CHARLESTON, W.V. - For one West Virginia boy, the birthday blues turned into a surprise celebration when an entire community came together to save his birthday party.
Cameron woke up on the day of his fifth birthday party eager to share presents and fun with all of his friends. "7 a.m. yesterday, he goes, 'Today's my birthday party. Mommy can we go?'" recalled Katijo Zornes, Cameron's mom.
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The colorful decorations were up and the pizza and cake were ready to eat at the picnic she'd planned for Cameron at a local park. Then a mom's worst nightmare came true. "Nobody showed up. We had everything set up and ready to go," Zornes told WOWK.
They'd sent 50 invitations out to Cameron's preschool friends and an hour into the party, the park was still empty. "He was out front like waving people down saying like, 'Come to my party,' and I'm like 'I can't do this,'" said Zornes. So she did the only thing she could think of.
On the Charleston community Facebook page, she posted a picture of the empty park and explained that anyone was welcome to stop by.
Then a miracle happened.
"I checked with my shift commander, Lt. Harrison, and without hesitation, he gave me the green light to get a few guys and run down there and help this little boy celebrate his birthday," said Sgt. S. M. Webb of the Charleston Police Department. They arrived quickly and with a flurry of flashing lights and sirens.
"And he got over there and they started talking to him and started opening up presents and I was a mess over in the corner somewhere," said Zornes.
Heartbreak quickly turned into excitement.
"He lit up almost as much as our lights were. It was pretty cool," said Webb. Fire trucks soon arrived and Cameron smiled wide. "They put me in a truck and there was big 'Honk, honk!'"
The post took off and guests quickly started arriving. They arrived by the carload, cars packed with four and five kids each. More police cars, fire trucks and an ambulance.
An entire community came together to make one little boy's day, extra special. "Grateful is not the word," said Zornes, at a loss for what words could not even begin to explain how much it meant to her and Cameron.
"This is Charleston and we all will look out for each other. That's what I love about working here," said Webb.
At the end of the night, Cameron ended up with about 30 kids at the party and he received well wishes from people across the country.