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Photos courtesy of Brandywine Living at The Savoy
Evelyn Mehling and Brandywine's case manager Andrea Dronca.

It’s not every day that someone celebrates their 100th birthday, so one senior care facility in Little Neck is highlighting the milestone day for six of its residents.

On Saturday, Sept. 22, residents at the Brandywine Living at The Savoy were honored for National Centenarian Day, a yearly celebration that recognizes individuals who are 100 years or older or are entering their 100th year. Celebrants included an array of native New Yorkers, including two World War II veterans, a self-taught pianist and a retired police officer.

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Brandywine’s Escapades Producer Donna Lapidus said that she was “impressed” at the number of residents who were celebrating the milestone birthday and thought that they should be honored.

According to Lapidus, this is the first year that the facility is celebrating their centenarians. In her roles at previous facilities, she said that many of them celebrated the milestone of their residents who reached 100, though she shared that there were not as many honorees at other facilities compared to Brandywine.

Celia Mitchell

Celia Mitchell

On that day, honorees blew out candles on a birthday cake and received congratulatory certificates, surrounded by their families, peers and facility employees. Lapidus said that the six centenarians were “surprised and happy” and appreciated the celebration.

Among the honorees were three residents who were 100 years old and up, including retired New York City police officer Louie Schlifstein, 105, Brooklyn resident Celia Mitchell, 101, and self-taught pianist Henrietta Simon, 100.

Jack Stollack

Jack Stollack

Three of the residents honored will be celebrating their 100th birthdays over the next six months: retired Salvation Army employee Evelyn Mehling and World War II veterans Herb Grundfast and Jack Stollack, who was also one of the grand marshals for last year’s Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day parade.

Lapidus said that all six of the honorees are active in the Brandywine community, where activities include brain games, cooking classes, daily fitness and field trips. She mentioned that the facility specialized in enhanced care so that residents could “age in place” and not have to be transferred to a nursing home or other care facility.

Louie Schlifstein (left) and Herb Grundfast (right)

Louie Schlifstein (left) and Herb Grundfast (right)

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