Birthday train celebrates 70th for retired JSO chief, Marine

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Most birthday celebrations during the pandemic have turned into socially distant parades.

But the celebration was double special when a News4Jax viewer reached out to us about a special 70th birthday “party” for her mom, who served as a Marine and is a retired chief of prisons with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Stephanie Sloan-Butler was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer in November, so her daughter, Nicole Butler, said with the pandemic and the diagnosis they had to think outside of the box to celebrate her big milestone.

Dozens of people -- including a few JSO officers -- drove through their neighborhood honking, holding signs and shouting their best wishes. Stephanie was definitely surprised.

“This means more than y’all know,” she said.

People also stopped to leave gifts, but they were all sure to keep their distance. Nicole said she is thankful for everyone who helped make the day unforgettable for her amazing mom.

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