Magic. That’s exactly what dozens of children with learning differences and their peers in the Best Buddies program experienced during a dream vacation to Disney World and Universal Orlando in Florida. Randall Reed, owner of Randall Reed’s Planet Ford in Humble (also serving Kingwood, Atascocita, Aldine and greater Houston area), along with his family and numerous Reed support staff members were thrilled to sponsor and be part of a truly special adventure for some very special children.
For many, this was their first vacation, their first plane trip, and their first roller coaster ride. For one mom, it was a first to see her son spontaneously hug someone – one of his favorite beloved childhood characters. It was one of many heart-touching and memorable moments. The trip was a life-changing experience that the Reed family, Planet Ford team and Best Buddies will always remember.
“Sherry (wife), Shelby (daughter) and I had an amazing weekend at Disney and Universal with the Best Buddies from Humble, Texas,” said Mr. Reed. “We want to thank all the chaperones and Reed support team for making this one memorable experience for these great kids.”
June 12th-17th, students from the Best Buddies chapter at Kingwood Park High School (KPHS) took in the sights and sounds of the Disney World theme parks and Universal Orlando. From Space Mountain at Disney to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal, the Reeds, Best Buddies, their teachers and families enjoyed two days at each park. The Reeds rode all the rides with the students. One of the Best Buddies, Jake Townsend, rode many of the rides with Mr. Reed and his family. “Jake was a great buddy. He did a really good job of keeping me calm on all of the really scary rides,” Mr. Reed said.
In the evening, the excitement didn’t stop. The kids enjoyed marshmallow roasts and s’mores outside their Disney Wilderness Lodge cabins. They had a huge, family-style barbecue with celebrity guests on hand, including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and various other Disney characters.
The Reed family, Planet Ford and various donors contributed to create this fairytale journey. “Thanks to all the contributors and Chuck Kramer, partner at Randall Reed’s Planet Ford in Humble, for making this weekend possible. You all rock!” said Mr. Reed.
“Our team at Planet Ford is so happy that we were able to help make this wonderful wish a reality,” said Mr. Kramer, General Manager/Operating Partner. “Everyone worked hard, including the students, and it paid off. They had a blast and will have life-long memories that they will forever cherish.”
Typically, these students, who have intellectual or developmental disabilities, are unable to go on school trips without their parents due to their special needs. Not only did all of the children, chaperones and family members receive hotel, airfare and tickets to the parks; Mr. Reed provided each child with mementos, from custom keepsakes and T-shirts to autograph books.
This trip was the result of the Reed’s memorable and moving visits to the Best Buddies program in Humble, Texas. “These families rarely, if ever, have the time or resources to take a vacation together, much less to a place as magical as Disney,” Mrs. Reed said.
“It really is all about the magic,” said Mr. Reed. “We are thankful to be part of the journey, but there are no more roller coaster rides are in my future,” he joked. “Fifteen was enough!”
For more information on the Best Buddies program, you can visit their global website here or check out the Kingwood Park H.S. Best Buddies program on Facebook. Check out Planet Ford’s website for great savings on a Ford or updated information regarding community events.