A girl named Lily explains what Kidd Kraddick meant to her

Lily Colonnese

Credit: WFAA

Two years ago, Lily Colonnese — then suffering from painful bone tumors — was selected to be one of Kidd's Kids and go on the trip of a lifetime.

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on July 28, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 29 at 12:11 PM

Nobody will remember radio personality Kidd Kraddick like the kids — and parents — he helped with his charity, Kidd's Kids.

For all of the tributes paid to Kidd Kradick this weekend, perhaps none is more meaningful than the simple words of nine-year-old Lily Colonnese, who was born premature and has painful bone tumors.

"Thank you, and I love you."

Two years ago, Lily was one of the 50 children selected for Kraddick's annual trip to Disney World.

Everything for the families who go is taken care of financially. 

"I finally got to meet Ariel, my favorite princess," Lily said.

Her family said the memories were all thanks to the vision of one man.

"He was a good guy, a great guy, who did a lot for my family," Gary Colonnese said through tears.

But it wasn't just one family, or one trip. The Kraddick Foundation has touched countless young souls suffering from chronic illness.

The trip was the highlight of the charity. 

"There are no hospitals, no nothing... just joy," Gary Colonnese said. "Everything is thought of, everything is covered from start to finish."

Colonnese was actually supposed to be in New Orleans this weekend, helping at the charity golf tournament where Kraddick spent his final hours on Saturday.

Family obligations kept him home, but he said Kraddick's enduring legacy will be that of a man who tried to help children above all else. 

Lily read a handwritten note that has special meaning to her:

"To Lily: You are a rock star. Love, Kidd Kraddick."

A number of other Kidd's Kids families reached out to News 8 on Sunday through Facebook.

An impromptu memorial outside Kraddick's studio in Las Colinas continued to grow Sunday night, with flowers, candles, balloons and messages.

An August 15 benefit concert for Kidd's Kids will go on as planned at the House of Blues in Dallas.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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