Community Rallies for Kay Struffolino’s 80th Birthday

Cary, NC — There are few people who work as hard, love as much and spread joy the way Kay Struffolino does.

Kay Struffolino is a long-time resident, volunteer and advocate for the Cary community. She was awarded Cary’s Hometown Spirit Award in 2010, she has a park named in her honor on Kildaire Farm Road and she has been an active member of several organizations and boards that exist to better Cary’s parks, recreation, cultural arts and historical preservation.

That’s precisely why a surprise birthday parade was put together for her 80th birthday last week.

“She gives back so much to us and to the community, so we wanted to celebrate her in a special way,” said Joy Ennis, one of the event’s organizers.

Ennis also said trying to surprise Kay is nearly impossible, so the group of 52 cars had to be very sneaky.

Everyone gathered atop the parking garage Friday, Sept. 4 at the Herb Young Community Center before making their way past the Page-Walker where Kay was gathered with some of her family members. Here’s a photo recap of the birthday parade.

With sirens sounding, the Cary Police started off the show. A Cary firetruck was also in the mix to show some love for the birthday girl.


The parade was a drive-thru style party with cars of all themes and styles.


Kay Struffolino waved and said hello to all, stunned by the outpouring of kindness.


Handmade signs, car magnets and streamers were used by many to make the event even more festive.


If there were a “best in show” for the cars, this one would have likely taken it.


A playful crew of puppets came through to give their happy birthday wishes, too.


Kay waves on and continues to be thrilled by the showings of creativity.


This parade-goer shouted happy birthday from the rooftop and even threw a few pieces of candy.


Who says the parade was humans and puppets only? A few K-9s also made an appearance.


A cheerful, iconic quote of Kay Struffolino is “it’s a fabulous day in Happy Hollow.”


The legendary, now 80-year-old, Kay Struffolino, waves goodbye to the end of the parade.

From all of us at CaryCitizen, we wish you a Happy Birthday, Kay. Thank you for all you do for our community.

Story and photos by Ashley Kairis.

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4 replies
  1. Brooke Meyer
    Brooke Meyer says:

    Kay is one of the really good guys. Always a delight to visit with her. Nor does she bug me about the roll of gaffer tape I owe her that saved Santa Claus photographs. Happy Birthday young lady!

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