Lining the entrance were hundreds of employees applauding and cheering the brave youths who, just for a day, were allowed to leave behind their disabilities and be treated like celebrities.
As part of the Walmart Heart program, the three youths were given a chance to be a Walmart truck driver for a day.
Each of them was given the passenger seat in their own truck as policemen and firefighters led them from the Walmart store on Opelika Road to the distribution center.
Awaiting them at the warehouse was the biggest party they had ever seen with presents and cakes grand enough to match.
“We just to make them have a good day, take the worries off them for an hour or two,” said Tim Gibson, organizer of the event. “And every kid likes big trucks.”
Gibson, who has been in the program for six years, said he wanted to make this event as great as the kids it was for.
Kai Bohannon, a 5-year-old girl with Down's syndrome; Quay Banks, a 12-year-old boy with a heart defect; and Jared Smith, a 21-year-old with cerebral palsy enjoyed the ride, and were given gifts that even celebrities would yearn for.
Banks, an avid Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Florida Gators fan, has had five heart surgeries with the last three of them being open heart procedures.
However, Gibson made a few calls and touched his heart in a different way.
Former Florida linebacker Jamaal Deveaux, now a Walmart employee in Georgia, heard about Banks from Gibson and gave him his jersey and a 2006 National Championship football from his sophomore year.
Hendricks Motor Sports, owners of Earnhardt Jr.'s NASCAR team, donated assorted gifts to all three.
In addition, all three received honorary commercial driver's licenses.
“It’s really appreciated more than words can even say," said Jared's mother Lisa Smith. "It is such a blessing because Jared doesn't get to get out, and it really means a lot to (him to) be around a lot of people."
Walmart Heart is a volunteer program that has grown from three or four drivers participating to approximately 350, according to Gibson.
It started in Texas in the 90s when a Walmart driver heard about Jack Scott, a young boy with a heart condition who doctors said wouldn't see his eighth birthday.
Scott had one dream, and Walmart helped him fulfill it.
"All he wanted to do was drive a truck," Gibson said.
And so he did, and, in a ceremony similar to Wednesday's, Scott received his commercial driver's license from then-governor George W. Bush.
This past November, Scott celebrated his 21st birthday.
“He’s still going strong, and I think it has a lot to do with the program helping him out," Gibson said.
Although it's voluntary, Gibson said there is nearly 100 percent participation from every distribution center.
“It’s voluntary, but I don’t worry about the payment because I get paid when I see that kid smile, and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about," Gibson said.
Kai, Quay and Jared wore smiles that could not be erased that afternoon, and according to Quay's father Zaye Banks, may be around for even longer.
“Thank you, thank you (to Walmart)," Banks said. "That smile is going to last a life time, and if he’s happy, then Daddy’s happy."