PARKLAND, FL- It all began a year ago, when the Wallace family of Parkland was eating dinner out with some friends celebrating their son Josh's birthday. The conversation turned towards soda, and the parents were informing their school-aged children that soda is truly not a healthy drink. One of the parents then challenged the kids to not drink soda for a year; if they met the challenge, they'd be given $500. But it had to be a full year, and it had to be zero soda.
Teenager Josh Wallace said he was up for it. No soda for a full year. So he began; day by day, week by week, month by month, until this past week as his "quarantine" 15th birthday approached. Wallace not only met the challenge, but was greeted with an entire stockpile of his favorite beverage, Dr. Pepper, once he reached the finish line. The year wasn't an easy one, but Wallace managed to make it all the way through, ultimately meeting the challenge and getting the reward.
"This goal at the start seemed impossible and completing it gave me the confidence to overcome other challenges in my life," said Josh.
The "No Soda" birthday was also celebrated by the Parkland Golf and Country Birthday Brigade, which made their way through the neighborhood to celebrate with Josh from a distance. The uniqueness of a stay-at-home birthday was made extra memorable; by the challenge, the goal, and the reward. Josh plans to use the reward money to build a computer, a project he can take on while staying home. A tough season was made memorable by family, friends, and neighbors.
"The brigade was special to me because it really just shows how our community could come together," Josh added.