Exotic sports car parade revs up Naperville boy's 7th birthday
The raucous sounds of sports car engines revving, exhausts popping and police sirens wailing along Whispering Hills Drive in Naperville was music to Heather Campbell's ears Saturday.
She and her husband, Andy Campbell, welcomed the cacophony that announced the arrival of a special exotic cars parade celebrating their son Harrison's seventh birthday.
"All my son wanted for his birthday was to see a Lamborghini," Heather said. "Never in a million years could I have imagined this.
"I'm so grateful and humble and blessed for the kindness. I'm so overwhelmed."
After a week of social media sleuthing, hitting the pavement and several phone calls, Heather Campbell connected with Lamborghini owners Tanya Chavez and Jeff Mayeri of south Naperville and got leads on a few other owners of the Italian sports car.
"The best part of owning the car -- even more than just driving it -- is the smile this car puts on these kids' faces," said Mayeri, who has showcased his yellow Lamborghini in several birthday parades, rallies and special events. "We've been doing a lot of birthday drive-bys. The kids' faces are priceless."
Chavez put the word out to the couple's exotic car owners club, while Campbell followed her own leads. Their efforts led to a birthday parade of a dozen school friends in their parents' vehicles, followed by a Naperville police-escorted encore of five Lamborghinis and three Ferraris. (Their owners set aside the long-standing car rivalry for the festive occasion.)
"Oh. My. God!" Harrison exclaimed as the red, white, blue and yellow Lamborghinis and Ferraris came into view from behind the camouflage of the police SUV escorts. "I love it!"
The car owners pulled into the adjoining cul-de-sac, continuing the chorus of engine revving and car exhausts popping, crackling and banging until the final vehicle entered the court. Drivers then disembarked to give birthday wishes and elbow taps to Harrison.
The birthday boy joined his mom, sister Ellie and their friends to check out the cars up close for nearly an hour. Danny McBride of Lisle even took Harrison on a brief ride around the block in his new blue Lamborghini's debut event.
"It was awesome," said McBride, whose broad grin mirrored Harrison's dimpled smile.
The exotic car owners said they enjoy sharing their vehicles with other enthusiasts. In just the last five months, they've gathered for an informal impromptu car show at Oakbrook Center for a disabled teen's birthday; caravanned downstate with 50 others to Bloomington as part of the Route 66 Tour & Drive to fulfill a Make a Wish Foundation request for very ill boy; ventured out for the Tri-Cities Fox River Run in St. Charles earlier Saturday with the Ferrari Club of America; and driven in several birthday parades throughout the area.
"Any time we can make someone's day, I'm in for that," said red Ferrari owner Gus Apostolopoulos of Naperville.
Wheaton resident Sean Ryan agreed, saying he enjoyed bringing out his Lamborghini with the Hot Wheels logo for Harrison.
"It's awesome," said Ryan, who owns Brighton Auto Detailing nearby in Naperville. "Seeing the smile on his face was priceless."
Harrison was so thrilled with the birthday surprise that he couldn't help but dance a few steps and leap amid the exotic cars.
"It was better than every holiday!" Harrison exclaimed as the parade departed.