"They're coming in from all over.”

By Meghan Overdeep
August 10, 2020
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Credit: Our Lady of the Valley Retirement Community

On Thursday, August 13, 2020, Venus Tucker will be 106 years old.

Tucker, the oldest resident at Our Lady of the Valley Retirement Community in Roanoke, Virginia, was hoping to receive 106 cards to mark the incredible milestone.

That was last week.

By Friday, the retirement community had received 241 cards. That’s when they decided to increase their goal to 1,006.

As of today, Ms. Tucker has received a staggering 933 birthday cards—and counting. “We’re Still hoping for 1,006 or MORE!” community administrator Jackie Holton told Southern Living.

Born Venus Hawthorne, the centenarian has always called Roanoke home—first Roanoke, Alabama, and then Roanoke, Virginia, where she has lived for the majority of her long life.

A press release from Our Lady of the Valley Retirement Community describes Tucker as “fiercely independent,” noting that she was still driving just a few years ago.

“I don’t understand why I have been allowed to reach 106 years old. I am blessed and moved by God and the Holy Spirit for keeping me here for so many years,” Tucker stated when reflecting on her longevity. 

Sadly, Ms. Tucker's birthday celebration will be limited due to the coronavirus pandemic. Only staff and residents will be able to attend. But she doesn’t mind. She’s just happy that her favorite dish (fried chicken) will be served as part of the festivities.   

Credit: Our Lady of the Valley Retirement Community

After the fried chicken and some birthday cake, Ms. Tucker’s cards will be presented as part of a "card party."

Holton joked that by the time Tucker finishes reading all the cards, she'll be 107.

"They're coming in from all over, so it really has been an amazing experience," Holton told CNN.

You can help celebrate Ms. Tucker by sending birthday cards to Our Lady of the Valley Retirement Community located at 650 North Jefferson Street, Roanoke, VA 24016.

Happy birthday!