There's nothing more priceless than the smile on a child's face on the day of their birthday.

Unfortunately, the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has ruined many events this year, leaving parents left with having to cancel their own child's birthday party. It's the sad truth, but it's the new norm these days.

Then one day, out of nowhere, a new fad called "birthday parades" became the new trend that would save the day in an unorthodox fashion.

Parents organize these mini-parades with the help of first responders across the SouthCoast. Police cruisers, fire trucks, and even ambulances take a few minutes out of their busy days to either lead the parade or make a brief pass by the birthday household. Boy, if you could have seen the glow on the kid's faces as the sirens blared and the lights flashed as they made their way to the destination.

I knew right away that this was something Fun 107 had to be a part of, just for the joy it would bring to the birthday parades and let me tell you, I was shocked at the responses I received to have the Fun 107 van be apart of their special day.

Within hours of offering up the van, I had received over 130 requests, all within the month of April. I knew immediately that there was no way I could make it to all of them, but I made a promise to myself to try my best to be a part of as many as possible – while practicing safe social distancing, of course.

In the end, I had driven from Swansea to Dighton to New Bedford, back to Fall River, across Westport, back to New Bedford, over to Fairhaven, and made one final drive up to Lakeville. This is just an example of one day on the road. It was a lot of ground to cover, but it was worth the simple "thank you" from the birthday boy or girl. With the help of some friends over at the Friends of Jack FoundationI was able to give out a bagful of teddy bears as presents to those who were celebrating a birthday.

Fifty-plus destinations later and admittedly, I'm a little tired.

It was something I knew I could look back on and say to myself, "Remember the year when most birthdays almost went without?" Yeah, these are some crazy times, but through the darkest of days, there will always be that one silver lining that helps us get by. If that silver lining was simply being a part of someone's birthday and making it as special as possible, then I've done my job.

To those who let me be apart of your special day, thank you for the invite, it meant the world. For everyone else that I might have missed, please know I did my best to make an appearance, but I'm sending the warmest wishes and happiest of birthdays from the bottom of my heart.

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