The family of Central Hudson Gas & Electric employee David Schultz was recognized as Family of the Year by the Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley, for support of its critical mission. Schultz and his wife, Liz raised awareness and funds in support of Ronald McDonald House as a show of appreciation for the support they have received while their son, Jakob, is treated for a rare disorder.
The non-profit Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley is a 12-room extended stay facility located across from Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Westchester County. Its mission is to provide a support system for the parents and families of critically ill children. Funded in part by Ronald McDonald House Charities, McDonald’s Corporation and owner/operators of local McDonald’s restaurants, primary support comes from fundraising events, local grants, foundations, and the generosity of individuals.
“My family first learned of the Ronald McDonald House in 2014, when my son Jakob, then only 7 months old, fell ill with a rare mitochondrial disorder,” said Schultz. Living in Ulster County, the Schultzes found treatment for their son in Westchester County. He explained that during their son’s hospital stays, they are separated from their home, friends and family. Ronald McDonald House provides a base of support for them during these times, offering common household services that he said may seem trivial compared to the crisis itself, but without which they would be unable to focus full attention on their child’s care.
“Realizing how important a role the Ronald McDonald House played in our lives compelled us to take every opportunity we could to raise awareness of the benefit the Ronald McDonald House provides to the Hudson Valley,” said Schultz. He and his wife organized a team to participate in a fundraising event for the Ronald McDonald House at the Walkway Over the Hudson in 2018, with a pledge to dress as superheroes if their $5,000 fundraising goal was reached. Supported by family, friends and co-workers, the Schultzes raised $24,000, and fulfilled their promise to dress the part.
“The support that Ronald McDonald House has provided for our family over the past five years has been instrumental in allowing us to make sure that Jakob gets the best care available,” said Schultz. “Through his illness we have been thrust into a whirlwind of uncertainty; however, we are blessed that the Ronald McDonald House has been there to provide us some needed ‘certainties’ through their services.”
For more information on the Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley, visit .rmh-ghv.org.