Yakima boy with special needs celebrates birthday with drive-by parade

YAKIMA, Wash. — When Josiah West couldn’t have his annual Seattle Seahawks-themed birthday party at his favorite restaurant, Burger King, due to the pandemic, his mother asked a few family members to drive by the house. They got much more than they asked for.

Despite the snowy weather, dozens of 13-year-old West’s closest friends and family formed a parade on his street Sunday afternoon. They honked horns, waved signs and balloons and even tossed handfuls of candy onto the street.

West, who has special needs, said he felt “good” and was “very excited” to see everyone.

His mother, Jessica Calloway, said she was “shocked” at the outcome.

“It’s amazing, this is so heartwarming,” Calloway said. “It’s like my baby isn’t a baby anymore. He’s now a teenager.”

The event was organized by Rascal Rodeo, a local nonprofit that helps provide opportunities for people of all ages with disabilities.

“It’s neat to see the smile on his face today when we pulled up,” said Dave Lasater, a volunteer with the organization.

West was showered with Seahawk cupcakes, Fortnite toys, Burger King gift cards and more. Members from the Yakima Police Department even showed up, blaring their sirens to announce the birthday boy.

“Everyone in the community helped,” Calloway said. “This is so amazing.”

As for Josiah? Now that he’s 13, he feels, “old. Very old.”

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