OLD BRIDGE – It was centuries’ worth of wisdom sitting all under one roof.
That was the scene in Old Bridge Wednesday afternoon, when the George Bush Senior Center played host to 300-plus attendees and honorees at a Middlesex County “90’s Birthday Bash.”
Ninety-four-year-old Armondina Tripodi, a Roosevelt Care Center at Old Bridge resident, had a front-row seat to the day’s festivities. She was one of approximately 85 seniors being honored by Middlesex County and the Office of Aging and Disabled Services.
“It’s an acknowledgement of the wonder of being 90-plus years old – that’s a milestone,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Deputy Director Blanquita B. Valenti at the event. “We take pride in the services we give to our seniors here in Middlesex County and this is one way for us to celebrate those residents.”
Hailing from Eastern and Central County locales like South Amboy, Sayreville, Spotswood, South River, Perth Amboy and Old Bridge, these residents ranged from 89-to-101 years old and were on hand for a full course meal, live entertainment, a few thankful speeches and birthday wishes from dignitaries and to top it off, an ice cream sundae.
Tripodi was one of four residents from the county’s newest long-term care center, an operation the Middlesex County Improvement Authority oversees, to receive an invitation to this annual event, which dates back more than a decade.
Residents from the facility’s sister campus, Roosevelt Care Center at Edison, will attend the county’s second birthday bash honoring North county residents on May 16 in Piscataway. A third birthday bash is scheduled for South county residents on May 30 in South Brunswick.
“May signifies Older Americans Month and the theme for Older Americans Month this year is ‘unleash the power of age,’” Office on Aging and Disabled Services Director Laila Caune said to Wednesday’s crowd. “I think everyone here is a testament to that expression and it goes into every facet of everyone’s life. So we appreciate everything you do for your community and your family and we’re here to celebrate that.”
Following the speeches, Tripodi, toting her signature red and rarely fading smile, shared her secret to longevity.
“Happiness is the most important thing in the world,” she said.
For more information on the upcoming birthday bash, contact the Office of Aging and Disabled Services at 732-745-3295 or log onto www.co.middlesex.nj.us/aging/index.asp.
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