On Sept. 4, 1920, Babe Ruth helped the New York Yankees put away the Boston Red Sox 5-3, Morrison’s Cafeteria opened its first restaurant in the U.S., and Dotty Grant of Illinois was born.
By 1998, Morrison’s was gone, but Dotty Grant kept on keeping on, and on Sept. 4 celebrated her 100th birthday.
The folks at Bayfront Health Spring Hill helped her celebrate, as Grant had been a volunteer there for many years, retiring at age 97. She now resides at The Residence of Timber Pines, where she received a 100th birthday party from her many friends from the neighborhood where she used to live.
Valerie Ciaccio, volunteer coordinator at the hospital, remembers Grant’s many years volunteering fondly and wished her a very happy 100th.
“She is so sweet and very soft-spoken,” said Ciaccio, adding that Grant wasn’t one to hold it in if she thought something needed attention. “She said what she had to say.”
Ciaccio said Grant did various jobs at the hospital, from working in the gift shop, to manning the front desk in the lobby, to filing paperwork long before records went electronic. She also served as a board member for the hospital’s volunteer force. She was the oldest volunteer under Ciaccio. Her nearest rival in age was 95.
“Dotty was always a joy to have as a volunteer, with the most pleasant personality; I sincerely miss her and hearing her stories of the good old days,” said Ciaccio.
As she approached her late 90s, Grant was having more difficulty getting to the hospital and decided to retire, said Ciaccio. Everyone was sad to see her go.
“It’s something I’ve done all my life,” said Grant. “It was something to do; I didn’t want to stay home all the time, and I like helping people.”
An animal lover who played golf at Timber Pines and once scored a hole-in-one, Grant also volunteered for other worthy causes in her younger years.
Her neighbors in Timber Pines organized a golf-cart convoy to The Residence, bringing a load of birthday cards and a large banner for the occasion. The Timbertones singing group gathered around to sing “Happy Birthday.”
So what’s it like to make it to the century milestone in life?
Grant was quick to answer.
“It’s just like any other birthday,” she said. “Whether you turn 10 of 100, it’s all the same.”