BUCKHEAD RIDGE — Little Charlie Hammond celebrated his birthday in style on Saturday, April 25, when a mini-parade was organized on his behalf. Because he could not have a normal birthday party, due to the coronavirus, the 3-year-old’s mother, Lea Hammond, decided to put something special together instead.
Charlie’s grandfather, Jack Bayless, chief of the Buckhead Ridge Volunteer Fire Department Inc.; the boy’s father, Edward Hammond, who’s a lieutenant; and Charlie’s grandma, Jeanni Bayless, who is second in command, all agreed to do what they could to help make the day special without a typical party. They formed a parade involving friends, family, fire trucks and Glades County Sheriff’s Sgt. Billy Semple to drive through Buckhead Ridge, ending at Charlie’s house on Chobee Street. Chief Bayless got out to give the boy a gift and a kiss. Several neighbors gathered, too, to wish 3-year-old Charlie a happy birthday (bright red hair, being held by his father Ed), with mom Lea and their neighbor Brandy Smith and her child.
Buckhead Ridge Fire Chief Jack Bayless waves at his grandson, Charlie Hammond, during the parade organized for the toddler’s birthday.