LAKEWOOD (CBSLA) — A World War II veteran's 105th birthday celebration planned for later this month has been thwarted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the Mayor of Lakewood is seeking the public's help in making his milestone birthday memorable.
Mayor Todd Rogers is calling on the public to send birthday cards to Mom and Dad's House in Lakewood where Sam Sachs lives.
According to Rogers, the facility was "planning a fancy 105th birthday celebration for him, but the party now has to be re-imagined because of the coronavirus and the dangers of bringing people together for a gathering.''
"Because of this, I'd like to ask that we all consider helping with this redesigned 105th birthday party for Sam by writing him a birthday card.''
All cards will be set aside for several days once they are received to ensure there is no COVID-19 contamination. They will also be opened with gloves "to be extra careful for Sam,'' who turns 105 on April 26.
In a YouTube video titled Sam Sachs 105 BDAY Wish, the centenarian, dressed in a military uniform, noted that a birthday party was in the works "but the virus took charge.''
"Now that this has been canceled, I am sending this out to all of you... to send me a birthday card to take (the) place of the event that
should have happened at the birthday party,'' said Sachs.
"Now I am wondering how many birthday cards I will get,'' he said. "I hope I get many of them and I'm also asking our president to send me a card also -- what a thrill that would be.''
Mom and Dad's House owner Ivonne Meader said she had planned a "very big party'' that would have included Sachs' family members who were traveling from out of state.
Unfortunately, the pandemic forced her to change plans, resulting in the birthday card drive. So far, about 50 to 60 cards have arrived from people in California, Nevada, Oregon New York, South Carolina, and Florida.
"He wants a lot of cards,'' Meader said. "This is a big milestone for him.''
A surprise "car parade'' in front of the house is also in the works for Sachs' birthday.
The city is working with Sachs' senior living home on additional ways the community can help celebrate "Sam's special milestone birthday,'' Rogers said.
Cards can be sent to: Mom and Dad's House, c/o Lt. Col. Sam Sachs, 4340 Conquista Ave., Lakewood, CA 90713.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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