Westminster celebrates elder residents

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WESTMINSTER — Westminster Cares and town residents celebrated the 10th annual 90-plus-year-old citizens during Westminster Cares' 29th Annual Meeting held Nov. 5 at the Westminster Fire House.

Westminster has 11 residents who are 90 years of age or older.

Seven of them still live independently in the area and four of them attended the event: Charlotte Kurkul, Phyllis Anderson, Bob Gay, and Dot Perry, who is the oldest at 96. Of the 11, there is one who is 90, one is 91, two are 92, three are 93, two are 94, one is 95 and one is 96.

Bob Gay, 95, credited his longevity to "the good water of North Westminster! And hard work. I don't dare stop."

Good care keeps Phyllis Anderson going at age 94. "And good genes — my mother was 99." She keeps busy and stays active, including playing bridge and doing crossword puzzles.

Dot Perry said that thinking positively was most important for a long life. "Keeping busy, lots of chocolate, and trying to do something for someone," she said. "Because someone always needs something, even if it's just a hello."

Pete Harrison, president, and Don Dawson, board member, gave a video presentation featuring the honored guests.

The presentation included photos of wedding days, houses, family members, college years, baby pictures and pictures of Westminster and Bellows Falls from 1900 through the '60s.

Tine Biolsi brought her 1-year-old daughter, Abilene, to the gathering and took a picture of her with the oldest member of the town, Dot Perry, 96.

Abilene was born Oct. 12, 2016 to Peter and Tine Biolsi and she shares her space with her older [3-year-old] brother Watson. Last year, Abilene had her picture taken with Artie Aiken who was 103 at the time. Aiken passed away last month at the

age of 104.

Westminster Cares elected Pete Harrison president, Lori Larue vice president, Regina Borden secretary and Miriam Lanata treasurer. Other board members are Sally Ryea, Don Dawson, Heidi Anderson, Barbara Sherrod and Robin Lawrence. Barbara Sherrod is stepping down at the end of this year after serving three years. Director Donna Dawson presented Sherrod with a gift and the board thanked her for her participation and many hours of volunteering.

Westminster Cares' next board meeting is at 4:30 p.m., Dec. 6, at the Westminster Institute. Everyone is invited to attend. Consider volunteering for this local, non-profit organization that works with seniors and disabled adults in Westminster, to help them remain healthy and independent in the community. For more information, call 802-722-3607 or visit the website, westminstercares.org.

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