Friends and family members of a woman in De Soto, Illinois, made sure she had a birthday to remember on Saturday despite coronavirus concerns.
When Betty Maroney woke up Saturday morning, she had no idea the surprise her loved ones had in store for her, according to WSIL.
Maroney was born on April 4, 1917, and those who love her were not about to let the pandemic stop them from celebrating her 103rd birthday.
While she sat in a chair on her driveway, cars decked out with balloons and brightly colored signs drove past her house as drivers honked and waved.
The woman who survived a tri-state tornado that ripped through her community in 1925 said she has enjoyed family get-togethers for many years, but the parade was one event she will never forget.
“It’s just more than I expected, really, and it’s truly a blessing to me and I’ll remember it for a long time,” she commented.
Her family and friends were happy to host the big celebration, according to organizer Sondra Harris.
“It’s nice for all the community to get together,” she explained, adding, “Everybody that’s lived in De Soto knows Betty because she’s been here forever.”
When the parade was over, several people got out of their cars and stood at the end of Maroney’s driveway to sing “Happy Birthday” to her while also following social distancing guidelines.
At the end of the day, Maroney thanked everyone for their kind gesture and said she hoped to see everyone again next year when she celebrates her 104th birthday.
Saturday, Facebook users also wished her well and said they were glad she enjoyed the event.
“A very Happy Birthday wished to you. Lets [sic] plan for the entire town to celebrate your birthday next year with a big party at the park,” one person commented.
“Happy Birthday beautiful soul. 103 years young. Bless you,” another wrote.