Birthday drive-by for 4-year-old Dickinson boy rallies community
Weston Begrin is turning 4 years old, however, unlike most his age who are eagerly celebrating their birthday with friends and family this Dickinson boy was quarantined with COVID-19 for his birthday. With a little help from social media, Weston’s birthday turned into an opportunity for the community to rally and save a birthday.
From police cars and fire trucks, to a rally of motorcycles courtesy of the Bad Pennies, a line of happy birthday parade goers gathered while one young boy in Dickinson was unknowingly going to have a birthday worth remembering on Wednesday evening.
Weston Begrin and his family recently came down with COVID-19 and had to go into quarantine. Knowing that his son wouldn’t have a normal birthday party this year, Greg Begrin decided to post it to Facebook, asking anyone from the community to help wish his son a Happy Birthday in a drive-by train.
To Greg's surprise, his post garnered much feedback even as far as Glendive, Mont., and Arizona. Quickly thereafter, the Dickinson Fire and Police department, Stark County Sheriff’s Office, Bad Pennies Riders Club, 701 Auto Enthusiasts and several community members hopped on the birthday train.
“It’s great because where we’re from, our community is not like this. The community here is great; they’re all for the people here… When I got all the messages from everybody and people saying that they’ll be there, it really made me happy because I couldn’t do anything for his birthday and I knew he’d love it,” Greg said.
The 4-year-old received gifts from not only the Dickinson police and fire departments, but throughout the evening several community members and other organizations stopped by.
“It’s very amazing how the community is here. When we first moved here and drove down the street, I couldn’t tell you how many people waved at me and I thought something was wrong with my car,” Greg said, laughing. “I finally said, ‘Man, why is everybody waving at me?’ (They said), ‘Welcome to Dickinson, N.D.’ ...When I saw how quick people contacted me back, I told my wife, ‘I don’t think I ever want to leave here.’”
With Weston usually helping his dad out at his new handyman business Begrin and Sons, LLC, quarantine has affected his daily routine, Greg noted.
“It’s (been) rough because he goes out with me to work mostly because he’s not old enough to be in school yet. He’s the company mascot, so he normally goes to work with me every day. So it’s put a toll on him. It's hard to stay in the house for that many days,” Greg said, adding, “The sickness — it took a toll on him, but he’s a very cheerful boy… That boy holds a drill (and) a square in his back pocket.”
Being in quarantine has also been a challenge for Greg and his wife Courtney and their six children.
“It sucked, but we came together as a team and we made it fun. Movies, coloring books, games — we did what we could to occupy ourselves inside the house. We made it happen, we made it work,” Greg said.
For Dickinson firefighter Tyler Berger, a simple drive-by visit shows the community that firefighters are more than just fighting fires.
“It’s pretty cool that we can give back to the community like a simple act of just driving by with the lights (and) sirens, see him smile and light up,” Berger said. “It’s pretty humbling… It’s fun to be the good guy and for people to look up to in case of an emergency, (they can) come to us and know that they can trust us to help them.”
Before the sun set, the Bad Pennies showed up for an impromptu visit, even surprising Weston with a quick revving up on one of the motorcycles.
Weston and his family waited for the rest of the evening to see who else would drive by for a visit.