Clever Pokemon-themed party lets Libertyville boy celebrate 9th birthday with classmates

  • Libertyville resident Julien Truelove was given a surprise Pokemon Go Adventure for his 9th birthday Monday, April 27. Nine stops were set up outside the homes of his Copeland Manor Elementary School classmates.

    Libertyville resident Julien Truelove was given a surprise Pokemon Go Adventure for his 9th birthday Monday, April 27. Nine stops were set up outside the homes of his Copeland Manor Elementary School classmates. Courtesy of Liz Truelove

  • Libertyville resident Julien Truelove at the Copeland Manor Elementary School Poke Stop during his 9th birthday celebration.

    Libertyville resident Julien Truelove at the Copeland Manor Elementary School Poke Stop during his 9th birthday celebration. Courtesy of Liz Truelove

 
 
Posted5/2/2020 7:30 AM

Celebrating birthdays during Gov. J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home order has been quite a challenge for area residents.

Libertyville resident Julien Truelove found Pokemon cards and toys inside bags hanging from handmade Poke Stop signs for his 9th birthday party April 27.
Libertyville resident Julien Truelove found Pokemon cards and toys inside bags hanging from handmade Poke Stop signs for his 9th birthday party April 27. - Courtesy of Liz Truelove

Drive-by parades complete with car horns, balloons, signs and waving loved ones seems to be the go-to celebration.

Libertyville resident Liz Truelove and her family started playing Pokemon Go again, which is a game designed to walk around your community and catch virtual Pokemon creatures.

Truelove, a sonographer at Advocate Aurora Medical Center Kenosha, recently read an article in an Advocate newsletter about celebrating birthdays with a "walk-by-parade." This gave her the idea to hold a Pokemon Go adventure party for her son Julien's 9th birthday.

One of the locations for Julien Truelove's 9th birthday Pokemon Go party was outside the Chihart family home on Paul Revere Drive.
One of the locations for Julien Truelove's 9th birthday Pokemon Go party was outside the Chihart family home on Paul Revere Drive. - Courtesy of Liz Truelove

Julien, a third-grader at Copeland Manor Elementary School in Libertyville, started playing Pokemon Go in 2016. That led to collecting cards and playing Pokemon-themed Nintendo games.

Truelove contacted Copeland parents and set up 10 Pokemon stops -- nine at classmates' homes and one at the school on 7th Avenue. The party took place Monday, April 27.

Truelove said the event was a huge success.

"Everyone really went all out for Julien. The personal creations and gifts they shared were so special. At many stops the entire family would greet us" she said.

Julien Truelove gets a birthday thumbs-up from Copeland Manor Elementary School classmate Ambrose Chihart. 
Julien Truelove gets a birthday thumbs-up from Copeland Manor Elementary School classmate Ambrose Chihart.  - Courtesy of Liz Truelove

"It was really nice to connect with folks in real life, even if it was 10 feet away. The siblings got involved as well, and it was really cute and touching to see everyone getting on board."

At each stop, Julien found presents and "loot" inside bags hanging from handmade Poke Stop signs. Limited-edition cards and toys were inside the bags. His friends waved through their windows and held signs with birthday wishes from front porches.

Julien Truelove's Copeland Manor Elementary School classmate Cayden Westforth and his siblings participate in the birthday celebration.
Julien Truelove's Copeland Manor Elementary School classmate Cayden Westforth and his siblings participate in the birthday celebration. - Courtesy of Liz Truelove

Truelove said the stay-at-home order has been a big adjustment for her family. She has gained an even bigger respect for teachers.

"I would like to thank everyone who helped bring this day to life" Truelove said. "The smile on Julien's face is the best thing that has happened since all of this began"

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