Community shows true colors at birthday party that almost wasn’t


Logan Brown experiences what it’s like to wear fire gear. Photo by Donna Ritchie

When the community learned that no one showed up for a birthday party at the pool for 13-year-old Logan Brown, they requested a “redo” and threw him a party that he would never forget.

Over 100 Canyon Lakers showed up for the impromptu surprise party, including uniformed firefighters and police officers, city and POA officials and a whole lot of cheering new friends.

Jenn and Wayne Brown experienced a nightmare many parents fear — nobody showing up to their child’s birthday party. When they realized none of their son’s friends were coming to his party, they left the lodge pool early and moved the celebration to their home.

A few days later, a post was made about the incident on a Canyon Lake Facebook page, which prompted dozens of residents requesting a “redo” party.

“I vote for a redo, my kiddos love to make new friends too,” posted Danielle Coats. “I’m happy to bring my kid and a gift as well. Let’s let him know he’s loved,” Dana Jensen posted. “I don’t have any kids, but I would love to help him celebrate,” Sharon Arickaree said in her post.

Wayne said he was moved when he discovered the post and read the messages. “This community has inspired us beyond words,” he said.

With the guestlist growing to more than 100 Canyon Lakers, the party was set in motion.

Tracy Vartanian volunteered to bake 100 cupcakes, purchase a cake and collect donations for gift cards. To keep Logan from learning about his surprise party, Pam Edmondson volunteered to take him for a boat ride while the party was being set up on the beach.

When Logan arrived at Sunset Beach, his parents greeted him at the boat and welcomed him to his surprise party. “It was so fun to see his face when he ran up,” said Julie McCaffery. “What a great place we live in.”

Among those in attendance were Canyon Lake Councilwoman Kasey Castillo, POA President Dale Welty, firemen from Canyon Lake Station 60 and Canyon Hills Station 94, Canyon Lake Deputy Hefington and Sgt. Thompson from the Perris Police Station.

Wayne said he was especially touched that resident Greg Hupe, who is battling stage 4 cancer, stopped by to deliver a card. “He said he wanted to give something back to the community that has given him so much support,” said Wayne.

“All of this has restored our faith in a supportive community that we were lucky enough to be talked into moving to four years ago,” Jenn said.

Logan has been busy this week playing with the many gifts he received. Among them are a television, skateboard, pool toys and Lego sets.

“This has meant so much to him,” Wayne said. “He hasn’t stopped smiling. He’s glowing.”


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Donna Ritchie