Big eyes, surprised faces, tears of joy, and mouths covered with chocolate. It was one of those days that one likes to think back on and which people will talk about for a long time. On the 80th birthday of the HABA family of companies, Sabine and Heike Habermaass, the granddaughters of the company’s founder, together with a team from the family-owned company and Radio Eins, the local radio station, hit the road to surprise other birthday children on their special day. “To provide some joy to young and old – that was the first of our 80 good deeds,” according to Sabine Habermaass.
The group covered around 150 kilometers in the districts around the company headquarters of Bad Rodach. The trunk of the anniversary vehicle was packed with chocolate cake, flowers, and gifts from the HABA family of companies. We stopped at the homes of eight birthday children. None of them knew anything about our visit – either at home or at work. Family and friends had responded to our appeal beforehand and had concocted the surprise with us.
“We couldn’t have wished for a more beautiful 80th birthday than to share it with so many people and experience how happy they were.”
And so it happened that we showed up at nine a.m. at the breakfast table at Elfriede’s home in Bad Rodach and serenaded her. Elfriede was celebrating her 82nd birthday with her loved ones. And they helped her blow out the candles.
“It’s enough to drive you crazy!” is how Günther from Scheuerfeld, who was surprised at a champagne breakfast, expressed his joy. Like our HABA family of companies, he too was celebrating his 80th birthday. An acquaintance from the choral society had suggested him for the activity: “Günther is a great guy. He’s always reliable. He’s earned it,” she revealed.
One of the birthday children even surpassed us in age. Dorothea from Dörfles was celebrating her 90th birthday. A shared past connects her to our family business. At the beginning of our company’s history, her father had worked for Eugen Habermaass as a master carpenter and helped develop the very first doll wardrobe. Dorothea herself as well as her sister were the first commercial trainees in the company. Her daughter Annette heard about the company’s anniversary: “When I learned that the anniversary fell on my mother’s birthday, I wanted to make the bygone days come back to life. Fantastic that it worked out!”
Janin was visibly touched and speechless when the surprise team visited her on her 28th birthday at her workplace in the Sonneberg hospital. Her husband and stepfather had arranged everything, but her boss and colleagues were also privy to it and shared in her joy. To celebrate the day, Janin even got off work early.
We surprised Helena from Küps at home over coffee and cake with her family right after the end of school. To the seven-year-old’s great delight, she could listen to the surprise visit live on Radio Eins: “Cool. I always wanted to be on television, but radio works too,” she commented.
We couldn’t tell who was more delighted about the HABA ball track, the father or the son. But we had brought the ball track along for Hannes, who was celebrating his fifth birthday. The track was up and ready even before we had gotten out of the house.
Laura, whom we visited on her seventh birthday at home in her backyard near Seßlach, had also been busy unwrapping presents.
Kristin was absorbed in a telephone call. She was the final birthday child on this day and had just turned 18. We surprised her at her workplace in a Coburg doctor’s office. She was completely dumbfounded when she hung up the phone: “I don’t know what to say.”
How nice! “We couldn’t have wished for a more beautiful 80th birthday than to share it with so many people and experience how happy they were,” said Heike Habermaass.