This is one birthday party that deserves some long-term planning. After all, it has taken quite awhile for the guests of honor to get to the big bash.
The sixth annual centenarian recognition party for Hernando County residents who will be celebrating their 100th birthday, or more, in 2009 is set for Jan. 6, but Monday is the last day registrations will be accepted.
That's because so much needs to be done to make certain that the party will be a lot of fun, as well as a historic celebration.
Sponsored by the Hernando County Health and Human Services Department, under auspices of the County Commission, and SunTrust Bank of the Nature Coast, the honorees, their relatives and close friends will be invited to the festivities at the bank's community room in downtown Brooksville.
Before the event, celebrants will be asked to take part in interviews that recall their many years. Those will be transcribed into the party's program. Then Jim Kimbrough of SunTrust, the host, will share them with the audience.
"He reads their history like (he's) telling their life story," said Jean Rags, human services director.
The department also gathers personal congratulatory letters from the president of the United States, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, and members of the state House and Senate, as well as proclamations and resolutions from county commissioners and Brooksville City Council members.
Three individuals recognized last January already have received invitations for their next party. "Some will be turning 103," Rags said.
The five honorees at the last celebration represented a combined total of 505 years of life.
Party entertainment will include music and songs of the honorees' era.
Applications for recognition are available by calling Health and Human Services at (352) 540-4338.
Beth Gray can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.