Taylor Mennenga was excited when a Paxton fire truck, driven by Fire Chief Dennis Kingren, drove by her house April 4 with sirens blaring to announce to the neighbors that it was her 17th birthday.

Listen to this article

Les and Amy Mennenga wanted to do something special for their daughter, Taylor, on her 17th birthday. The options were somewhat limited due to the stay-at-home order from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The neighbors found out it was Taylor’s birthday when a fire truck, siren blaring, came down their street April 4. Fire Chief Dennis Kingren agreed to make it special.

“She’s pretty down with everything going on, not being able to have friends over,” said Les Mennenga, who asked Kingren for the drive-by celebration.

She was pretty excited when the truck went by, although she admitted she knew something was up beforehand when she overheard her father calling Kingren.

“She was jumping up and down,” Mennenga said.

Taylor called it “a pretty cool surprise. It kind of freaked the neighbors out a little bit.”

Kingren yelled, “Happy birthday!” to Taylor as he drove by.

The teen hasn’t been completely cooped up at home during the shutdown. She works at Hudson Drug Shop in Paxton. She also has her studies that she works on through the remote learning program.