Dudley and Connie Fulton's relationship with CHKD began in tragedy. In 1985, they lost a newborn son soon after delivery. Though CHKD's transport team was called, little Barret passed away before they could arrive. Afterward, Connie considered volunteering in the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, but it was too soon; her emotions were still raw.
Instead, she joined the Beacon Circle of the King's Daughters to honor Barret's memory. What began as a mother's desire to make sense out of tragedy sparked a quarter century of service to Children's Hospital, now spanning generations.
"Looking back on it, Barret's passing ignited a passion in my family to help out," says the Fultons' eldest son, Justin. That passion has spread through the family like wildfire.
Dudley, executive vice president for USI Insurance Services, served on the board of Children's Health System from 1994 to 2005. "One thing I was left with," he says, "was the number of folks we treat who rely on Medicaid. Its financial impact on the institution gave me more resolve to stay involved on the fundraising side to help cover the shortfall."
Justin, a financial planner with Signature, has served on CHKD's Future Generations Board since its creation in 2009. Justin's wife, Laura, is a King's Daughters Circle by the Bay member, and their twin 1-year-old daughters are cared for at a CHKD pediatric practice.
Younger brother Chandler has participated in many RunWalk for the Kids races, and twin sisters Alexandra and Whitney are in The King's Daughters' Lafayette River Circle.
"Our children grew up knowing about our involvement with CHKD," Connie explains, "and it makes me proud that they would take that on as well. I look at CHKD as a family. I just feel like everyone is very loving and caring."
By including CHKD in their will, Dudley and Connie Fulton will share their passion for generations to come. "I wanted to have financial participation that would outlive me by helping the institution meet its valuable goals," Dudley says. "We are so blessed to have CHKD in this community."
"CHKD is such a unique asset and a treasure that giving should be a no-brainer," Justin adds. "Who knows whose life you might save."