90 Card Birthday Challenge proves fruitful and rewarding

It all began when two daughters Pam and Melinda and a granddaughter Lucinda decided to set a goal of getting 90 birthday cards for their mother and grandmother, Charlotte Clayton of Kyle, who turned 90 in November. Since they couldn’t have a party due to the ongoing pandemic, they contacted family, friends, celebrities she liked, businesses she frequented, previous schools she attended, government officials, and a local Austin news station she was a fan of. It quickly grew to become a history of their mother’s life. It was the magic of hearing the excitement in people’s voices who wanted to participate in a person that maybe they have never met to help spread the joy of their mother’s special day.  

The response was overwhelming. Everyone were willing to participate. A friend of a friend from Las Vegas heard of the challenge and sent 10 greetings to try to meet the goal. Businesses sent gift cards, certificates and gifts. Blue Bell Ice Cream awarded her the Cream of the Crop Award. 

Clayton got birthday greetings from President Biden, city of Kyle officials and the mayor, Kyle PAWS Animal Shelter, city officials and her former employer of Lake Jackson where she resided for more than 50 years. Stephen F. Austin University created a special birthday card from 1950-1953 yearbook photos and sent alumni swag. 

Her family, the Claytons, are the descendants of Nicholas J. Clayton, a prominent architect of many buildings in Texas including St. Mary’s Cathedral and The Main Building, Old Red on St. Edward’s University in Austin. St. Edward’s University president with staff sent a personalized historical birthday greeting about the construction of Old Red.

Celebrities Pete Nelson from Tree House Masters and Chip and Joanna Gaines from Magnolia Network also sent their well wishes. Hand-crafted greetings and cards sent with love filled the mailbox daily.

A total of 152 birthday wishes were sent. Both daughters and granddaughter agreed it was a fun challenge to work on and they accomplished more than their goal. It showed why they loved her so much and everyone helped them celebrate another decade of her life.

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