MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Like a lot of little boys, Keegan Ruggieri loves fire trucks and he wants to be a firefighter.
Still, there's something about Keegan that makes him unlike the other little boys. According to Myrtle Beach Fire Battalion Chief Brian Mitchell, it was one day two summers ago that he started waving to firefighters, saying hi and bringing out cookies.
“It just started with one bag of cookies for his firemen friends and it’s since grown into a cookie extravaganza,” said Lori Ruggieri, Keegan’s mom.
So, Keegan has another name to the firemen on beach patrol and at Station No. 1.
“You’d hear, ‘Hey, the Cookie Monster is up on 42nd,” said Mitchell. “So when the crew switch, you’d hear, ‘Hey I’m going to go see the Cookie Monster.’”
Keegan doesn’t come to the beach without a batch of warm cookies, his mom said.
“One day we brought cookies and then it became an every day after that," Ruggieri said. "We had to have cookies on the beach. It became a daily ritual.”
Mitchell and Ruggieri said Keegan keeps the cookies under his mother’s beach chair until he sees the firefighters on beach patrol roll up.
He runs up with the cookies and learns all about their gadgets, no matter how many times he’s done it before. Mitchell said the gesture is appreciated by everyone.
Besides playing with the gadgets and seeing his firemen friends, this 4-year-old has a simple reason for doing what he does.
"Because when you do kind things, kindness comes back to you," Keegan said.
And there was only one thing he wanted for Christmas – “the ultimate firetruck.”
The firemen had a Christmas surprise of their own as a thank you to the Cookie Monster. They made his holiday wish come true, giving him his own motorized battalion chief’s SUV.
Keegan took it for his first spin while decked out in Myrtle Beach Fire Department swag, just like a real firefighter.