Lena Conte was surprised three times on March 12 for her 100th birthday: once by her family, once by Lynbrook Mayor Alan Beach and once by Lynbrook Atria’s therapy dog, Posey.
“I didn’t expect all this,” said Conte, who is a resident of the Lynbrook Atria, where a surprise party was thrown in her honor.
The afternoon party started with performer Stan Zizke singing songs by Frank Sinatra and other crooners, while Conte sat on the stage wearing a birthday sash and a crown. A short time later, her great grandchildren, Gabrielle, Lily, Gianna, Richie and Alexa came filing into the room followed by her sons, Michael and Richard, and Richard’s wife, Lynn. Conte said she was surprised to see them because they had dinner together for her birthday the night before.
“My son took us to a restaurant,” she said. “I had my five great grandchildren, my four grandchildren, my sons and their wives.”
Michael thanked the residents of the Atria who showed up for the party and spoke about his mother. “I never doubted she’d make 100, frankly,” he said. “My brother and I had a little bet. I won. I will collect.”
While Zizke got Conte’s great grandchildren to sing and dance, Atria residents ate strawberry cake and were surprised when Beach entered and presented a citation to Conte from the Village of Lynbrook. Joanne Sorge also brought her therapy dog, Posey, to wish Conte a happy birthday.
“I told Posey it’s a big deal,” Sorge said. “She’s been waiting all day.”
But despite the fanfare, Conte said she does not think her 100th birthday should be a big deal. “It doesn’t feel any different,” she said. “It’s only a number.”