City of Midland helps 9-year-old celebrate birthday during lockdown

Local News

One thing children are missing out on during the lockdown are birthdays. So, an elementary school teacher helped a family organize a birthday parade.

After Payton’s grandmother reached out to Alli Newton Saturday, Payton’s teacher at Fannin Elementary, Newton reached out to others to spread the word. It got great response, with many committing to come in less than just 24 hours.

“I can’t even describe what it meant to be. I left her house – my heart was so full. Not just one police car came by, not just one firetruck came by, I mean multiple people in the community. Beyond the first responders, there were strangers that found out this was going on and they wanted to go share kindness that day. I don’t know how it couldn’t warm everyone’s heart. The look on her face and her brother’s face, it was just priceless.”

Alli Newton, Teacher at Fannin Elementary

Payton just turned 9 on Monday. Midland police, fire and sheriff’s office stopped by, with newly-elected Sheriff Criner gifting Payton an honorary badge. Student-athletes from Midland and Lee High Schools also came to celebrate Payton, as well as many neighbors.

“To turn around that corner, and I saw several police cars and county cars going up and down that street that afternoon it was just neat. Kids are important to us, these are trying times with the virus out there – parties are being cancelled. Whatever we can do to make this child happy, we are going to do it.”

Sheriff David Criner, Midland County

“And that’s what kind of defines us as a community … is our citizens coming together in these kinds of adversity to support one another. This is just another signal of that.”

Chief Seth Herman, Midland Police Department

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