ST. GEORGE — Sterling Court Assisted Living Community held a barbecue bash on Friday to celebrate the milestone birthdays of two of their residents.
Evelyn, 101, and Enny, 103, will begin another trip around the sun on Sunday. The celebration on Friday was also one of the first times that Sterling Court residents have been able to interact with the community since the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country.
The past year has been difficult at Sterling Court, but now that more than 98% of the residents have been vaccinated, this celebration comes as a relief, Executive Director Chad Draper told St. George News.
“It’s been a long year for our residents and for our staff,” he said. “Here we’ve been extremely safe and cautious and healthy, which is the key. So we wanted to celebrate that today, along with Evelyn and Enny, but being able to celebrate all of us kind of coming out of here healthy.”
Last year, Sterling Court and the community rallied to give Evelyn and Enny a parade for their 100th and 102nd birthdays. Despite the onset of the pandemic and social distancing requirements, nearly 100 cars drove through the community’s driveway to wish the two women a happy birthday.
On Friday, the driveway was set up with a barbecue station, a popcorn machine, tables for people to have their lunch and 12 booths featuring local home and hospice health agencies. Each agency brought a carnival game like bean bag toss, putt putt, spin the wheel and the crowd pleaser — a dunk tank. Social distancing was encouraged and masks were recommended for those who wanted to wear one, Draper said.
Evelyn and Enny are two of the community’s four residents over 100, all of whom are women whose names begin with the letter E. In his three years as director of the community, Draper said it’s been a joy to get to know Evelyn and Enny.
Enny was born in Holland and came through Ellis Island in May, 1921 at the age of 3. Her family then settled in Portland, Oregon, where she taught English and had two children. Her friends Bob and Linda, who came to celebrate her birthday on Friday, said that she loves philosophy and reading the newspaper every day, especially The New Yorker. Bob and Linda met Enny several years ago when Bob’s mother moved into Sterling Court, Bob told St. George News.
“She said, ‘Young man, can you help me with my phone?’ And we’ve been friends ever since,” he said.
Evelyn’s daughter Jeri said that after a year of not being able to visit her mother, they are finally able to start seeing each other in person again. Even though Jeri only lives a few blocks away from Sterling Court, they have had to communicate over the phone for the past year, which has been hard for Evelyn.
“She’s the first in her family to live to 101,” Jeri told St. George News. “She always says, ‘I never expected to live this long.’”
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