First Responders celebrate birthdays of local kids

Posted at 7:21 PM, Apr 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-05 09:26:16-04

HOLLAND, Mich. — A lot of birthday parties have been put on hold because of the coronavirus. But that's not stopping friends and family from getting creative. Some first responders are also doing what they do best - coming to the rescue to save the day.

“Woah, that’s so cool,” said Michael Howe as he watched firetrucks drive by his family's property in Wayland on Saturday.

It was a small surprise for a very big boy.

“They came to wish me a happy birthday,” he said.

The 5-year-old is a big Star Wars fan who is celebrating a bit differently this year. His family planned a party for him, but the coronavirus shut it all down. About a dozen people took off work for the big day, so they had to come up with a new way to celebrate.

“Actually, his mom’s friend got it all together," said family friend Mike Kreuger, "but I called the fire department and got a hold of them and then I got a hold of Fox 17.”

Kreuger also invited the Dorr Fire Department.

“It was priceless, it really was, it was really nice and good to see. Priceless," Kreuger said.

When asked if he wanted anything else for his birthday, the little boy said, “nope, I think that’s all good for today.”

It was a similar scene Saturday afternoon in Holland for a birthday girl there.

“Oh my gosh.. thank you," said Madison Hanko.

Hanko is 10. Her mom, Lori, recorded the surprise video.

"What do you think of that?" said Lori.

"What the heck?" said Madison.

"Isn’t that awesome?" said Mom.

At first, Maddie was pretty bummed she wouldn't be spending her birthday with friends at school or have a party. But mom and dad had other plans.

They contacted the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department, Holland Police Department, and Holland Township Fire Department. Each department showed up, as friends drove by as well with homemade signs for the celebration.

A community stepping up to help - making sure it's a birthday that Maddie will never forget.

When this is all over, the family plans to take Maddie to Florida or have a big pool party this summer.

As for Michael, he's headed to Disney in October.