Reporting Brian New
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The death of nationally syndicated radio show host David “Kidd” Kraddick came as a surprise to many, but those who knew him well said it should come as no surprise he died raising money for his charity.
Radio may have been Kraddick’s career but his passion was Kidd’s Kids – a charity he started more than twenty years ago when, according to his foundation’s website, he took five chronically-ill children to Sea World in San Antonio.
With donations from his listeners, Kidds’ Kidds quickly grew. Singer Tim Halperin, a top 12 male from Season 10 of American Idol, sings for the charity every year and expressed his grief in the video clip below.
In a few years, Kidds’ Kids was taking 50 chronically-ill or disabled children and their families every year on an all-expense paid trip to Disney World.
Chris Rice, now 20-years-old, was one of the children selected. He has cerebral palsy and has outlived what many doctors told his family would be his life expectancy.
By the time he was eight-years-old, when he went on the trip, Rice had undergone dozens of surgeries.
His mother, Gina Rice, said they would have never been able to afford a trip like this on their own.
“It was something I know I would never be able to give him – ever,” she said with tears in her eyes. “It was a special, special time.”
The Rice family said what made the trip memorable was Kraddick. He was there with the children during the whole week.
Gina Rice recalled Kraddick personally introducing himself to every child.
“He gets on that planes and he is doing cartwheels down the aisle. We had a big pillow fight on the plane,” she said. “He’s just a big kid at heart.”
“He made the trip. He really made the trip.”
On the last day on his trip, Kraddick interviewed Rice live on his morning radio show.
Since then Rice, like many of Kidds’ Kids, had stayed in touch with his favorite radio host.
Kraddick hosted reunions, invited Rice back to the studio, and sent him Christmas cards.
Chris’ mother said Kraddick never forgot her son – much like the hundreds of kids Kraddick helped will never forgot him.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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