Governor Branstad and the Iowa Department on Aging go state-wide to recognize our oldest citizens
Who had the bigger thrill Wednesday, September 16th in Fort Dodge?
The nine area Centenarians who were greeted and recognized for their longevity by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad?
Or the Governor himself who got to meet nine of Iowa’s most treasured citizens of 100 years or more?
Although the excitement of meeting our long time governor was evident on the faces of the seniors, my bet would still be on Governor Branstad getting the bigger thrill and enjoyment of spending a special moment with these unique and valued Iowans.
The Tompkins Celebration Center at Friendship Haven was the scene for a Centenarian Recognition Ceremony to honor all people who are 100 years old and older living in the 29 counties served by Elderbridge Agency on Aging.
Niney-two people over 100 years old or who will be 100 by the end of this year were recognized with certificates. These nine centenarians along with their families and friends choose to attend the event at Friendship Haven in person with Governor Branstad:
- Alice Bonnell of Spirit Lake, age 101
- Evelyn Burleson of Fort Dodge, age 102
- Melvin Coil of Manson, age 102
- D. Evelyn Greiman of Garner, age 100
- Charlotte Bernece Hersom of Emmetsburg, age 104
- Maybert Matsen of Fort Dodge, age 103
- Helen Ruebel of Fort Dodge, age 101
- Pauline Sorenson of Storm Lake, age 100
- Hulda Wirtz of West Bend, age 103
Other local dignitaries on hand to congratulate the centenarians included Iowa Department on Aging Director Donna Harvey, Elderbridge Co-Executive Director Shelly Sindt and Steven Ehrhardt of Friendship Haven. Ehrhardt is also the Board of Directors President for Elderbridge and served as the event's host and Master of Ceremonies.
The ceremony at Friendship Haven was the first of six throughout the state that will be hosted by the Area Agencies on Aging in Iowa. Here are the dates for the other Centenarian Recognition Events:
- Des Moines, September 22nd
- Cedar Rapids, September 28th
- Dubuque, October 7th
- Council Bluffs/ Sioux City, October 22nd
- Ottumwa, November 5th
Elderbridge staff all said they felt honored to be chosen to host this event and to meet these incredible centenarians and their loving families and friends.