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County commissioners surprise local resident on her 104th birthday

July 3, 2019
By MELISSA BILL ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Lee County commissioners Cecil Pendergrass and Frank Mann came to help celebrate the 104th birthday of Gwendolyn Hutchinson of Lehigh Acres last Tuesday.

The commissioners each surprised Hutchinson with their own special gift during the June 25 birthday celebration held at Lehigh Acres Place.

Pendergrass brought and read a ceremonial resolution recognizing her on this special day.

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Gwendolyn Hutchinson of Lehigh Acres was surprised by Lee County Commissioners Cecil Pendergrass and Frank Mann who came to help celebrate her 104th birthday.


"Let me first say happy birthday. We are both here, because this is a great celebration and we want to help celebrate your life and recognize all the amazing things you have done," Pendergrass said.

In the resolution was a tribute to Hutchinson's life, which began June 25, 1915 on the island country of Jamaica.

Hutchinson married the love of her life and graduated from a college in Kingston, Jamaica. She later went on to embark on a nursing career that led her to work in Mount Sinai Hospital.

Now, at 104, she shares her love for the Lord, care for others and gift of music on the piano.

According to Lee County's press announcement, Hutchinson had asked the staff at Lehigh Acres Place, where she resides, to extend the invitation to the commissioners.

"Mrs. Hutchinson is an amazing woman, she always has a positive attitude and a beautiful smile on. She loves going out shopping, helping others and playing the piano," said Elizabeth Owen, Care Services manager for Lehigh Acres Place.

According to Pendergrass, upon receiving the invitation to attend, his immediate answer was absolutely.

"After over 30 years of public service, this will be one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of my career. I look forward to meeting Mrs. Hutchinson and celebrating this amazing milestone with her," Pendergrass said in a prepared statement.

Mann presented Hutchinson with his own gift, which was a serenade of the song entitled "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," a song performed by a few artists over the years, the most popular version being by Bing Crosby in the 1930s. The entire room joined in to help sing the song that brought a huge smile to Hutchinson's face.

Following the serenade, Mann asked that everyone join him in singing happy birthday to Hutchinson.

Hutchinson then took a few moments to speak to her guests and thank the commissioners.

"I want to thank everyone for coming, friends, family and strangers. God bless you all," Hutchinson said.

Party guests and family members then joined Hutchinson for a celebratory lunch followed by cake.



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