house at the same time on the 19th.
Joseph Caldara has worked with the House several times in the past. In 2006, he completed his Eagle Scout project for the Denver House by purchasing and assembling storage shelving units for its supply basement. The RMH, Caldara says, means a lot to him because he’s no stranger to the kind of circumstances many of the House’s families find themselves in. In 2000, Caldara’s baby cousin was diagnosed with brain cancer. The family spent more than a few sleepless nights at Children’s Hospital. More recently, a close friend of Caldara’s was also diagnosed with childhood brain cancer.
“I live in Colorado, so I never stayed at either of the Colorado Ronald McDonald Houses while my cousin was receiving cancer treatments,” Caldara says, ‘But when I learned about the House, I couldn’t help but think ‘I can’t imagine what it’d be like to go through this if I lived out-of-state.’”
This isn’t the first charity event Caldara and Fulster have participated in, either. In August 2017, the pair held a charity month during which they donated all their book sale profits to CURE Childhood Cancer and Canines for Disabled Kids. They make a good team; because their books are written for completely different audiences, the two authors have the ability to entertain a wider variety of children by working together. Curt Fulster writes children’s picture books under the name C. Fulsty Books, while Joseph Caldara writes the Bob and the Cyber-Llama series of adventure/comedy books for 5th through 9th-graders.
Having a kid in Children’s Hospital is no cakewalk, but it doesn’t have to be joyless all the time. Thanks to people like Joseph Caldara, Curt Fulster, the staff at the Aurora and Denver Houses, and dozens of other volunteers, many of these families have a lot more bright spots in their lives. If you’re looking for a place to volunteer your time, the Ronald McDonald House is an excellent choice.
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