SOUTHPORT, N.Y. (WETM) — A very special birthday celebration was held on Saturday for a Woodbrook Assisted Living Facility resident.
Vera Cooke Higgins turned 100 on Friday and had a big celebration on Saturday, being put on by the staff at Woodbrook with help from her family.
Vera was the star of the show and sat front and center inside a large gathering hall at the facility, surrounded by her family and fellow residents.
The fireplace was decorated with pink “Happy Birthday” signs, while pink and purple balloons danced in the air around Vera.
A large cake was made and put on display next to Vera, with the writing “Happy 100th Birthday Vera!” along with a bouquet of flowers next to her seat.
When asked about Vera’s secrets to a long life she said she didn’t really have any, “Well…not really,” she said.
One of Vera’s daughters said otherwise, adding that her mother is very active and that she believes that’s the secret to a longer life.
“I’m a very happy person,” Vera said when asked about how she handles each day.
Her family said that Vera bowled most of her life, up until she was 98, saying that she used to go to Paramount Lanes in Horseheads, the Elmira Bowling Center in Southport, and in more recent years, Crystal Lanes in Corning.
Although she no longer bowls, Vera takes up shuffleboard at Woodbrook and is considered rather competitive.
Born in Elmira Heights, Vera has lived in the Southern Tier her entire life, working at numerous retail locations such as the Knit and Pearl Shop on Thurston Street in Elmira, Rudybaers Corner in Horseheads, and Wades Jewelry Store in Horseheads.
Vera continues to be a woman of faith as she still attends the same church that she’s gone to her entire life. She has four children and eight grandchildren, all saying how lucky they are to have her and to celebrate 100 years.
Vera’s Party wouldn’t have been a success without the help from the staff at Woodbrook. Christine Brewer, the Activities Director at the facility, said that she likes that she can help make a difference for people by putting together these parties.
“It’s not every day that someone turns 100, of course,” Brewer said, “to make her feel special and that people notice and realize that she’s truly an inspiration to everyone, and just make her feel really special, that’s what I like about it, making the difference,” she said.