Grove City man celebrates 100th birthday with a bang

Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
When Louis Ardit, seated in the center, woke up in the morning on July 5, he believed his day would be a quiet one with his family as they celebrated his 100th birthday. But all of that changed in the afternoon as the sound of car horns and cheers rang throughout his suburban street. For the past several weeks, Cindy Chadwell, the Grand Conductress of the Order of the Eastern Star No. 502, had been secretly organizing a drive-thru parade for her friend and Grand Aide that featured representatives with the local police and fire departments, members of the Grove City Masonic Lodge No. 689 and fellow enthusiasts of the Ford Model A and T cars. Ardit, a WWII veteran, said he was surprised and humbled by the celebration in his honor. This picture, taken with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, was snapped just before he realized a parade was coming through.
Joell Buchanan (driver) and Cheryl Champion decked out this Kia Soul with birthday messages for their friend.
Cathy and Chip Smalley give a cheer during the drive-thru parade.
Ardit gives a cheer as he is presented with a proclamation declaring July 5 “Louis Ardit Day” by Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage. In addition to this proclamation, Ardit also received a letter of recognition for his service to this country from President Donald Trump.
This couple had a smart way to get a bit of shade while participating in the drive-thru on the hot day.
Owners of Ford Model A’s and T’s line up. Ardit said he loves the Model A and was deeply saddened when his went kaput.
Several people used their sun roofs or open-top cars to celebrate Lou as they traveled down Ardit’s narrow street.
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