Happy Father’s Day to the amazing DADS in our community!
We are sending a heartfelt shout out to the new dads, experienced dads, granddads, dads-in-law, stepdads, like-a-dads, and especially all the dads of individuals with Down syndrome.
We’d also like to take this opportunity to highlight one particular super dad in the DS community: Pat Craddock.
I’ve gotten to know Pat a little bit during his 7-year-old son, Ian’s, weekly math tutoring sessions at the Playhouse. Most Saturdays, while Ian works 1:1 with his tutor, you will find Pat sitting on a couch in the family room next to his eldest son, Keegan, while Keegan devours Calvin & Hobbs comic books, or they battle each other at the ping pong and foosball tables. During Open Play on the 4th Saturday of every month, Pat chats with other families and shares meaningful stories and resources to parents of younger kids with Down syndrome.
This is how I learned about the TRI-21 Project.
Pat is the CFO of Griffin Claw Brewing Company and has been working in the brewing industry for 8+ years. After receiving Ian’s Down syndrome diagnosis, Pat asked himself,
“How can I tap into this incredible industry filled with awesome people to raise awareness for Down syndrome?”
Pat thought of GiGi’s Playhouse, which he wrote, “provided a support network for not only Ian my wife and I, but also for thousands of families and individuals with Down syndrome.” Thus, came his idea for the TRI-21 Project; A worldwide, open-ended beer collaboration created to raise awareness for individuals with Down syndrome, and raise support for GiGi’s Playhouse.
Pat helped create the recipe for a New England IPA and called it “TRI-21” after Trisomy 21, the genetic condition resulting from having 3 copies of the 21st chromosome, aka Down syndrome. Pat designed the recipe to mirror this concept, and then helped develop a website and marketing materials to share with all the breweries in the world. Any brewery can use the name, recipe, artwork, and marketing tools, and Pat simply asks that a portion of the proceeds go to a local GiGi’s Playhouse or the GiGi’s National HQ.
So far, 27 breweries from 12 states and 4 countries have participated, including the US, Mexico, Brazil, and France!
Pat wrote, “As much as this is about raising money, this is an opportunity to connect with a local organization that is doing remarkable work in your community that you may have never heard about.”
In preparation for this Father’s Day post, I reached out to Pat’s lovely wife, Amber, to hear her perspective. Amber beamed, “Pat is for sure an amazing Dad. He has never missed an opportunity to use his business and connections to raise awareness and support for the various Down syndrome organizations we’ve been part of over the years. He works so hard but always finds time to do special things with his boys, whether it’s taking a trip to The Toledo Zoo just so Ian can see the elephants, or taking Keegan for lunch dates. They think the world of him.”We are so happy to have this beautiful family in our community.
We hope Pat and all fathers of kids with Down syndrome are being celebrated “a little something extra” today.