Celebrating 205 Years of Life!
This past Tuesday, September 10, two residents at Promenade Rehabilitation and Nursing Center (PRHCC) celebrated 205 years of life. Quite an amazing milestone, as though according to Time magazine, life expectancy in the U.S. exceeds the global average, clocking in at just under 79 years, Ella Greene who recently turned 103 years old and Julian Castillo now 102, both exuberantly exceed those stats. Maybe it’s living near the everlasting Atlantic Ocean or the wonderful care they get at PRHCC, which is also celebrating its own milestone of 50 years of giving care to residents. Who knows the magic formula, but these two centenarians were serenaded at an epic birthday party that had all the residents, staff and family present in a state of jubilee.
Both Greene and Castillo live on the same floor. Greene, whose birthday was on September 1, said the birthday party was something she will always cherish and remember, and remember she will as her memory is like an elephant’s. “I didn’t expect this party. It’s something I will always remember, and I don’t forget.”
Greene was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1916. “I had an aunt and an uncle, wealthy people, who invited me to come to their home in the U.S. I came from a poor family, and they kindly offered to bring myself and my sibling here in New York. I then later married and had one son,” Greene said.
Aviva Kiffel, who is on PRHHC’s administrative staff, said despite Greene’s hardships in life, she is so coherent and sweet. “Ella does not like to talk about her husband and son. She lost her son in an accident. The staff loves her. Look at how they styled her hair. We just wanted to make it a special day for a truly special lady,” Kiffel said. Greene has no reported living family.
Castillo, born in 1917, is an old school Puerto Rican casanova, who loves to dance and listen to music, but do not interrupt him while he is having his afternoon nap, as he will give you a powerful jab right in the kisser!
According to Marie Simmonds, PRHCC’s director of recreation for the past 15 years, this was another momentous birthday party commemorating two residents hitting above the 100-year benchmark. “This is nothing short of amazing and inspiring,” Simmonds said. “It’s great to have this type of celebration. It boosts the morale of not just the residents, but the staff. This facility survived Sandy, and it’s because of our dedicated staff, some of whom live in the area. Every time we look out the window and look at the new boardwalk, it’s a reminder of how strong this community is,” Simmonds reflected.
“We don’t see this often, and it’s all just a testimony of how invested our staff is to the all-around wellness and longevity of our residents. This is why we wanted to commemorate Ella’s and Julian’s birth dates with a huge birthday bash. They are such an amazing and vibrant duo that we knew that we had to go all out to celebrate their over 100 years of life. And not to mention, this is PRHHC’s 50th anniversary!” Simmonds exclaimed.
At the party, Greene and Castillo and all in attendance were serenaded with Broadway songs and oldies music. Plus Congressman Gregory Meeks awarded two citations to both Greene and Castillo, for their momentous legacy as centenarians.
For more information on PRHCC and volunteering opportunities, call 718-945-4600 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org