BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — You only turn 50 once and not celebrating Donny Gwinn’s big day because of COVID-19 was not an option. His friends and family met at The Gospel Chapel in Beckley to start the surprise.
Mason Smith, Gwinn’s brother-in-law, said this all came together because Gwinn was not able to have the big party his wife originally planned.
“So, everyone got together and started planning. We got people from the church, our family, and friends and we just sort of put this together,” Smith said.
The parade started down Gwinn’s street. It was lead by police, followed by an ambulance, and many friends honking their horns and screaming out their windows. Friends also had their cars decorated with balloons and were holding posters showing love to Gwinn.
“It is good with all the chaos going on it is good that people came out and we had a 5 minute parade in front of the house it caught me off guard, but it is cool,” Gwinn said.
Gwinn was joined on his front porch by his family, including his mother, who was also celebrating her birthday. This parade was not only a way to celebrate his birthday, but a way for their church family to get together while still practicing social distancing.
“With our church family here, we are all so closed knit anyway, and it has been awhile since we have all been together. With everything going on, everybody just come together and just we just want to celebrate his birthday today,” Smith said.
Gwinn was touched by everyone who celebrate him and was also surprised by the event.
“To have good friends and do that it is touching in my old age, I have some good friends and some good family so it is cool,” Gwinn said.