Not Your Typical Birthday Party

Photo Curtesy of

Kiannah Dole, Photojournalist

Remember adolescence, being filled with bursting excitement for every birthday party? Aromatic hot dogs and pizzas are lined up next to fizzy sodas and delectable snacks on a long table. Balloons and streamers of varying colors covered practically every inch of the room. The smile you are wearing on your face gets only brighter as your best friends from school race in and you start to play games like you usually do.


Six-year old Glenn Buratti’s dream of having a birthday party – like the one described – was shattered when his mother had to tell him that no one was coming to his birthday party, even though he invited his entire class of 16 children to attend.


Ashlee Buratti felt her heart breaking for her son when she saw the disheartened look on his hopeful face after telling him the news. Why would no parent RSVP for her son’s birthday party? Was it simply because the parents or the children thought Glenn was “different” for having autism and epilepsy?


Buratti went to vent her frustration on Facebook, and responses came pouring in, asking if they could come and celebrate with them. Kind strangers from around the community brought all sorts of gifts and other kids played with Glenn as the adults celebrated. Later, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office saw the post and sent the sheriff’s helicopter to purposely fly over the party so that Glenn would know that this was for him. Deputies also pitched in together to buy some gifts for Glenn. A few days after the party, officers from the Sheriff’s department and the fire department came to Glenn’s house to wish him another happy birthday, and the departments allowed him to climb up on their trucks. Glenn’s joy was clearly evident from all of this excitement, and he will definitely remember this birthday for years to come.


Upon hearing about this story, Megan Milne (10) comments, “I think it’s amazing that people from the community came because it shows that no matter how bad the world seems, there are still good people out there.”


No person should be treated differently for being who they are. No one should be discriminated against based on aspects of themselves that they cannot control. Every single person should be valued in this world, and every life deserves to be celebrated.