Connect with us

Local News

The neighborhood supports a Billings boy’s birthday celebration



Billings, Montana – Emily Tucker of Billings discovered one week earlier that no one had replied to her invitations for her son Callien’s fifth birthday celebration. Callien, who has autism, contacted a Facebook special needs group in the hopes that some welcoming faces would turn up. She was shocked to see that more than 30 people had traveled to South Park to honor Callien.

Callien Tucker enjoys playing and running about, but he’s a little unique compared to other kids. He has been identified as having autism and ADHD.

“He has a lot of the meltdowns, the tantrums, the not understanding of things, the easily overwhelmed,” said Tucker at South Park.

Like most kids his age, he was eagerly anticipating his fifth birthday celebration last Sunday, but there was a significant issue.

“We just didn’t hear from anybody. And then when we weren’t hearing from anybody, there were a couple of people that I reached out to, and they were like, nope, we can’t make it. Nope, we can’t make it,” Tucker said.

Although not having a party was not an option, Tucker was at a loss for what to do. She shared content on three Facebook pages with a Billings focus, including the Special Needs Billings page.

“They just blew up, my special needs group blew up first and then it went out from there,” said Tucker.

On that particular Sunday, more than 30 individuals, including a few deputies from the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s office, came to South Park in Billings to give Callien gifts and games.

“They had seen his post, and they came. They came and they brought a little gift bag and everything for Callien,” Tucker said.

Even several firefighters drove through South Park while blaring their sirens for the five-year-old of the moment.

“A fire truck came, realized Callien wasn’t over here, and they circled around again to make sure Callien saw them. It was unreal,” said Billings resident Hallie Cross.

Cross attended Callien’s party with her two young daughters after seeing Tucker’s post on Facebook the previous weekend.

“I’ve never seen a full community come together the way they did for Callien and Emily, so it was huge for me,” Cross said.

For Crystal Hammermeister and her two children, Logan and Lillian, it was also very important. The three attended the party as well after viewing the Facebook post.

“Both of my children are special needs. Logan is on the autism spectrum, but Lily is nonverbal,” said Hammermeister.

Her admiration for the residents of Billings was increased by witnessing the community’s support for Callien.

“It’s always good to know that no matter what happens, Billings moms can all pull together and come together and say hey, it’s not about this or that. It’s about these kids,” Hammermeister said.

“Never in a million years would I have ever thought that what happened for his birthday happened. It was truly a birthday miracle,” said Tucker.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *