On a scale of 1 to 10, Gwen Danley's family says she's a 12! Left to right are Grandma Dee Danley-Brown, Dad Chris Danley, Gwen and Mom Karen Kukoda. The family will celebrate Gwen's 12th birthday on Dec. 12 with a spaghetti dinner. Village Life photo by Noel Stack

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It’s her lucky day

By From page A1 | December 12, 2012

Gwen Danley turns 12 on 12-12-12

“It was a master plan made 13 years ago,” Karen Kukoda joked about her daughter’s 12th birthday on Dec. 12, 2012.

All kidding aside, the Rolling Hills Middle School sixth-grader said, “It’s cool.” And since 12-12-12 is the last repetitive date most of us alive today will ever see — there’s hope for younger people making it to Jan. 1, 2101 (01-01-01) — Gwen plans to celebrate in style with a family dinner of Mom’s spaghetti and meatballs. Later she’ll go skating with her friends.

With this special birthday ushering in the year, Gwen’s family predicts good luck will follow her around. That luck should come in handy when she preps for a big test — Gwen’s already in the school’s GATE program — and when she plays sports. Gwen said P.E. is her favorite subject and competes in gymnastics, cross country and softball. The number she should wear on the softball field next year? The family agreed: 12.

When she’s not studying, tumbling or running for home, Gwen enjoys playing with her chocolate Lab named Colt. He’s inspired her to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Well, maybe. Gwen also has a career in the FBI in her sights.

Lucky birthdays and due dates run in the family. Gwen’s little brother Brendan, 9, almost had the repetitive birthday of 03-03-03 but showed up four days late, Kukoda noted.

Even before the 12 on 12-12-12 phenomenon dawned on the family, they all considered Gwen a special girl.

“She just came into this world as a very sweet and loving child and she’s still that way, most of the time,” Grandma Dee Danley-Brown said with a chuckle. “She’s a wonderful child.”

So what does this undoubtedly wonderful girl want for her special birthday?

“Gift cards,” Gwen said.

“She likes to shop,” Dad Chris Danley noted.

“Famous Footwear, Dad,” Gwen replied. There’s a pair of boots there with her name on them.

Noel Stack


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