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Alabama community throws huge car parade to celebrate woman’s 100th birthday: ‘She was totally shocked’

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When longtime Foley, Ala., resident Charlene Anderson was turning 100, the community naturally wanted to celebrate. Her daughter, Vicki Roberson, along with members of the Foley United Methodist Church, where Anderson has been a member for 25 years, began planning an elaborate birthday party for the soon-to-be-centenarian.

Friends quickly got on board with the car parade birthday party, including resident and family friend Ed Allison.

Friends quickly got on board with the car parade birthday party, including resident and family friend Ed Allison.
(Ed Allison)

Unfortunately, with the coronavirus outbreak, plans were dashed and the party was put on hold… until Vicki’s son Terry and his wife Miriam came up with an idea.

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“My two sons couldn’t stand for her birthday to go by without anything,” Vicki said in an interview with Fox News. “Terry said, ‘Hey, let’s see if we can organize a car parade.’”

With only four days before Anderson’s birthday on April 2, Vicki and her boys got started organizing a different kind of party – all while keeping it a secret from Anderson.

Neighbors, as well as friends and family members, were clearly happy to be part of the celebration, too.

Neighbors, as well as friends and family members, were clearly happy to be part of the celebration, too.
(Ed Allison)

“I think she thought I had the virus with how many times I had to leave the room to take phone calls or send messages,” Vicki said with a laugh.

“We sent out emails to people. I had three other ladies at church help send text messages out to let people know what Terry came up with,” Vicki said.

Friends quickly got on board, including resident and family friend Ed Allison, who told Fox News how the event came together.

“We were blown away. I don’t know how many cars, but someone said they counted 50.”

— Vicki Roberson

“Everybody met at this large parking lot. Everyone decorated cars and just a few of us who were directing traffic were allowed to get out of our cars,” he said.

“The Foley Police were contacted to help, and they put out rules that no one can get out of their cars. The Fire Department also helped block off roads,” Allison said of the community’s involvement for the parade, which around 100 people ended up participating in.

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Vicki said Anderson didn’t suspect a thing, either — at least until a police cruiser drove by, leading the way for the parade.

“We’ve been going outside and sitting for 30 minutes around 5:30 or 6 p.m.. So the day of the parade, I told her the kids are going to come by and sing happy birthday — let’s get dressed up this time,” Vicki explained.  “So we were outside and sat there and visited, and the ladies from church showed up ahead of time to set up their lawn chairs —  six feet away,” she said.

“We sent out emails to people. I had three other ladies at church help send text messages out to let people know what Terry came up with,” daughter Vicki Roberson said.

“We sent out emails to people. I had three other ladies at church help send text messages out to let people know what Terry came up with,” daughter Vicki Roberson said.
(Ed Allison)

Then came the police cruiser.

“She had no clue,” Vici said. “She was like, ‘What’s happening?’ Big surprise. She was totally shocked.”

And how was the surprise received?

“It was terrific,” Anderson told Fox News in a phone interview.

Charlene Anderson admitted “the lighting wasn’t so good,” making it hard to see some of the people in their cars, but she was still able to “recognize the voices” from those wishing her a happy birthday as they drove by.

Charlene Anderson admitted “the lighting wasn’t so good,” making it hard to see some of the people in their cars, but she was still able to “recognize the voices” from those wishing her a happy birthday as they drove by.
(Ed Allison)

“It was so special, and gives her something to remember,” Vicki added.

“That’s for sure,” Anderson confirmed.

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Anderson admitted “the lighting wasn’t so good,” making it hard to see some of the people in their cars, but she was still able to “recognize the voices” from those wishing her a happy birthday as they drove by.

Vicki was surprised herself by the sheer amount of people who turned out.

Roberson and her boys got started organizing the party four days before the official birthday.

Roberson and her boys got started organizing the “party” four days before the official birthday.
(Ed Allison)

“We were blown away. I don’t know how many cars, but someone said they counted 50,” Vicki told Fox News.

“[My mom] kept saying, ‘Where are they all coming from?’” Vicki laughed. “She’s well-liked in the community.”

But the car parade was not the only way Anderson was feted during quarantine.

“The whole day yesterday was phone calls. And we must have gotten 100 cards this week,” Vicki said.

“I think the thing from the community – which is just a pretty small, traditional town – is that everyone was supportive. The police were supportive. The fire department was supportive. The church that she attends [was supportive],” Ed Allison said.

“I think the thing from the community – which is just a pretty small, traditional town – is that everyone was supportive. The police were supportive. The fire department was supportive. The church that she attends [was supportive],” Ed Allison said.
(Ed Allison)

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Neighbors, as well as friends and family members, were clearly happy to be part of the celebration, too.

“I think the thing from the community – which is just a pretty small, traditional town – is that everyone was supportive. The police were supportive. The fire department was supportive. The church that she attends [was supportive],” Ed Allison said. “She’s a pretty special lady.”

Article source: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/section/lifestyle/~3/SXlljYD526g/alabama-car-parade-celebrate-100th-birthday

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