Friday, April 3, 2020

Police and fire departments help three year old have an awesome birthday

Parker Coopenrath getting ready for his birthday parade
By Matt Pascarella

During this weird time, it’s difficult to make fairly regular activities happen. When Caitlin Coppenrath’s son, Parker was about to celebrate his third birthday, a regular party was not going to happen. After some creative planning and help from Windham Police Department, Windham Fire and Rescue, Gorham Patrol and the Cumberland County Sheriff, on Sunday, March 29th on Chute Road in Windham, Parker Coppenrath was thrown an amazing parade he won’t forget for a while.
After plans for a bounce house with friends and family seemed unlikely to happen, Coppenrath and her husband got creative.

“We had seen on the news that many teachers around the state were doing mini parades to wave hello to their students. On social media we saw some drive-by baby showers happening...,” said Coppenrath. Her aunt suggested a parade. Friends and family would drive by and wish Parker a happy birthday (while social distancing) and Coppenrath immediately started planning. works with Courtney Edwards, the wife of Gorham police officer, Sears Edwards, and had asked her if maybe one police car could be a part of the parade, as Parker lights up whenever he sees police cars, fire trucks or ambulances. Officer Edwards was not working that day, but talked with Sargent Ray Williams, of the Windham Police Department, who planned on showing up and driving by.

“I was so incredibly excited that we would have a police car in the parade! I knew Parker would
be...excited,” Coppenrath stated. it turned out, there was more than one police car. There was an incredibly long line of police cruisers, fire trucks, and ambulances from Windham Police Department, Gorham Police Department, Cumberland County Sheriffs, and Windham Fire and Rescue and they used their loud speaker to wish
Parker a happy third birthday.

After the emergency vehicle parade, a long line of friends and family, roughly 20 cars, drove by to wish Parker a great year. There were signs, honking, flashing lights, dogs barking in excitement and even someone in a shark costume. Parker was excited to see everyone.
“Wasn’t it fun when all the police cars and fire trucks and ambulances came?” Parker asked his mom afterwards.

Sargent Ray Williams had the Windham Police Department and Fire and Rescue sign a card for him, and sent along some patches and badges, and a pass to go fishing on Sebago lake this summer.
Coppenrath and her husband were amazed and shocked at the community involvement for their special boy and thought the parade was so incredible, it brought tears to their eyes. It’s hard to describe the energy but it was an extremely powerful moment of kindness and support.“Our hearts are full. I cannot find the words to thank Officer Edwards and Sargent Ray Williams enough for what they put together for us,” stated Coppenrath. “We will never forget this out-pouring of support and love. The willingness and excitement of all involved to be a part of the parade for our son’s third birthday is just remarkable and makes us extremely proud and honored to be a part of this

Coppenrath added “These are some very challenging times, and we are going to rise above it by sticking together and lifting each other up as we are able! Being creative with our safe social distancing and finding ways to pay it forward will help us through.”

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