Scottsdale woman celebrates 90th birthday with drive-by parade

The friends and family of Alice Bendheim were reminded of the effects of the pandemic on everyone's life as they had to celebrate her 90th birthday behind a window.

The celebration in Scottsdale consisted of signs, hats and balloons on 100-degree pavement outside of Alice's senior care center.

Alice Bendheim's family and friends walked up to a ‘tough to see through’ window to greet her. They’d rather be in her room. Hugging her. Singing and laughing by her side.

"Happy birthday," says her son, Tom, to his mother.

Tom knows this has been hard for both of them. 

"She went into an assisted living center 5 days before corona and the lockdown," Tom said. "It’s been really hard on her so this [birthday celebration] will be good."

Alice is no ordinary 90-year-old -- she is the fiery co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, a school teacher and an attorney.

Many loved ones who gathered outside her Scottsdale assisted living center window say she was a mentor and leader.

"I would love to be just like her when I’m 90 years old," said Terri Gallu, Alice's friend. "I just truly admire her and know her life’s work has been about justice for everyone. Alice is a take-no-prisoners kind of woman. She has been fighting the good fight her whole life."

Unfortunately, this year these words were said through windows and phone calls, but the sentiment of the words hasn't changed.

"Happy birthday to you! Cheers!"