A community helps one Galena girl cruise into her sixteenth birthday

JoLena Evens celebrates her birthday with a surprise parade

GALENA, Kan. – JoLena Evans celebrated her sixteenth birthday Friday with her friends and family.  JoLena was supposed to enjoy this day at Disney World, but the trip was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You can’t compare to Disney too much, so we thought we’d go and get the community involved and to celebrate her sixteenth birthday, to make it something special. She is pretty much loved by everybody in this community,” says JoLena’s mom, Sandra Evans.

Car Buddies Cruises made this day memorable for JoLena with a drive-by parade. About a dozen cars participated in the event.

“We hope that she’ll remember this birthday from now on because it’s going to be a special deal for her,” says one of the drivers, Clarence Gaston.

The highlight for JoLena was being able to see her friends for the first time since the outbreak in March.

“It was really good. I have a lot of friends,” says JoLena.

The festivities were a complete surprise to the birthday girl, which was planned by her mom.

“She’s really excited. She’ll probably say this is better than Disney,” adds Sandra.