A party for Paydenn

Paydenn Shelton, her family and friends gathered at January-Wabash Park in Ferguson for a COVID-19-style birthday party featuring masks, social distancing, fire trucks, police sirens, jeeps, sports cars, and motorcycles on March 6, 2021. The Ferguson Police Department organized the Birthday Parade for six-year-old Paydenn, who is battling a stage 4 neuroblastoma, and could not have a typical birthday party due to COVID-19. 

Her mother, Samantha Mason, saw Ferguson Police Chief Jason Armstrong directing traffic one day, and asked if he would be willing to organize a parade for Paydenn. “I have a six-year-old myself,” said Armstrong. “So I couldn’t say no to that.” Trucks from several fire departments, the Ferguson and other area police, and several community members and unique car owners joined in the parade. Some stopped as they passed Paydenn and her family to wave hello and drop off birthday gifts.