I recently got a message from one of our ambassadors, Mary Kurek, letting me know that one of the companies she works with wanted to talk to me about a possible co-marketing opportunity. I am always hesitant when I am offered to work with new companies that I am not familiar with, but I eventually listened to what they were offering. The company is CTA Digital, a gaming company that makes accessories for gaming platforms like the Wii, X-Box, etc. They were running this promotion where they would invite one young “gamer” out to Los Angeles for three days to demonstrate their newest “gadget” at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Not being personally familiar with this sort of thing, this meant little to me but it is HUGE to anyone associated with gaming. Anyway the company was looking for us to help promote this event. Immediately I thought of one of our heroes. 8-year-old Ricky Springer races go-karts to raise awareness and funding for the disease he suffers from. (I recently blogged about Ricky and his condition here.) I couldn’t think of anyone better to do this. I was thrilled to learn that Ricky and his family agreed to do it, and the folks at CTA were also generous enough to give BOTH charities a significant donation, in addition to paying their expenses. Thanks so much Mary for helping us make that connection, and for convincing me to listen to you. And also thank you to CTA, not only for the donations but for giving Ricky a wonderful new platform to spread awareness for his cause.
Besides what this partnership means to Kids Are Heroes and CTA, I really want Ricky to be able to enjoy this. He deserves to just be a kid for once. Because of his disease he has never flown before, as many more complications that you would never think of enter into the equation. His mom related to me just this morning that she will have to get special permission to take his special formula on board the airplane, as it cannot be checked and he must have it. She told me that he cannot even have regular Tylenol, that he must get a special kind so she is grateful that CTA put her up in a hotel next to a Trader Joe’s, which is a store she can readily purchase the special things that Ricky requires. I smile when I think of the wonder in his eyes as he enters the expo seeing all the huge displays and new devices. Knowing how much he has suffered in his life at such a young age, I am excited to hear about all the fun he will have, being the star of the show demonstrating CTA’s latest technologies. If you plan to be at the Expo meet Ricky in person at CTA’s booth which is #4500.
UPDATE 5/29: Up until now I have been unable to tell you what it is exactly that Ricky will be demonstrating. Now that the press release has been issued I can tell you. Ricky will get to demonstrate CTA Digital’s brand new Inflatable Race Kart for Wii!! That is one of the main reasons that Ricky is so perfect for this opportunity. And let me tell you how excited he is to be one of the first kids to try it out. CTA is really happy to have him as their ambassador for this event.
So Ricky now has a schedule that rivals many other jet-setters. From June 15-17th he will be in Los Angeles at the Expo, only to return to racing the following weekend. Then the week after that he and his family will pack up the car and head to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for Kids Are Heroes Day at Boyd’s Bear Country on June 26th. We really look forward to meeting he and his family at that time.