Hard to top 12-12-12 birthday for Bradenton girl

rdymond@bradenton.comDecember 12, 2012 

MANATEE

Bradenton's Lyndi Casto is not only celebrating her birthday on today's once-in-a-century 12-12-12 but she's also turning 12.

"I keep trying to tell her we probably can't top this one," Lyndi's mother, Barbara Casto, said of her daughter's numerically unique birth date, honored with an equally unique birthday party.

Lyndi's parents went to great lengths to keep it a secret that Lyndi's story was going to be on the newspaper today. They wanted it to be a surprise. That's why she wasn't interviewed for this story.

"She has been fascinated about it," said Barbara Casto. "She remembers that on 11-11-11 people whose birthday was on that day were in the newspaper. She said, 'Mom, do you think they will mention me on 12-12-12?'"

There are several reasons why Lyndi's future birthdays may not have the pizzazz of this one.

For one, 12-12-12 won't return again for 100 years.

And even that is in doubt given that the ancient Mayan calendar has, to the interpretation of some, concluded that 12-12-12 marks the end of life as we know it.

The date has such a magnetic draw for many, at the very least as a memory marker, that it has become the occasion of The Concert for Sandy Relief at Madison Square Garden.

In Florida, 12-12-12 has also made an impact on another group of number lovers.

The Florida Lottery confirmed Tuesday that so many people have already played 1-2-1-2 in today's two Play 4 drawings that the combination will most likely be sold out before the drawings,

"The Florida Lottery is projecting that both the 1:30 p.m. and 7:57 p.m. Play 4 drawings today will have reached $5 million in sales and will be sold out," Shelly Gerteisen, a spokeswoman for The Florida Lottery said Tuesday.

Players can still play for the numbers 1-2 to come in other orders, but the exact 1-2-1-2 is no longer available in order to protect the lottery from exceeding its liability limit, Gerteisen said.

The odds that one of today's Play 4 drawings will actually be 1-2-1-2 is one in 10,000, Gerteisen said.

By the way, since Play 4 launched on July 4, 1991, the exact combination 1-2-1-2 has never come in, Gerteisen added.

For Lyndi, a sixth-grader at Bradenton's Community Christian School, turning 12 on 12-12-12 is just plain cool.

So, who is this special girl with the special 12th birthday?

Lyndi absolutely loves to draw. She plays piano, trumpet and handbells. She loves to play volleyball. She is outgoing. She has a ton of friends and loves to be with them. She likes to stay busy.

"I believe when Lyndi was born, God had a purpose for her and He's blessed her," said Lyndi's 21-year-old sister, Courtney Casto, a student at Pensacola Christian College. "I think He has her future planned out. I think anything she does she will enjoy in her life."

So, what kind of birthday party does a mom and dad throw for a once-in-a-lifetime birthday?

Steve and Barbara Casto invited eight of Lyndi's close friends over for a Spa Extravaganza, a five-star hotel spa experience right in the Casto's Fairfax home, near Peridia.

Jackie Saldivar, Abigail Birney, Alyssa Zern, Stephanie Burrell, Andrea Eberstein, Cora McKellar, Aubree Zern and Taylor McCormack joined Lyndi in having chocolate facial masks, made of cocoa powder, yogurt and honey, which they later ate.

"The chocolate facial masks were actually also good for their skin," Barbara Casto said. "They also had a vanilla bean sugar scrub for their lips and I sewed special spa towels for each of them. They got to each take home little jars of sugar scrub and each had personal wash clothes and head bands."

Three high school girls from Community Christian School, including Rebekah Bollom, Sydney Gay and Heather Schmidt, came over to do the younger girls' hair, including curling and braiding.

They dined on 12 different foods, including quiche, sausage balls, bacon, fruit, donut holes and other delicacies created by Barbara Casto.

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