Using Badges to Realize Special-Needs Kids' Disney Dreams
The Kraddick Foundation didn’t seek out badging help from Diamond Business Services, Inc.
The Kraddick Foundation – started by nationally syndicated radio personality Kidd Kraddick – didn’t seek out badging help from Diamond Business Services, Inc. It was the other way around. A long-time listener of Kraddick’s morning radio show, which began in Dallas, Diamond Business Services president Charlia Pence was inspired after hearing a particularly heart-wrenching broadcast.
Kraddick spoke of his Foundation’s work with chronic and terminally ill children and funding an all-expense paid trip to Walt Disney World in Florida each year. The story tugged at the heartstrings of Pence, who has a healthy daughter that she adopted from Russia.
An Idea Becomes Reality
“He talked about these kids not having the same opportunities that healthy kids have,” says Pence. “I started thinking about the opportunities my daughter wouldn’t have if she had stayed where she had been born. I related to those kids a lot.” Pence then considered the difficulties of coordinating these special needs kids to the right buses and hotels – many of whom are in wheelchairs and travel with medical packs. Logistics are further complicated because the children’s parents and siblings, medical practitioners and foundation staff also attend the trip.
“Every year, about 50 families go on this trip to Disney World, and with medical and foundation staff, it’s about 400-500 people total. Plus the celebrities who entertain. That’s a lot of people to identify and keep track of,” says Pence. “I knew we could help.”
Pence contacted the radio station and was soon talking directly to Kraddick. The effort took off and Diamond Business Services began providing color-coded badges for individuals and buses – which included attendee and sponsor names – as well as color-coded lanyards to identify and coordinate everyone throughout the week. Diamond Business Services has been supporting the Kidd’s Kids trip to Disney World for the last 12 years.
“For a lot of these kids, this is as normal as it’s going to get,” says Pence. “It’s also really special for the siblings because so much of the family’s attention is on the special needs child. The entire family unit gets to escape from all that for the week.”
Dealing with an event of this size, with children who may or may not be well enough to attend, always presents some challenges. Last minute changes are common, and Diamond Business Services often overnights new badges to the foundation or hotel. Also, all of the foundation’s data has to be input manually.
“That’s all fine with us. We’re in this because we feel blessed to be able to help,” says Pence.
To print the badges, Diamond Business Services uses a Datacard card printer and Datacard identification software. Diamond Business Services chose that particular printer because they say it is extremely reliable, produces vibrant color cards and is the go-to technology for its in-house service bureau.
Kidd’s Legacy Lives On
Kidd Kraddick died suddenly mid-2013 of heart disease at one of his favorite events – the annual Kidd’s Kids golf tournament fundraiser in New Orleans. But his legacy and foundation live on. Kraddick’s daughter, Caroline, is now at the helm of the foundation and continues its mission. As one of the original partners to Kidd’s Kids, Diamond Business Services will also continue to donate its time, materials and enthusiasm to Kraddick Foundation events.