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Community, first responders gather for parade to help Pitt Meadows girl celebrate 9th birthday
The entire community of Osprey Village came together in a socially responsible way to celebrate nine-year-old Paetyn Reid's birthday. (Vanessa Reid)
VANCOUVER -- Paetyn Reid’s ninth birthday is one she will never forget.
After cancelling her birthday party due to COVID-19, she was expecting a quiet celebration at home in isolation with her family on Monday. Instead, loved ones managed to pull off a surprise their community of Osprey Village in Pitt Meadows all got behind.
Vanessa Reid says she received a phone call from a friend on Monday, and within minutes the family was outside their house, shocked by what they saw.
A drive-by birthday parade had been set up, and friends and loved ones were passing-by, honking and waving signs wishing her a happy birthday – all from a safe distance.
Not only that, a police car and fire truck also drove by, sounding their sirens.
"I was so completely overwhelmed, I couldn’t stop crying," Vanessa Reid told CTV News by phone. "She was just smiling and laughing, and every time another car came by she was waving harder. It was cute for her to be able to see her friends came for her."
Reid said the gesture went a long way, especially as her daughter is social and hasn’t been able to connect with friends because school is cancelled.
"We all needed it. We’ve all been cooped up doing our isolation and trying to stay home as best we can. Just seeing people coming out and wanting to be a part of something for someone in their community and for their friend. It was big."
Ridge Meadows RCMP say they were happy to take part.
"It's hard enough for adults to make sense in these uncertain times right now so we can't imagine what some children are thinking. If we are operationally available and we can help brighten a kid's day, it is one way for us to stay connected to the community while still maintaining social distancing,” Const. Julie Klaussner said in an email.
Another mom says Ridge Meadows RCMP also drove by to help celebrate her son’s second birthday just a few days earlier.
As for Paetyn, the original ninja gym birthday party that was cancelled likely won’t need to be rescheduled.
"After the parade was done she said, 'Mom, I don’t even need a party anymore. That was just the best birthday ever.' And of course, I started to cry again," Reid said.