Marian Kelso, a resident at Warm Hearth Village, recently celebrated her 95th birthday in grand style.
Seated upon a makeshift queen’s throne at LewisGale Hospital Montgomery, Kelso waved to friends and fellow volunteers who participated in the drive-by birthday celebration.
“Although our volunteers are unable to be on-site presently, we still want to celebrate them, especially when it is a major milestone,” said Rhonda Whaling, the volunteer manager for the hospital. Seeing the smile and joy on Marian’s face when she saw some fellow volunteers and realized we were all there to celebrate her was heartwarming. Working with Warm Hearth Village on planning this special celebration was a great experience.”
Kelso has volunteered at the hospital since 2012 and remains an active member of the community, also volunteering at Margaret Beeks Elementary School and for the Warm Hearth Foundation.
She is a well-recognized mainstay in Blacksburg each holiday season as well, dressing up as Mrs. Claus and appearing at numerous community programs and events. Kelso has lived at Warm Hearth Village since 2011. She moved there to be close to her son, John, who also lives in Blacksburg. When asked, she said she didn’t know specifically what she can attribute her longevity to, but said she eats lots of fruits and vegetables and maintains a positive attitude.
Kelso said she was completely surprised by the celebration in her honor. “You know,” she said, “I thought I was going to a meeting with the volunteer manager, but I ended up sitting under a tree having a party!”
Fellow volunteers from the hospital and several Warm Hearth Village residents and employees participated in a vehicle parade, waving, honking and wishing her happy birthday through car windows.
“We believe in community collaboration and encourage residents to stay active in the greater community,” said Brad Dalton, the president & CEO of Warm Hearth Village.. “Being new to WHV myself, I am impressed with the investment I’ve seen in our local community from our residents and staff and on an organizational level. I look forward to being a part of continuing these efforts both personally and professionally.”
Warm Hearth Village is a nonprofit senior living community in Blacksburg that provides a full continuum of living options on its campus and in the home.