birthday

Caleb Gamble celebrates his seventh birthday with a surprise visit from six Maryland State Troopers on Sunday, May 3.

(May 8, 2020) Caleb Gamble of Berlin, received a huge surprise this Sunday when six police vehicles arrived to celebrate his seventh birthday.

His grandfather, Lee Slota, who owns the Ocean City Mini Storage, organized the surprise for Gamble since the young boy could not celebrate with his friends because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“He couldn’t have a birthday party because of everything that’s going on,” Slota said. “We had some family here and we had a little birthday party for him, and when the state police came here ... that was the final part of his birthday party.

“The only the only kind of social lifestyle that these children are having [right now] is called Zoom” he continued. “These poor children are being stuck at home. Just to put a smile on his face is a reward in itself.”

Slota rents some of his storage facility to the Berlin Barracks of the Maryland State Police, which is how he was able to pull the surprise together for Gamble, who idolizes the police officers.

“My grandson, he’s infatuated with being an officer, and like I told I told my daughter, if he doesn’t end up in law enforcement, he’ll end up in the military, he’s just infatuated with them,” Slota said. “He’s the kind of kid who will watch Live PD every Friday and Saturday night.”

The troopers arrived with several gifts for Gamble, including stickers to put on his own mini quad (which has been designed to look like a police car) and a mini trooper badge.

“[The troopers] all lined up at Food Lion and they came down Route 611 with their lights and sirens on, which was hysterical because a lot of customers that were driving by probably thought there was a murder here,” Slota said. “They had their lights and sirens on and the lieutenant spoke to him through a loudspeaker and then they all got out, wished him a happy birthday, handed him gifts and let him look in the car, and it was really neat.”

Slota is grateful to the Maryland State Police for agreeing to help surprise his grandson.

“I can’t thank the state police enough for what they’ve done,” he said. “During this lifestyle change … for them to take time off, take time away from their jobs or their personal life, to put a smile on a 7-year old’s face … it’s priceless.”

Gamble, a student from Ocean City Elementary School, was left completely surprised and grateful for the experience when the police vehicles from the Berlin Barracks pulled up at the Ocean City Mini Storage facility, which is where the last part of his party was held.

“It made me feel so good and very lucky,” Gamble said. “I [definitely] want to become a policeman when I grow up. Thank you.”

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