Pictured, from left, are members of the Tucker family, including 10-year-old Madelyn, 6-year-old Molly, their mother Adrienne Tucker and 8-year-old Brooks.

Community members rally to organize a drive-by birthday parade for 10-year-old Madelyn Tucker

BUCKHANNON – It may have quite literally rained on her birthday parade, but 10-year-old Madelyn Tucker still had the “best birthday ever” regardless.

Madelyn, who turned 10 on Thursday, April 23, is the daughter of Adrienne Tucker and the late Shawn Tucker. She was sad because her first double-digits birthday would have to be spent at home without her friends and without sports, so her mom, Adrienne, asked for birthday wishes on Facebook.

“I put out a message on Facebook asking if people could send Madelyn well wishes as she was sad her birthday would be spent at home alone, but Carrie took that to another level!” Tucker said Friday.

The drive-by party lines up at 6 p.m. at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

Tucker was referring to Upshur County Administrator Carrie Wallace, who organized a drive-by birthday parade with signs offering Madelyn colorful birthday wishes in magic marker as the line snaked into South Tenney Drive in the Hickory Flat Addition where she lives.

Wallace had seen the Tucker’s post and immediately decided to organize a drive-by birthday parade, which she’d heard of coordinated in other places.

“I contacted our youth soccer organization, her teacher, the sheriff’s department, fire department and some other members of the community, and it grew from there,” Wallace said Friday.

Tucker said Madelyn wasn’t sure quite what was happening as the parade of cars made its way toward her home.

“She was quite shocked and surprised,” Tucker said. “I think she was a little scared at first and didn’t know what was going on or why, but she was very happy with it! I still can’t believe it happened.”

The birthday parade makes its way to Madelyn’s house. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

By the end of the day, Tucker said her oldest daughter had declared it the “best birthday ever.” In addition to the parade, friends, neighbors and family members made a special effort to make her birthday extra special.

“Some neighbor friends of ours decorated our porch with balloons and happy birthday posters,” Tucker said. “Our family tradition is to have a donut cake made with donuts from The Donut Shop (just lay the donuts in the shape of a cake and put candles on top).”

“Since their drive-thru is open, we were still able to do that!” she said. “We had cake and presents in the afternoon, and her grandparents participated via video chat! She was able to choose dinner, so we had breakfast for dinner. Another neighbor put balloons and a sign by our mailbox. And she had a couple other friends visit throughout the day to say happy birthday from the yard (social distancing was followed, of course)!”

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