JONESVILLE — A birthday celebration isn’t really a celebration if you don’t share it with your friends, especially if it involves a visit by a very popular celebrity.
Thursday, Sept. 28 was the birthday of Parks Sparrow, a student in Miss Hembree’s 5K class at Jonesville Elementary/Middle School. The school day started out as any day did and progressed normally through lunch in the school’s cafetorium where Parks and his fellow students dined with their teachers and then, when done, lined up to turn in their trays. It was then time to go back to class only on this day they didn’t immediately go back, but instead remained in the cafeteria where they were instructed to sit on the floor in front of the stage.
This was of course a break in the routine but the students did as they were told and sat down in front of the stage, waiting for what — or, more accurately, who — was behind the curtains.
As they sat there, the students were joined by Parks’ mother, Dr. Kat Sparrow, who had arranged for a visit to the school by a celebrity Parks and his fellow students were quite familiar with. She’d arranged it as a birthday surprise for Parks and, like all good birthday surprises, to be shared with his friends and fellow students in 5K.
Who was the this mystery celebrity?
Why it was “Marshall” from the children’s cartoon series “PAW Patrol” who, at Dr. Sparrow’s request, had taken time out from his busy schedule as a first responder to come and visit Parks and his fellow 5K students.
PAW Patrol follows the adventures of a team of rescue dogs — Skye, Zuma, Rocky, Chase, Rubble, and, of course, Marshall — lead by a boy named Ryder who respond to emergencies in the community of Adventure Bay. Each dog has specific skills with Marshall, a Dalmation, being, appropriately enough, a firefighter. He is also a medic.
While he had to leave his PAW Patrol fire truck — which can transform into an ambulance — back home in Adventure Bay, Marshall was transported to JEMS on board a fire truck of the Bonham Fire Department and accompanied by some of the department’s firefighters.
Parks and the other children were delighted to see Marshall emerge from behind the curtains in the cafetorium and one by one, beginning, of course, with Parks, they went up and hugged and got a hug from Marshall. Marshall posed for pictures with them and then the students lined up and went out to the front of the school building where the fire truck was. There they got again got to pose — individually and as groups — with Marshall for pictures, this time with the fire truck as the backdrop.
Everybody had a nice time, but Marshall had to leave to go back to Adventure Bay to resume his PAW Patrol duties while Parks and his fellow students had to get back to class, so the children all said goodbye to Marshall who waved goodbye back to them.
Birthdays are special times and for Parks Sparrow and his friends and fellow students, the celebration of his birthday was made even more special by his mother’s love and her desire to give him a very special birthday memory. A memory that like all truly special birthday memories, is made even more special when shared with friends and family.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.