A birthday cake topped with more than 1,800 candles? It would be appropriate if you’re cutting that cake with 18 residents of a Jenison retirement community who turn 100 or older this year.

Sunset Retirement Communities & Services will celebrate the lives of these 18 extraordinary residents at its third annual Sunset Centenarian Celebration on Wednesday, June 19.

This isn’t the first year that Sunset has boasted an unusually large number of centenarians. 

Two years ago, Sunset’s four campuses in Ottawa County combined honored a dozen residents turning 100 or older. Last year, the number climbed to 14. 

“This year, the number will be 18, and who knows what future years will bring,” Steve Zuiderveen, the President and CEO of Sunset Retirement said. 

In addition to cutting cake and singing "Happy Birthday", organizers will roll out a red carpet for the birthday men and women. 

Complete with a video that captures all the voices of those whose histories date back to the horse and buggy days when modern plumbing was scarce, electricity had just come into vogue, and soldiers were just returning from fighting World War I.

One resident, Ruth Curtis is turning 102-years-old. “I think it’s important to pray about things. We may not get the answer we want, but we know they’re answered," she said. 

Curtis' family boasted the first indoor bathroom all of Oceana County. Curtis' history includes having a pet pig, and graduating Eastern Michigan University with a teaching degree. She taught for 20 years.

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