Over 30 vehicles take part in 90th birthday drive-by celebrations for Gore Bay woman

GORE BAY – The rainy conditions didn’t dampen the enthusiasm and participation of the many family members and friends who took part in a drive-by 90th birthday party for Rhea Woods of Gore Bay last week. 

“It was an amazing turnout, despite the rain,” said Deborah Woods, one of Rhea’s grandchildren and one of the organizers of the event held on Wednesday, May 19.  “My grandmother was very surprised; she had no idea this was going to take place.”

Deborah Woods explained, “the family was looking to do something special for such a sweet lady and with the pandemic many people have resorted to new ways of doing things. We reached out to social media and the Lyons Memorial United Church congregation to spread the word of Rhea turning 90 on May 19. The family was overwhelmed with the amount of community support with birthday cards being sent and so many vehicles participating in the drive-by parade. On behalf of the family we would like to thank everyone for making Rhea’s day so special.”

In photo, left, is Rhea Woods along with her daughter in law, Jo Woods.

“Was I surprised? Was I ever,” stated Rhea Woods when contacted by the Recorder. “I knew my family was up to something, but I didn’t know what. They were being too quiet and when I would say ‘I wonder if I will hear from anyone on my birthday’ they would just say everything will be alright; we’ll be here to entertain you.” 

Ms. Woods quipped that when she saw the long line-up of cars with well-wishers waving and sending her best wishes, “I was absolutely amazed.” 

“It’s been great,” said Ms. Woods. “There were so many cars I didn’t think they would ever stop.” In addition to the drive-by celebration, more traditional birthday greetings have been arriving. “I’ve received over 80 cards from people wishing me well. It was a great birthday and I thank everyone.”