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Oct. 23, 2021 | Saturday
Local News
Friends conspired to mark Donna Lailey's 80th birthday
Donna and David Lailey celebrate her 80th birthday. (Kevin MacLean photo)

Celebrations and parties are verboten at this stage of the pandemic, so many milestones are passing without any acknowledgement.

A group of Donna Lailey's friends decided that marking her 80th birthday was important so they hatched a plan to surprise the Niagara-on-the-Lake resident on her big day last Friday. While observing all COVID-19 protocols.

Thanks to Donna's husband, co-conspirator David Lailey, a handful of her friends were able to sneak onto their property and decorate the exterior with balloons while the couple was out.

It was all done quickly and surreptitiously, so that when the Laileys returned an hour later, Donna would find the surprise.

Mission accomplished. "I was really surprised," the former high school teacher and winery owner said after another friend dropped off a cake on the front porch. "I had no idea."

Plans almost went awry at the last minute. "David was planning our daily walk and said we had to leave by 11:30 a.m.," she told The Lake Report.

But yet another friend stopped by and suddenly they were running late. Knowing the "decorators" would arrive momentarily, David insisted that they go for a drive instead of a walk.

So they did and, with military-like precision and despite the windy weather, the balloon brigade carried out its mission.

Five days later it was David's 81st birthday, but it looks like he'll have to wait a while for his big celebration.

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