16 May 2006

Soldiers' Angel Celebrates 101st Birthday Filling Care Packages for Soldiers

She was 7 years old when the Titanic went down, and still remembers that day.

Mary Irvin Roun was born on April 13, 1905 in Turnersville, NJ, and recently celebrated her 101st birthday in Cedar Key, Florida with over 50 guests from all over the country.

The birthday group at the Island Place in Cedar Key where Manager Patti Collins "went above and beyond" to make the entire weekend such a success.

Soldiers' Angel Mary Jo Stamper (whose husband is Aunt Mary's great-nephew), provided the guests with a list of suggested care package items to bring with them to the weekend-long celebration.

Aunt Mary heading up the "Bodacious Box Brigade".

Aunt Mary asked the guests to bring supplies for soldiers instead of gifts: "Everyone wants to help but they're not sure how... this was a wonderful way to get involved. I even got to pack some of the boxes myself with all the things everyone brought! It was a lot of fun!"

Aunt Mary with some of the boxes which are now on their way to soldiers all over the world.

The weekend was filled with many other activities including a 1905 Trivia Challenge, Wacky Wheelchair Races (Aunt Mary's idea!), and a door decorating contest in which each family decorated their condo door in honor of Aunt Mary's birthday. Since "Jello" is even older than Aunt Mary, they even did Jello shots that night!

Then it was time for the parade... the entire town came out on the spur of the moment for the parade which included a stop at City Hall where Pat O'Neal, one of the city commissioners, presented her with the Key to the City.

Aunt Mary in a Mustang convertible with two of her great-great-nephews escorted by a police car, a fire truck, and the rest of the guests following on foot.

Aunt Mary received birthday greetings from ALL of the living Presidents, Willard Scott of the NBC Today Show, Bay News 9 (her favorite news show on TV) and a very special card and package from her absolute favorite baseball team, the Philadelphia Phillies. She also heard from many of the troops she supports.

Happy Birthday from aboard the USS Ronald Reagan! Sailors Tim Reagan and Robbie Fox in their Aunt Mary 101st Birthday T-Shirts.

According to Mary Jo, Aunt Mary loves to help with the boxes for the soldiers and enjoys all the trips to the post office, Dollar Store and Big Lots.

"She is a treasure, and a true blessing to all of us. I wish you could meet her, I feel so privileged to take care of her and have her live with us. She is very healthy so I'm sure we'll be doing it all again next year!"

Angels Aunt Mary and Mary Jo.

HOOAH! And Happy Birthday Aunt Mary from all of us at Soldiers' Angels!

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