Prattville boy’s birthday saved by parading firefighters

Updated: Apr. 29, 2020 at 4:29 PM CDT
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PRATTVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - The shutdown brought about by the coronavirus pandemic has created two major problems for a 6-year-old boy’s mother. Now, thanks to the generosity of her local fire department, she’s solved one of them.

Prattville resident Shauna Henderson admits she’s a planner. Her little boy, Gavin, is very much into Sonic the Hedgehog and she’s had the theme for his birthday party in the planning stages for a while.

She already had the supplies, was going to make Sonic cupcakes, and even planned to rent out a section of a city park for Gavin’s sixth birthday. But then COVID-19 torched those plans.

With everyone staying at home and practicing social distancing, it was destined to be a birthday party for one. But Henderson wasn’t going to let it rain on her little boy’s parade. She made a call and set the wheels in motion to have a parade rain on him!

Those wheels - and there were a lot of them - rolled out of the Prattville Fire Department Tuesday afternoon on a special call to Janice Street in Prattville’s Overlook neighborhood.

Mom, smoldering with excitement, grabbed some sidewalk chalk and convinced the birthday boy it was time to draw at the end of the driveway.

About five minutes later, a Prattville Rescue Squad SUV turned onto Gavin’s street and the sound of a siren pierced the air. Gavin stood there waving at it as it passed by.

And then a much louder siren echoed from up the street, prompting some neighbors to step outside to see what was going on, Henderson explained.

The young boy was greeted by not one, not two, but three firetrucks with their sirens active and their lights flashing. Mom said firefighters yelled 'Happy Birthday, Gavin!" to make sure he knew it was all for him.

After an ambulance passed by, another surprise greeted the 6-year-old. Family and friends paraded past for another 10 minutes, waving and holding posters. Even his kindergarten teacher joined in on the fun.

“He was in complete shock,” his mom said. “He’s never speechless, but this was the one time where he had no words.” He later managed to pull together a “this is awesome,” that he continues to repeat.

“I was just overwhelmed just to see everybody come through and be supportive,” Henderson admitted.

Like any child, there are aspirations of what they want to be when they grow up. Gavin wanted to be a lion at one point but has since settled on becoming a firefighter. They’ve visited the fire station before with cookies, his mom says, and he’s be inside one of the trucks.

So you can understand why it took some work for Gavin’s mom to convince him that the parade had finally ended. Once back inside, he got to open presents, and he still got the Sonic cupcakes pulled from the ashes of his mom’s original plans.

“I am so appreciative of them making this extra special,” Mom explained while offering her thanks to the Prattville Fire Department. "Not many people get their very own parade.”

As for that other problem Shauna Henderson has? “I’m actually concerned with how to top this next year!”

Something tells us she has a lot of planning ahead of her.

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