Saturday, Nov. 28 was a wonderful display of a community coming together to support Everett Kondus who will be entering Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in early December to receive a bone marrow transplant.
Over 1,000 people showed up to participate in Everett’s Parade organized by family friend Brittany Vaught. There were approximately 175 vehicles that assembled at the high school to be driven through Everett’s neighborhood and right by his house.
It was all a surprise to Everett who was sitting in his front yard with family, friends, and Santa Claus enjoying the visit. He didn’t quite understand when Vaught walked up and told him there was going to be a parade for him. It was when he heard the roar of the motorcycles that he realized what was happening.
His excitement grew as the firetrucks, police cars, sheriff patrol cars, EMS and EMA vehicles, and motorcycles rolled by his yard.
It took over an hour for all the decorated cars, trucks, floats, and wagons filled with adults and children to pass by his house.
Vaught said she was overwhelmed at the support and number who participated. When she put the information about Everett’s Parade on Facebook, she expected a few friends, family, and church members to participate. She was just trying to make life a little happier for a little boy who was going to miss being at home at Christmas with his family.
According to Vaught, she was blown away when people started coming to the parking lot at Portland High School to assemble for the parade.
In addition to the parade, people were asked to bring cards or small items to toss in a bin that would be in the yard. At the end of the parade there were so many items that the bin was not visible.
Vaught said, “I want to thank anyone who came out to join us for Everett’s Parade. It was an amazing turnout and I am so thankful we were able to put on such a huge parade for him. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to anyone who has thought of Everett and his family, prayed for them, donated, and shown support in any way possible.
“It’s amazing to see the support and love everyone has shown to them so far. Please keep sending your well wishes, thoughts, and prayers as Everett continues his battle and goes in for his bone marrow transplant.”
Portland Mayor Mike Callis asked city workers to put the Christmas lights up early so Everett could enjoy them before he went to the hospital. Family friends Kurtis and Brook McKelvey organized an orange ribbon campaign asking businesses and residents to put an orange ribbon somewhere in their outside decorations for Everett. Orange is the color for childhood leukemia.
“It’s been overwhelming the amount of love, prayers and support that we’ve received from our community. It has been amazing and overwhelming,” Everett’s father said earlier.
Everett is the son of Matt and Tierra Kondus. He has four siblings, Matt, Jr, (13), Allie (10), Addisyn (9), and Bennett (two months old).
There are two Facebook pages with details about his journey and events in his honor. They are: Prayers for Everett and Everett’s Christmas Parade. A friend has set up a GoFundMe account under the name of Kondus Family Support.