Ringling police chief offers to sing to local children stuck inside on their birthdays
Ringling Police Chief Josh Steury sounded the sirens on his patrol car while traveling by a local residence on Monday. As he continued down the street Steury came across the intercom, singing “Happy Birthday” to a young girl watching from the porch.
The girl giggled with excitement, turning to face her parents with a wide smile on her face. This was the first of many occasions when Steury will be driving around town to spread a little joy to children having to stay home during their birthdays due to COVID-19 concerns and regulations.
“I saw a post on Facebook of somebody in another state doing it and I decided I was gonna try it and it kind of blew up faster than I thought it would,” Steury said.
The requests have continued coming in from around town since Steury announced on Monday that he would be singing happy birthday for local children. On Tuesday, Steury visited two more children singing birthday wishes and said he plans to visit another on Wednesday.
After hearing the news, Pixiedust bakery in Lone Grove offered to help out by donating cupcakes for all of the children Steury sings to.
The requests are limited to the Ringling city limits. However, Steury said parents can bring their children to Ringling city park and he can drive by the park to sing them happy birthday.
Steury said he plans to continue taking requests and singing happy birthday to children for the full duration of the pandemic, but also hopes that it can become a regular tradition.
“I’ve talked to my mayor and I’m thinking about maybe just doing this even after the lockdown, just continue doing this for them,” Steury said.
Though some towns like Ardmore may be too large to participate, Steury said he challenges other smaller communities to do the same for their children and families.
“I’d like to challenge Healdton and Lone Grove and Wilson and Ardmore and all of them to do this for their people,” Steury said. “I don’t know if Ardmore can do it — there’s too many people in Ardmore, but for the little towns, it’s nice to do it.”
Families that would like to have Steury sing happy birthday for their children can simply reach out to him and leave a message with the child’s name and the address where he will need to go, as well as the time frame for him to come by.
The Ringling Police Department dispatch can be reached at 580-228-2375.
“We’re all locked down in this quarantine and they can’t have their friends over and it’s a special day,” Steury said. “I love my community and I want to help them out as much as I can. I’m an outsider that came in and they’ve made me feel welcome and a part of the town, so I try to help them however I can.”