Kenneth ‘Ken’ Rice

Ken Rice

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month. And while Spaulding has many valued volunteers, we would like to highlight Kenneth “Ken” Rice and acknowledge his nine years of service on Spaulding for Children’s Board of Directors.

At the end of 2023, Ken Rice stepped off the Board after relocating to another state. He has served the board since 2014 during which time he also served as Board Secretary and served on the Executive Committee.

Ken learned about Spaulding as a member of the Detroit Area Wendy’s Franchisee Owners. Wendy’s restaurants support adoption through the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a nonprofit public charity dedicated to finding forever families for the more than 140,000 children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States and Canada.

The Foundation provides funding and establishes partnerships with organizations like Spaulding for Children to support the hiring of adoption recruiters who implement an evidence-based, child-focused recruitment model. A rigorous, five-year national evaluation revealed that children referred to the program are up to three times more likely to be adopted.

Ken cites the events he and his team at Wendy’s hosted as among his proudest accomplishments. The restaurant donated space, food and games to matched families who attended community outings with children/youth in the WWK (Wendy’s Wonderful Kids) program. Over the five years of the partnership, eleven children/youth were adopted.  It was at one of these outings that Ken met a young man whom he mentored for many years, even continuing after he aged out of foster care.

Even though Ken left Wendy’s and now serves as Chief Operating Officer of Pickleman’s Franchising in Missouri, he continued to support Spaulding. He successfully secured support and a generous gift from Pickleman’s for the Inaugural Spaulding Scramble in 2022. To find out more about Pickleman’s Franchising, go to or visit to check out their menu.

Ken’s commitment to support adoption is real and personal. He was adopted and he and his wife adopted a daughter. Ken says: “I share the belief with Spaulding and the late Dave Thomas, that every child deserves a loving family in a forever home. Everything I did with Spaulding goes to that end.”

When asked what he would say to someone asking if they should also volunteer with Spaulding, Ken replied:

“There are a lot of great charities. Spaulding deals with some of the most vulnerable. They might be at-risk youth, or those with mental, developmental, and emotional challenges. You can help connect them with parents where they can feel, maybe for the first time, that they are part of a loving family. That’s when I see God’s hand at work.”

Thank you, Ken, for all you have done with and for the families Spaulding serves.