Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 04-22-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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8 PAWTUCKET APRIL 22-28, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | PAWTUCKET EDITION CLASSIC CARS began lining up hours before the surprise birthday parade planned for Daniel Breault. His aunt posted on Facebook seeking a few classic cars to surprise her nephew, and was blown away when hundreds of strangers responded. BREEZE PHOTOS BY NICOLE DOTZENROD Pawtucket resident DANIEL BREAULT reacts as a caravan of hundreds of vehicles pass by his home last week to wish him a happy 13th birthday. Pawtucket boy surprised with classic car birthday parade PAWTUCKET – Last Thursday evening in Pawtucket, hundreds of clas- sic cars, lifted trucks and other vehicles paraded down Memorial Drive, honking their horns and holding bal- loons and signs. Some cars would slow down to toss a card out the window to Daniel Breault, a Pawtucket resident celebrat- ing his 13th birthday. The spectacle came as a complete surprise to Daniel, who stood on his front lawn as well over 100 vehicles – including a number of vin- tage sports cars – rolled (and burned out) past him. Passersby stopped to mar- vel at the display, while oth- ers hung out their window and pointed as the parade rolled by. Vanessa Menard, who put the surprise together for her nephew, said she was not expecting the response she received. She posted on Facebook that she was look- ing for a few classic cars to surprise Daniel with a small drive-by parade, and within a few minutes had dozens of volunteers. More than an hour before the scheduled parade, the parking lots at McCoy Stadium began to fill with lines of vintage cars, jacked up trucks, racecars from local speedways and "Epic Movie Cars" including the Jeep and Explorer from Jurassic Park, Back to the Future's Delorean and the Ghostbusters Ecto. "The response was over- whelming … just unbeliev- able," Menard said. Many of the people who showed up to surprise Daniel last week were complete strangers to the family. "It brings me to tears," she said. Menard said she wanted her nephew to have a special birthday this year, because last year his father, her brother John, died unexpectedly shortly before Daniel's birthday. She said the rolling car show was the perfect way to honor both her brother and nephew, who enjoyed tin- kering with cars together. "This is what Daniel and my uncle did," said Charissa Menard, Daniel's cousin. Daniel just got his own proj- ect car, a Jeep to work on in his spare time. Daniel's older brother Jonathan drove their father's car in the parade. While people cannot gather in crowds due to the coronavirus pandemic, the family said the parade was the best way to celebrate Daniel, watching his face light up as cars burned out on his street. For his part, Daniel said he was surprised. "I had no clue this was happening. I was surprised at how many there were. It's just awe- some," he said. His mother, Tammy, expressed gratitude to those who came out. "Thank you to everyone who did this for him. There are no words," she said. By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer nicole@valleybreeze.com

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