Bailey Shindler turned 16 Sunday. Her central Alberta mom Crissy Stoodley organized a surprise birthday parade for the teen Sunday afternoon. Cars drove by slowly and honked outside the Blackfalds’ family home Sunday. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

COVID-19 birthday parade: Blackfalds mom hoping comunity help her daughter celebrate sweet-16-birthday Sunday

In these troubling times, we can all use some cheer.

A central Albertan teenager with a sweet-16-birthday on Sunday can especially use some cheer, says her mother Crissy Stoodley.

The Blackfalds mom arranged a surprise birthday parade for her daughter Bailey Shindler. Those driving by the family’s house saw signs posted outside and honked to show support.

She explained her daughter has been having a rough time without school, cancelled driver’s test and her father’s death around Christmas.

“Her dad passed away recently so it’ll be tough to not get that phone call this year on her birthday,” explained the mom.

The mom said the family has read about birthday parades around the world with COVID-19, so the family decided to do one in her Blackfalds community Sunday afternoon.

The mom had been spreading the word about the parade on social media.

“I reached out to the community and I gave a window of time where people can drive by our house slowly and honk,” said the mom, explaining the family will stand outside for the parade to pass by obeying social distancing rules.

“Even if 10 cars drove by, it’ll make her day,” the mom said Sunday morning.

Shindler attends high school in Lacombe and the cancellation of classes has been tough on her.

“It’s her favourite, just being with her friends,” said the mom.

Shindler loves to sing and dance, she is everyone’s friend, cares for her friends and family, and is someone people can lean on, said Stoodley of her daughter.

Stoodley said she and her husband got back from Costa Rica in the middle of March and the three of them were self-isolating after the trip. That self-isolating period was also rough on the teenager since she couldn’t work her part-time job.

“Her job taken away, friends taken away, birthday taken away, driver’s licence taken away, and dad,” said the mom about her daughter.

Sunday morning the Blackfalds mom was worried about snowy conditions.

“We’ll make the best of it and put a smile on her face right now.”

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