92-year-old Rockton man gets birthday bash in his yard after party was canceled due to coronavirus

Local News

ROCKTON, Ill. (WTVO) — A caravan of cars stopped in front of a Edward “Red” Collins’ house in Rockton on Tuesday morning to help celebrate his 92nd birthday.

Usually, Collins’ family takes him out to a local restaurant to celebrate, but this year, due to social distancing guidelines in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they couldn’t.

“It’s a little heartbreaking,” said his niece, Tracy Swanson. “He’s 92. We’d like to make every year count, especially these days.”

His family didn’t want Collins to think they’d forgotten about him, so with “Happy Birthday” signs and balloons, they stood outside his home to celebrate at a safe distance.

Swanson even lit a birthday cupcake on his porch.

“We just had to settle for this, because we are not going to take any chances with this one,” she said. “He’s a very healthy 92-years-old and he’s 92-going-on-11, I’d say.”

Collins stood at his front door, watching it all, and ventured out to say thanks and get his cupcake and presents.

“Well, I’d just like to thank everybody for coming by and having a nice birthday, you know,” he said. “I appreciate it.”

Collins’ family says they’re going to get together once the social distancing guidelines are relaxed, and say they can’t wait to give him a big hug.

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