To the editor:

I would like to give a special thank you to the Portland police and fire departments and Jay County Sheriff’s Office.

On Friday, April 24, it was our mother’s 85th birthday. Under normal times, our families would have had a birthday party to celebrate this special day. However, because of these unusual times — COVID-19 — and doing our part of keeping the social distancing in place we decided to have a birthday parade instead.

This birthday parade turned out to be even more special because the fire department showed up to take part in the parade, the sheriff’s office led the parade of 30 vehicles with the support of the police department from our meeting place to drive by our parents’ home, blowing our horns, holding our home made signs, balloons and gifts out the vehicle windows, wishing mom happy birthday. Mom was so surprised that she was speechless (one of those rare times). Also, we want to thank everyone that mailed a birthday card (last count mom has received 93 cards).

Dad and Mom suggested that a letter to the editor be written to thank everyone that was part of the parade, and with a special thank you to the Jay County Sheriff’s Office and Portland fire and police departments for making this a birthday that Mom will remember forever.


Deb Barnett

and the Hilgeford family