ILLINOIS (KFDX/KJTL) — It’s a birthday party a 7-year-old will probably never forget. And it’s all thanks to some firefighters in Plainfield, Illinois who came to Dominic’s rescue. A simple act of kindness transformed his special day into a wish come true.
All 7-year-old Dominic Giatras wanted for his birthday was a party with his friends.
Birthday boy, Dominic Giatras, said “We had Julian and Eddie and Tracy.”
His parents rented gym quest in Plainfield for a Saturday afternoon celebration and Noreen Mattson was at the front desk.
Gym Quest Coach, Noreen Mattson, said “I was responsible for checking his guests in.”
Her heart sinking with every ticking second. Ten minutes after the start of the party, we still didn’t have any guests. The twenty guests he expected were no-shows.
Dominic Giatras: No no no, not that, my party.
Mattson said, “five minutes later we had one guest show up. And twenty minutes later, he was still the only guest.”
Reporter: How many of your friends came to your party?
Reporter: Just one?
Dominic. That’s a serious.
Mattson wanted to make sure that one wasn’t the loneliest number, not on Dominic’s birthday. She noticed other parents from the previous party were lingering in the lobby, one of the moms was married to a Plainfield firefighter and, if there was ever an emergency, it was this.
Chief Jon Stratton, Plainfield Fire Dept, said, “Nothing sadder than that, its lights and siren time. Time to get over here and support that little guy.”
Mattson said, I called, I was a little emotional. I thought they would think it was a prank call because it wasn’t an emergency.
Chief Stratton said, we got the call at the firehouse, absolutely the look on everybody’s face was, lets ho there and help out.
The Plainfield firefighters loaded up the engines and went straight for gym quest, Dominic was at the door, shoulders slumped and head cast down, but all a party RSVP needs is a first responder.
Chief Stratton said, “Within probably 5 minutes, we were all here.”
And a dozen firefighters arrived one by one, and Dominic nearly jumped out of the gym.
Mattson said “I thought he was going to jump out of his shorts, honestly. He was ecstatic, he was overjoyed and the smile never left his face.”
Reporter: Who showed up?
Dominic: Firefighters! I was jumping.
The heroes of so many young boys, these firefighters came to rescue, soon they were kids again in the middle of a nerf gun battle, jumping on the gym floor and tossing Dominic into the foam pit.
Lt. Eric Jensen, Plainfield fire dept, said Within seconds we were doing darts and running around like a bunch of kids ourselves.
Dominic said, “I pushed a firefighter in there and jumped on him.”
They stayed for pizza and cake but left a 7-year-old boy with perhaps the greatest gift of all. A lesson in kindness.
Mattson said, “Just be kind.”
Chief Stratton said, “if we can make somebody’s day a happy day, I think that’s what we should be doing.”
Nobody’s actually sure why the other kids didn’t come, but Dominic’s mom has been battling pneumonia, and that may have caused some confusion with the other parents.
No matter what caused it, the actions of the Plainfield Firefighters made it a happy birthday.