Champagne, cake and a clamour of "congratulations" were shared at a quadruple centenarian celebration at The Springs at Carman Oaks July 10. The Springs holds a monthly birthday celebration for its residents, and this July four centenarians, people over 100 years old, were the center of attention. Ferriel DeLap (102), Grant Valentine (101), Dallas Bersack (100) and Trudy Young (100) reminisced on change over the past century and reveled in communal love and support.
"I feel blessed and honored to have lived to this age," Valentine said. "Nobody reaches 100 alone; one needs support from family and those around them and that is what I have."
Valentine has been living at The Springs since November 2018 and said he loves the friendly staff and that the experience is like living with a big family.
Valentine walks 1-2 miles daily and cites this exercise as a recipe for longevity.
"I want to set an example for everyone here. If a 100-year-old can walk every day I figure the rest of them can too," he said.
Young is grateful for the community at The Springs and for the celebration.
"Today is a rare chance to have this wonderful feeling that all these people are wishing me well," Young said. "They are fueling me up for another 100."
Young attributes her longevity to three pillars of health in her life: happiness, family and never smoking.
Happiness and savoring life are sentiments of DeLap, a nine-year resident at The Springs.
"There is not another place in the world I would rather be at this point in my life," DeLap said.
During the ceremony, Life Enrichment Director Lisa Oetken shared trivia from 1917-1919 to contrast modern times with life a century ago.
In 1919 the Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure on earth and alcohol was illegal. Women couldn't vote and zippers were the biggest craze. 100 years later and ballots and boys are no longer an exclusive tag team, and zippers are just another combining material now arguably outshined by Velcro. Time, change and growth are all aspects of life to be celebrated, and Oetken said honoring the lives of others is important and special for everyone.
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