Doing a good deed : Calera youth helps hearing impaired friend

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Eight-year-old Baylee Byers has a surprisingly valuable mouth &045;&045; at least his friend and his orthodontist think so.

Baylee&8217;s friend, Nick, thinks the world of the way Baylee will slowly mouth words to him so that he can read Baylee&8217;s lips when the two play army in the woods and swim in the pool.

Nick is hearing impaired. And he now lives in Tallahassee, Fla. &045;&045; in the two 8-year-olds&8217; minds, a long, long distance away from Baylee&8217;s Calera home.

&8220;He&8217;s my best friend. I like playing with Nick even if he can&8217;t hear good,&8221; Baylee said. &8220;But his mom&8217;s really sick, and soon he&8217;ll have to move in with his dad where he won&8217;t have a computer for us to talk on.&8221;

Enter Dr. Brandon Boggan of Orthodontics South in Pelham.

On a recent visit to Orthodontics South to get his teeth checked, Baylee learned of Boggan&8217;s &8220;Do a Good Deed Contest,&8221; an essay competition designed to highlight local youth 18 and under who make a difference in the lives of others. The grand prize was a desktop computer.

&8220;Nick&8217;s mom is sick and somebody named Hospice had to come visit … Nick has a computer at his house now but will not have one when he moves to his real dad&8217;s house,&8221; Baylee wrote in his essay. &8220;I was wondering if I won the computer that you are giving away, could I give it to Nick so that he could send me e-mails and know that he is my best friend?&8221;

In a May 15 awards ceremony, Boggan presented Baylee with the computer for Nick, along with monetary awards for first runners-up Brodie and Kade Jones and third runner-up Joshua Robertson.

Essay topics ranged from donating hair to Locks of Love to visiting the elderly in local nursing homes.

&8220;In today&8217;s world, it is important that we acknowledge young people&8217;s good deeds,&8221; Boggan said.

&8220;It is not true as portrayed in the news that only bad things are happening. By focusing on what is good, we can get a different perspective of our society and encourage ourselves, along with the younger generation, to do more good deeds.&8221;