Last November, we asked readers to help World War II veteran 1st Lt. Willie Evelyn Webster celebrate her 100th birthday on Dec. 14 by sending cards and letters. Many of you have asked how the celebration turned out, and we're happy to share the news.
Update: We’re sorry to share the news that Evelyn passed away on February 7, 2020 in Austin, Texas. Readers from all over the world helped make her 100th birthday truly memorable by sending more than 3,000 cards.
Evelyn (married name Tucker) received thousands of cards (some are still trickling in) and enjoyed a birthday party with more than 30 family members from across the country in attendance. Let's get the details from her daughter Mary Spence:
"Be careful what you wish for. We hoped for 100 cards and received over 3,000, which was a little overwhelming (but welcomed!)," Spence said. "Mom read and enjoyed each and every one of the cards. She'd like to say thank you to everyone for helping her celebrate her birthday. I think she became a holiday project for a lot of school classrooms from kindergartners to high school students. It was so sweet reading their cards. She received cards from every state and many from different countries around the world. She received a full-size quilt from the Llano, Texas, Quilts of Valor and a lap quilt from a lady in California. People shared stories of their own family members that served in World War II. It was truly amazing!"
In addition to the quilts, readers took photos from our first post and made collages for Evelyn. More than a few sent photos of their own relatives who served in World War II and other small gifts.
Evelyn and her family want to thank everyone who helped make her 100th birthday so special. We've got only a few more years to recognize our living WWII vets and, in a small but important way, these efforts honor every veteran who served in that conflict.
The cards and letters enjoy a pride of place in Evelyn's home now. Thanks to everyone who participated!