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Retirement home asking for birthday cards for 100, 101, 102-year-old residents

Two of the women were born during the flu pandemic that lasted from 1918-1920.

BATAVIA, N.Y. — The Manor House in Batavia has marked quite a few milestones since the start of the pandemic. 

The first is the senior community has remained COVID free since March. The second, third and fourth have everything to do with three ladies.

"There's Ellie Rider who's turning 100 (on January 26) and we have Eleanor Davis who turned 102," said administrator Kristin Cronk. 

"I feel the same as I did yesterday, doesn't bother me one bit," said Davis, whose birthday was January 6.

"(There's also) Leona Meyer who turned 101 (on January 2)," Cronk said.

"I got a lot of birthday cards," Meyer said. "I'm up to 97 now. And my name was on the Today Show so I'm getting phone calls from people I used to work with years ago."

Her niece called the Today Show but it was Manor House administrator Kristin Cronk who's asking the community to send in birthday cards for all three ladies.

If it weren't for COVID, Rider would be celebrating with her loved ones.

"I wouldn't want any big celebration. If my family is there, I'm happy," she said.

In the meantime, she'll celebrate with her adopted family.

Cronk got the idea because she also asked for holiday cards for every resident last month. They got over 3,800 cards and 70 secret santa gifts.

"The community was so phenomenal, so caring, so loving, I have people that are reaching out like can I send Valentine's, can I continue to send stuff throughout the year so I don't expect anything less than what happened for Christmas for our birthdays," Cronk said. 

Residents still aren't allowed to have visitors as a precaution to keep everyone safe. However, this isn't the first time Meyer and Davis have seen a pandemic. They were both born during the flu pandemic that lasted from 1918-1920.

"My father was a doctor at Camp Dix. My mother was pregnant with me and she got sick. I was born coughing," Davis said.

Just as a pandemic is seeming to come full circle for them, so are the life lessons all three have learned along the way. 

"Just take things each day at a time," Rider said.

"Just forget the small stuff," Meyer said.

"I've always thought young. I never was an old fuddy duddy or anything," Davis said.

We may never know the secret to living a longer life but it's wisdom to cherish. 

If you'd like to send cards, here is the address:

Manor House

427 E Main St, Batavia, NY 14020