Surprise parade makes Shuswap boy’s 10th birthday less isolated

Friends and strangers alike help Declan Toner celebrate his “best birthday ever”

A day that seemed destined for disappointment became ‘the best birthday every’ for Declan Toner, who turned 10 on March 31.

Declan and his family have already been self-isolating for three weeks as a precaution against the COVID-19 virus because they are an immune compromised household.

As Declan’s birthday approached it seemed the celebration would be anything but normal.

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“Declan was extremely upset to not be able to have his double digit birthday party, as I’m sure every child is going through the same thing,” said his mom Kendra.

Typical party plans were on hold but a group of Shuswap residents organized a special surprise for Declan. Family friends, neighbours and complete strangers who had organized on Facebook put on a parade in front of the Toners’ house with their cars.

Some of the vehicles that passed by with their horns honking were decorated with balloons and signs. Others brought presents.

The birthday parade was an uplifting experience for Declan.

“It was a surprise to him and once he saw those vehicles come down our street he collapsed to the ground and teared up,” Kendra said.

“Once it was over he said to me ‘that was the best birthday ever; I didn’t know that many people cared about me.”

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Kendra said she and her family are very grateful for the birthday parade and planned to pay it forward by joining a parade for another boy turning 10 on April 2.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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