NEW BRAUNFELS — While radio personality Kidd Kraddick had only one biological child, he really had hundreds of "kids" who were served by his charity.
Seven-year-old Rowan Windam is one of those youngsters. He was with Kraddick hours before his death at Saturday's golf tournament in New Orleans benefiting his Kidd's Kids charity.
Seven-year-old Rowan Windam told us why he was there: "We went to raise money for Kidd's Kids."
To Rowan, Kidd Kraddick isn't a radio DJ; he's a role model. "He helped other kids go to Disney World, too, and I am, too."
Rowan has Schwachman-Diamond syndrome, a rare congenital disorder. He has spent most of his life on a feeding tube, and he's one of Kidd's Kids.
Rowan was at the golf tournament on Saturday, the day Kraddick suddenly died from heart failure.
The seven-year-old had raised $10,000 by selling lemonade, and was there to present Kidd with the check. It was his way of "paying it forward" — giving thanks to a man who had given him so much.
"You wouldn't want to be there when somebody dies, but he was with all these kids," Rowan's mother Carey said. "I don't think he would want to be anywhwere else, either."
Now — heartbroken but determined — little Rowan promises more.
"He helped a lot of people through Kidd's Kids. Now I am, because he died," Rowan said. "Now I'm taking his place until I go on to heaven with him."
Chili's is joining the effort to raise money for Kidd's Kids. On Thursday, the restaruant chain is donating 15 percent of every check to the non-profit that benefits terminally and chronically ill children.