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Big Lunch, Tiny Hats on Menu for Surprise 79th Birthday Party

July 18, 2016

By: Darden Restaurants, Editor

Big Lunch, Tiny Hats on Menu for Surprise 79th Birthday Party

Siblings celebrate the 79th birthday of Nell Mitchell (center) with an Olive Garden feast in Dothan, AL, as part of the Never Ending Family Table Tour.

Photo Credit: Olive Garden

Janie Hinson, her six sisters and one brother aren't just siblings  they're members of their own special club called the Tiny Hat Society. Eight times a year, the group puts on their finest tiny hats and comes together to celebrate each other's birthdays. 

Ready to wish her sister Nell Mitchell a happy 79th birthday in style, Janie submitted her family's story to Olive Garden and was selected for a special dining experience at the Never Ending Family Table

"We are all senior citizens and having the time of our life,” Janie said. 

Last month, the group came together at Dothan Area Botanical Gardens in Alabama to surprise Nell. 

Olive Garden provided a catered lunch of Five Cheese Ziti, Lasagna Classico, Stuffed Mushrooms, signature salad and a selection of Dolcini desserts. Everyone — including the Olive Garden restaurant team members — wore tiny hats.

Nell’s birthday party was one of several stops on the national Never Ending Family Table Tour. All summer, Olive Garden is surprising guests by popping up at summer celebrations such as birthdays, family reunions and graduation parties.  

Laden with Olive Garden feasts, the tour also stopped in:

Ohio. Columbus residents Dawana Martin; her husband, Roosevelt; their son, Jaylon; and nephew Jaont’e have something special in common: They are all recent college graduates. They celebrated their accomplishments with 50 of their closest friends and family. “This is first time my whole family has been together for a full meal at the same time in a long time,” Dawana said. 

Florida. Michele Woods has a lot to celebrate: a new grandchild and a son who has served two deployments. So family and friends came together to honor the Woods family  and specifically, their son, Jonathan, in the U.S. Army, who recently welcomed his second child and first son with his wife, Tiffany. “It was just perfect timing to celebrate all together as a family,” Michele said. 

Share your story about what brings your family together at the table for a chance to pull up a seat at ours. Guests can follow along and join the conversation on Twitter by following #NeverEndingTable.

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