In 1911, the year of Grace Russo’s birth, Orville Wright remained in the air for 9 minutes and 45 seconds in a glider at Kill Devil Hills, NC, setting a new world record. Now, 102 years later, Ms. Russo recently celebrated her birthday in an era when more than 19,000 airplanes are in the skies over the U.S. each day. On July 31, Ms. Russo enjoyed her milestone birthday at Alaris Health at The Fountains South, where she has been a resident for four years.
Ken Wessler, the manager of Muhlenberg Gardens in Jersey City where Ms. Russo was a former resident, organized her party for the fourth straight year. Mr. Wessler arranged a bus to transport friends, food from Podewitz’s Deli, balloons, flowers and the birthday cake to The Fountains.
“A reunion with her friends and to be the focus of such a unique event was truly a thrill for Grace. Her family, including her great, great grandchildren, was also present for the celebration. It was a very special acknowledgement of her 102nd birthday,” says Pat Meyers, Associate Administrator of Alaris at The Fountains.
Ms. Russo has been a lifelong resident of Jersey City and worked for over fifty years as a seamstress in a garment factory. While she lived at Muhlenberg Gardens, Ms. Russo was an active community member who always volunteered to cook for bake sales or plan parties such as the annual Oktoberfest.
“She was absolutely involved in everything, even in her 90s. Grace’s hand would go up before I even asked for volunteers. She was a vital part of our community for years and made many friends who were delighted to reconnect for her birthday. And Grace was so pleased to see her friends gathered. She said to me, ‘This is a sight I will never forget. If I never see another sight for the rest of my life, this is enough for me,’” says Mr. Wessler.
This facility, located in Secaucus, offers a warm, supportive and uplifting environment for post-hospitalization rehabilitation patients and long-term residents alike. For more information about the event, please call (201) 526-8700.