Many good causes caught my attention on Colorado Gives Day but in the end I chose just one, in honor of a man whom I barely nodded to in life and came to admire in death.
I donated to Project Angel Heart because of the late Ellis McFadden, a community activist, selfless volunteer and “unwavering champion for equality” who died of throat cancer on July 5, 2015. He was 65.
His memorial service was held at Project Angel Heart, which delivers meals to improve the quality of life for those coping with life-threatening illness.
Although I had seen McFadden around the Capitol and at political events, I didn’t even know his name until 2013 when the Colorado Democratic Party honored him at its annual Jefferson Jackson dinner for his volunteer efforts. I mentioned him in an article about the event, but offered no details.
When McFadden was close to death, the legislature honored him as did Gov. John Hickenlooper, who issued a proclamation. Tributes poured in Facebook. That’s when I realized just how special he was.
“It will take an army of volunteers to fill his shoes,” Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver said at McFadden’s memorial service.