As the oldest resident of our Rice Lake VitaCare Living location, the team wanted to do something extra special for Gladys Halvorson for her 100th birthday. It all started with Brooke Lipka, director of our Rice Lake facilities.
“I posted a picture on Facebook that it would be her 100th birthday, and with COVID you can’t really have big parties anymore, so I asked people to send her a card,” Lipka told Ruth Erickson, reporter at The Chronotype. “I thought it would be something fun that she would appreciate.”
Lipka also reached out to her contact at the Rice Lake Chamber of Commerce who posted in on Facebook, too. Because Gladys regularly reads the paper, they had to get creative with getting the word out in the community in ways that Gladys wouldn’t see.
Jody Greiner, executive director of the Chamber, said that their Facebook post reached over 18,000 people and was shared 171 times. Such a great response.
And the card turnout proved it. Birthday cards started arriving in the mail a few weeks before Gladys’ special day. It was a wonderful surprise. Gladys received over 530 cards and took her time opening them over several days—she wanted to make her milestone birthday last. As she told The Chronotype, “I thought it I open a few at a time, instead of all at once, it would be more fun.”
Birthday cards arrived from all over the country, even the White House. She didn’t wait to open that one. The card read:
“I am honored to wish you a happy 100th birthday. I hope you enjoy your celebration, reflecting on the cherished memories you have made throughout your life. Your strength and perseverance helped shape this nation into what it is today and define what it means to be a member of the Greatest Generation. This milestone serves as an inspiration to your fellow Americans. I feel privileged to share this memorable occasion with you and send you my best wishes for all your days to come.” — President Joe Biden
Gladys moved into our Rice Lake location in April 2021. As a resident, she enjoys being able to take walks; it’s something she does every day. She also loves to watch the birds who come to the feeders right outside her bedroom window. Read more about Gladys, her century of living and the details about this fun surprise. Brooke Lipka and her team truly embody the mission of VitaCare Living; thank you for going out of your way to support our residents, put smiles on their faces and add value to their lives!