It was a Callie Christmas on Saturday in Raceland.

Calliope May was the star of the show as Raceland mayor Talmadge McPeek’s special guest in the town’s Christmas parade. 

Callie, 3, helped McPeek light the Christmas tree in Raceland City Park.

Callie is one of the most cherished young faces in the area. The victim of a despicable assault in April, “Squirrel” has been strong and has made considerable strides. Despite permanent brain damage, she’s active in preschool and Kindermusik.

Just like most other girls her age, she dresses in cute outfits, has a beautiful smile and is now singing some.

Linda Pemberton, Callie’s mother, posts frequent updates on Facebook. 

On Halloween, Callie suited up as Wonder Woman.

“Strongest person I’ve ever known,” Pemberton posted, “and I’m not talkin’ about Wonder Woman. I’m talkin’ about my girl!”

By the end of October, Callie was discharged from King’s Daughters Home Health Therapy. 

On Thanksgiving, Pemberton expressed thanks to family, friends and “strangers of the community who pray for and look out for Callie and our family.” She also expressed gratitude toward teachers, therapists, nurses and doctors for love and support.

The Raceland Christmas Parade began at 1 p.m. Saturday. It concluded with Callie lighting the tree.

McPeek said the Christmas Parade personnel presented a gift card to Callie and her mom for Christmas. 

“Very touching to me,” McPeek said.

Following the parade, McPeek traveled to Lexington, where Frederick Douglass and Covington Catholic met in the state 5A football finals at Kroger Field. Kickoff was at 8 p.m. Nathan, Talmadge’s son, and Garry McPeek, the mayor’s brother, are an assistant coach and athletic director, respectively, for Frederick Douglass. 

On April 27, Callie was found unresponsive at Foothills Apartments in Wurtland, according to the Raceland Police Department.

According to authorities, Callie had been shaken aggressively and had to be transported to Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital. She was later airlifted to Cabell Huntington. She was in critical condition for weeks.

Bobby Lee Brantley is charged with first-degree assault in the case. He is scheduled for a May 11 trial date.

(606) 326-2664 |

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