The City of Alexandria paid tribute to local centenarians with a celebration event Sept. 12 in the Vola Lawson Lobby of City Hall.
“This is an amazing milestone,” said Kate Garvey, Director of the Department of Community and Human Services. “We have 25 centenarians in the City of Alexandria and want to acknowledge the amazing contributions they have made.”
Mayor Justin Wilson welcomed the centenarians in attendance, presenting each with a certificate after giving a brief background on the resident.
“I think there is a theme here,” said Wilson, after several centenarians agreed that the best advice to the younger generations is to be kind to each other.
The secrets to longevity varied, with 103-year-old Ann Samuel attributing hers to the fact that she never learned to drive and walked everywhere.
For Frances Webb, also 103, she attributes her longevity to getting up every day, putting on her makeup and being kind to everyone.
Walter Hammersley, 102, attributed his long life to his family.
“I have such a wonderful family,” Hammersley said. “I count my blessings.”
Mary Lee Anderson, Executive Director of Senior Services of Alexandria, was on hand to congratulate the attendees.
“At Senior Services, we support residents so that they can stay in the community and become centenarians,” Anderson said. “We honor and respect them for all they have given to Alexandria and to their families. This is truly my favorite event of the year.”
At 101, Ruby Wells advises everyone to “keep your sense of humor always.”
Added Garvey, “Today shows that this is a community where older adults can flourish and influence and teach us how to do better.”