Student’s family commemorates birthday, graduation with drive-by celebration

Lilly Duncan displays her birthday cards which were delivered by a caravan of cars wishing her a happy 20th birthday on Cherry Laurel Place in Santa Clarita on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Despite the need to stay socially distanced, the family of soon-to-be-graduated college student Lilly Duncan were committed to finding a way to commemorate her 20th birthday while recognizing her achievement of graduating The Master’s University, with honors, a year early.

Convoying out of the Stater Bros.’ parking lot and driving past Duncan’s Fair Oaks Ranch home on Saturday, the respective nuclear families drove by in separate cars with signs, posters and cheers.

Lilly Duncan, left, gets a giant birthday card in her driveway from Daisy Hydar as Lilly is surprised by a Caravan of cars wishing her a happy 20th birthday on Cherry Laurel Place in Santa Clarita on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

“Usually we get together on Easter Sunday as a family after church, but we weren’t able to because everyone is in different households and everything,” said Duncan. “So it’s really nice to be able to come together even if it wasn’t for Easter, but for a birthday.”

Duncan said the drive-by was a complete surprise to her and that her dad did everything in his power to make sure she wouldn’t miss it.

“I told my dad that I was going to go on an errand and that I’m going to be back,” Duncan said. “And he said, ‘Just wait, ya’ know.’”

Ruby Duncan, right, joins her sister Lilly Duncan in their driveway as Lilly is surprised by a Caravan of cars wishing her a happy 20th birthday on Cherry Laurel Place in Santa Clarita on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

He then said he’d take her to her errand and when she walked outside, her whole family was waiting for her, honking their horns and putting a smile on her face.

“We made a bunch of signs and she was very surprised,” said Heidi Hydar, Duncan’s aunt. “She felt very loved, so mission accomplished.”

Nearly the entire family showed up for the celebration except for those family members who were working on Saturday, which included Duncan’s mom, who works as a physician’s assistant in Lancaster.

Lilly Duncan leans thanks a relative in a car that was part of a caravan that drove by her house wishing her a happy 20th birthday on Cherry Laurel Place in Santa Clarita on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

She wanted to be there, “but unfortunately duty calls,” said Duncan. “We did send her videos … so she didn’t totally miss it.”

Duncan was set to walk at the end of this school year, graduating from The Master’s University with a double major in math and political studies.

“It was a fun little celebration and I was just really surprised and really thankful they were all there to celebrate,” said Duncan.

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