The local celebrity also had Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam and Gaston County Commissioner Allen Fraley attend her birthday part.
Line dancers and square dancers performed enthusiastically for the 105-year-old birthday girl Lorene Summey earlier this month at her first birthday celebration ever. The event was made completely unforgettable for Summey by her local community which included 12-year-old Lily who brought Nina, her yellow Labrador, for the centenarian to pet. Wearing a jeweled tiara and a pink Western dress decorated with bright flowers, the lady of the hour also got the opportunity to meet Daniel Jackson, a pet pony. Furthermore, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and Rep. Virginia Foxx reached out to send their best wishes to the birthday girl.
However, it wasn't just North Carolina that celebrated Summey's big day. She'd previously expressed the desire to receive 105 birthday cards—one for each year of her life—and was overwhelmed with happiness when she instead received more than 1200. Cards were sent to her from all 50 American states and even as far as England. More are still being delivered every day, her caregivers at Somerset Court in Cherryville told USA TODAY.
Summey is somewhat of a local celebrity and had the likes of Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam and Gaston County Commissioner Allen Fraley attend the party thrown for her big birthday. The native of Cherryville, who is also the oldest member of the First Baptist Church of Cherryville, was described by Beam as being the oldest resident in either Gaston or Lincoln counties.
She was escorted to the celebration by police officers and firefighters from the town of Cherryville. About 200 people arrived to take part in the special event, which was thrown at the nursing home where she resides.
Staff transformed the main dining hall into a barn because she wanted a hoe down. Summey and the other inmates smiled and appreciated the dancing and music as she clapped along to the song "Cotton-Eyed Joe." When Summey's partner Joseph fell sick and couldn't join her for the first dance of the night, his brother, Ronnie Parks, stepped up to do the honors.
Summey reportedly put herself through night classes and spent 39 years working at the town's previous trucking firm, Carolina Freight. Jennifer High of Vale revealed that her great-grandmother adored and looked after her "PawPaw," who passed away around 25 years ago. "She was a very good caregiver. She was right there with my great-grandfather (Walt) until he passed," said High.
Summey's only child, 82-year-old Roger, described his mother as a powerful woman who always showed him affection, even when she was trying to discipline him.
She's even famous among people at her senior center, both medical professionals and other residents. Ann Kozliner, who has lunch with Summey every day, shared that she was happy to see that her friend enjoy her birthday. "She has a wonderful spirit and a great attitude," said the 67-year-old. "She's thankful every day to be alive."
Dr. Guillermo Lesassier shared that although he has treated many of Summey's age in his 51 years of medical practice, none were as physically and mentally fit as her. During her appointments with the doctor, Summey reportedly asks questions and converses with ease. "She is blessed by God," her doctor said. Meanwhile, Summey shared that she feels grateful to see all this love for her. "I can't believe it," she said. "It's so unreal."