DAYTON - No party is unfettered, but the Master's Plan Cafe hosted a 100th birthday party in honor of Liz Shaffer's 100th birthday on July 2, which truly had no restraints. It was declared "Liz Shaffer Day" with a banner prominently displayed in town.
The party was given by Shaffer's daughter, Sandy, and her husband Bill Bridenbaker, with the help of the Dayton community. Bright red, white and blue decorations in recognition and in honor of the Fourth of July, flanked the town. The Dayton community went all out. Penny and Bob Stark provided a large tent. Ruth Rogers donated a huge birthday cake, enough for 300 servings.
The day started out with the parade participants assembling at the Dayton Fire Hall, then proceeding the mile-long trek down Main Street to the Master's Plan Cafe at noon. Shaffer was escorted in a horse-drawn carriage driven by Bruce Koningisor. She had three birthday wishes: patriotic theme, a horse-drawn carriage and a motorcycle ride. Later in the day she took a spin around the block in a motorcycle side car. Her desire was to take a ride on the back of a motorcycle; the motorcyclist preferred the side car and Liz consented.
Many members of the community gathered for Liz Shaffer’s 100th birthday celebration in Dayton.
One of Shaffer’s (center) birthday wishes came true: a ride on a motorcycle.
Volunteer firemen helped with the parade, escorting the participants with a big red fire truck, as well as pulling in the ranks at the end of the parade and providing community bulletin board advertisement. There were many guests, some inspired to walk, bicycle and push a wheelbarrow. The fellow with the wheelbarrow was Pastor Dan Carr of the Wesley U.M. Church, carrying a tree to be planted in Shaffer's honor. Noreen Koningisor helped with the calves, lamb and a goat on the portable petting zoo wagon with many children.
Wesley UM Church presented a float with a 4-foot birthday cake, decorated with glittering candles. The elaborate float was constructed by Christine and Mike Matthews of Dayton.
Following the parade, 100 red, white and blue helium balloons were launched, with Shaffer launching one gold balloon in her honor. All of the guests enjoyed a picnic dinner. After dinner, Celeste Allen provided a rendition of special "crooner" songs of the 1950s and '60s. Shaffer was presented with a commemorative booklet, "Making Dayton Visible," consisting of memorabilia and history of the Village of Dayton, printed in June 2011. The booklet was presented in honor of the residents of the village of Dayton.
Dayton village has been on the map for 196 years. The families have always carried the torch with dignity and respect that are hallmarks of their rich heritage. Prior to 1851 the village was called Dayton Summit but over the years, the statistics of criteria for being a village have been changed.
Thanks are extended to all of the devoted neighbors and volunteers that surely made a celebration of all times.