By Darrel Wheeler
Contributing Writer

Family members of Dorothy Lewis planned for months to give the family matriarch the party of a lifetime and keeping the big event a secret. Last Friday night Mrs. Lewis got the surprise of her young life when she walked through the doors of the Lemon Grove Community Center.

“They told me we were coming here to take a family portrait and I fell for it. I never expected this. It was beautiful. This was one of the biggest surprises ever of my life,” said Dorothy Lewis.

The 70th birthday celebration began with a meet & greet before the birthday girl entered the building, her daughter Vonda Steen handled the Master of Ceremony duties. The guests were treated to a slideshow presentation, and Pastor Cedric Neely blessed the special occasion and then dinner was served. The celebrators were also entertained by mime dancers Johnnie Lewis & Daizharell Brown, and praise dancer Ja’jon.

Z (6) copyFamily and friends paid tribute when they stepped to the microphone announcing their love, respect, praise and thanks to the devoted mother of seven children, four girls and three boys.

Eldest son Antoine McNeely said, “Thank you mom for your perseverance, love, and being such a good example for your family and showing us how to raise our kids. Happy birthday, love you.” The celebrators sung the happy birthday song to the happy birthday girl, she cut her happy birthday cake and got busy on the dance floor.

“There was a lot of love here tonight and it was all because of Dorothy. She is a beautiful person and she is so full of love – that’s just how she is and I’m proud to be here brother,” baby brother Sam Austin said.

After all the hugs, laughs, tears and dancing, it was time to wrap up Mrs. Dorothy Lewis’  70th birthday bash.

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“I couldn’t ask for anything more. This was so heartwarming – God is good my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were here to support me. I walked in here crying and came out laughing, I’m so blessed they gave me my flowers while I’m here,” said Mrs. Dorothy Lewis.