Small Businesses rally to celebrate 80-year-old’s birthday

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A Bowling Green woman celebrates a milestone birthday with the help of an entire community.

Donna Woods is true lover of life. At 80-years-young, she’s already planning her next adventure, but something about Bowling Green’s square always calls her home. 

“I’ve had the good fortune to be able to travel a lot, and I’ve seen a lot of beautiful places, but Fountain Square is my most favorite place in the world,” said Woods.

Donna was going to have a huge birthday party, but with the Covid Delta variant on the rise, fear of meeting in person became a huge road block. 

However, many of the businesses in Fountain Square Park were determined to help Donna begin her 8th decade as the best one yet. Candle Makers on the Square hosted a drive-by party, so Donna’s friends could greet her one-by-one to give birthday gifts and receive treat bags from the local shops.

“At Candle Makers, we’ve gotten to know Donna over the last year or two since we’ve all been here, and she is such a delight,” said Candle Makers manager Rachel Summar. “So, when she came to us with the idea of having her 80th birthday here on a beautiful November day, we were so excited, saying this is going to be the best day ever.”

Woods said, “I love all the entrepreneurs that are here in Fountain Square and around downtown, so I’m just very happy to be here.”

Along with the venue, Candle Makers provided candles, Baked offered cookies, Knotty Pretzel served up their delicious pretzel bites, Mary Janes added in chocolates, Little Fox Bakery prepped pastries, Ridley Roasthouse made their signature coffee, and artist Misha Ambrosia made fridge magnets – all of which went into Donna’s goodie bags. 

And of course no cake is complete without a cake topper. Young Johnathan Tyson wanted to give Donna his very best work, making a 3-D model of the actual fountain in the park. Once he got the call that his 3-D printing skills were in demand he was immediately up for the challenge.  

“I was all for it and glad to be a part of this. My favorite part is definitely seeing the reactions of the people,” said Tyson. “That’s genuinely what I do it for. To make people happy and share God’s love with other people.”

Summar said in the last few years, she’s seen the locally owned shops team up for their community more and more. 

“I think, you know, this just proves it even further that we really enjoy doing things together,” Summar said.