Most of us take having birthday parties for granted. But 77-year old Frances Buzzard has never had the pleasure. That is, until the elementary school where she works as a custodian threw her one.
Miss Frances, as she’s known at Belle Elementary School in Belle, West Virginia, has never been able to enjoy many of the finer things in life. Growing up, her family didn’t have the money to throw birthday parties.
“We didn’t have Christmas parties either,” says Miss Frances. “They would get us fruits and nuts when they could afford it.”
When Miss Frances went to work at Belle Elementary School at an age where most people are retired, she made an instant impression on everyone with her tireless work ethic.
School counselor Chelena McCoy says soon after Miss Frances was hired, she noticed the entire school started to sparkle. Miss Frances had taken it upon herself to polish everything in the school.
“I’ve worked in this school forever, and nobody ever said anything about polishing,” says Chelena. “So, this lady is twice our age, but she does three times the work. She’s something else. Everybody just loves her. You can’t get her to stop.”
When word got out that Miss Frances had never had a proper birthday party, the school decided to do something about it. A few days before her 77th birthday, Miss Frances was called to the cafeteria where all 200 students were waiting to throw her a surprise birthday party.
After the students yelled “Surprise!” as she walked into the cafeteria, Miss Frances was given a “Happy Birthday” sash and a tiara. She then sat and watched a video of all the major events of her lifetime, from Woodstock to Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, with a picture of Miss Frances inserted into the middle of each event.
After the students sang “Happy Birthday” to her, they all dined on cupcakes and cookies. Miss Frances even got to open a few presents.
“I can’t believe it,” she said of the experience of her first ever birthday party.