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Elderbridge seeking input on how many and who has reached the 100 year mark

Published Monday, July 27, 2015

In an effort to recognize Iowans who are celebrating 100 years or more of life, Governor Terry Branstad and the Iowa Department on Aging are launching a call for centenarians and are planning a number of regional Centenarian Recognition events throughout the state. For the purposes of this program, a centenarian is any older adult who will be 100 or older by Dec. 31, 2015, and whose primary residence is Iowa.

"We are so fortunate to have such a large number of centenarians in Iowa," said Iowa Department on Aging Director Donna Harvey. "They have lived through things many of us have only read about in books or seen in movies; their collective wisdom and experience is an inspiration to us all. We can learn so much from these men and women who have helped make Iowa the great state that it is."To assist the State of Iowa in recognizing centenarians, the public is encouraged to inform a centenarian, or the person’s family or caregiver, about this call for centenarians and where to access and submit an application.

The application is posted on the Iowa Department on Aging’s website at or may be requested by calling 800.532.3213 or emailing Each centenarian will receive a signed certificate from Governor Branstad that is suitable for framing and will be invited to attend a Centenarian Recognition event hosted by the Governor and sponsored by the Iowa Department on Aging and Iowa’s Area Agencies on Aging later this fall. Elderbridge Agency on Aging will host that recognition ceremony on September 16th in Fort Dodge at a location and time that will be announced soon. The deadline for submitting biographical forms to the Iowa Department on Aging is Monday, Aug. 31.
The Iowa Department on Aging (IDA) is an executive branch agency dedicated to making Iowa the premier state in which to live and retire. To meet that goal, the IDA works closely with the Iowa Commission on Aging and Iowa’s six Area Agencies on Aging to develop a comprehensive, coordinated and cost-effective system of long-term living and community support services that helps individuals maintain health and independence in their homes and communities. More information is available at

Elderbridge Honors Nine Area Centenarians

Governor Branstad and the Iowa Department on Aging go state-wide to recognize our oldest citizens

Published Thursday, September 17, 2015
Governor Branstad and the Iowa Department on Aging go state-wide to recognize our oldest citizens

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.

Video produced by Elderbridge Marketing Assistant Jennifer Brown.

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