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Collected Item: “During Pandemic, Community Adapts "Reverse" Parade to Honor 90th Birthday in Memorable Way”

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During Pandemic, Community Adapts "Reverse" Parade to Honor 90th Birthday in Memorable Way

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Text Story

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Local resident Genelle Richey retired in 2012, dedicating 62 years of her life to teaching. Since then Mrs. Richey's status of being a local educator and mentor as only grown in appreciation. On April 11, 2020 during the peak of COVID-19 shutdowns, the community of Blanchard, Oklahoma offered its gratitude to Mrs. Richey by organizing a parade of hundreds of participants to drive past her and her family to wish her a happy 90th birthday. The event was organized by her family and mostly online to preserve the surprise to Mrs. Richey herself. The event took place between 3:00 and 4:00 PM on that Saturday, April 11. The parade featured vehicles decorated with signs, decorated "floats" on trailers, and was led by the Blanchard Police and Fire Departments. Residents drove past and dropped off birthday cards and took photographs as they passed. During a quiet and uneventful month of the pandemic, the community of Blanchard came together to create a memorable day for a very special woman.

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Clinton P. Roberts

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