• Trinity Gruenberg

Air hugs for Oakley


by Trinity Gruenberg trinity@inhnews.com

A celebration like no other was held in a unique way on April 22. A parade of friends, family, police and fire departments honked their horns and waved to Oakley Wynn of Wadena. “I absolutely loved that. And that’s what I love about small town community,” said mother Alicia Wynn. She, along with her husband Bryan; Oakley, who will turn five in November; and daughters Aspen, 15 months; Bristol, 9; and Macy, 12, stood on their front lawn and waved with excitement as the vehicles passed by. The family has participated in a few birthday party parades and the kids loved throwing out candy. Oakley wished to have one of his own. To his surprise, with the help of friends, family, and their church, it was made possible. It was also a joy for Alicia whose birthday was the day before. It may not have been a birthday parade for Oakley, but it was something even more special, a celebration for him making great strides in his battle with an ongoing eating disorder which is just one of several issues he encounters. Oakley completed an intensive pediatric feeding disorders program at Sanford in Fargo two years ago and was recently set to re-admit to the program on April 20. Because of his recent accomplishments, the family was able to cancel the re-admission. “Something like this may seem like a silly reason to celebrate, but if you know the journey he has been on and all he has overcome, you would understand. This is truly something worth celebrating,” noted Alicia. Her friend Sarah Steinkopf offered to help set up the parade with the help of social media. There were already over 20 people participating in the parade, as well as the Hewitt Fire Department, Wadena Fire Department, Wadena County Sheriff’s Office and Wadena Police Department with lights and sirens. Vehicles were decorated and participants dropped off presents in the driveway. . . .


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