The day finally came, Wednesday, June 27, 2012. Eva Kicanas turned “100” years old! She was looking forward to this day with great enthusiasm. The birthday girl began the day exercising on the NuStep machine for 42 minutes. At lunch time, she had a wonderful party with the Little Sisters of the Poor, nurses, aids and residents. Some of her family also attended. What a great day that was.
But, there was more to come! A big celebration was held on Sunday, July 1st, with Eva’s whole family, dear friends, priests and nuns. This special day started out with Mass at 12:30pm, said by Eva’s son Bishop Gerald Kicanas, who had traveled from his diocese in Tucson, AZ. It was a beautiful Mass of Thanksgiving, for all the blessings God has bestowed on Eva; long life, wonderful family and friends, and good health. Eva’s great-grandchildren, Kisa, Sara, Eric, Nina, and Zoe, read the Readings of the Mass. Eva and her two daughters, Cathy and Barbara, brought up the gifts of bread and wine, and presented them to Bishop Kicanas. At the homily, Bishop Kicanas mentioned Eva’s three children, six grandchildren, and ten great grandchildren. At the very end, Bishop presented to Eva, a beautiful framed Papal Blessing from Pope Benedict XVI for her 100th Birthday. Bishop also presented her with a Special Greeting and Congratulations sent from President Barak Obama, and first lady, Michelle Obama.
Following mass, everyone went to the auditorium for a luncheon. The auditorium was adorned with balloons, flowers, posters, and beautiful table settings. No detail was overlooked. There were Table Cards at each place setting, with pictures of Eva from the last 100 years. The table card listed items of interest that happened in 1912, the year Eva was born. And on the back of the Table Card were Eva’s secrets to longevity. Also at each place setting was a gift bag with Oreo Cookies and Lorna Cookies, both celebrating their 100th birthday, as well.
After a couple speeches, Bishop said Grace and gave a toast to the birthday girl. The party began! Throughout the party, there was a slide show of Eva and her family over the years. The party was catered by La Zingara’s, an Italian Restaurant in Arlington Heights, the family frequented quite often in the past. There was a beautiful birthday cake from Central Continental Bakery in Mt. Prospect. The cake consisted of three separate cakes each one was a number. There was a “1”, a “0”, and another “0”, to make “100”. The number one was red velvet cake with cream cheese filling, the first number zero was white cake with lemon filling, and the second number zero was marble cake with custard filling. There were 11 candles on the cake that Eva successfully blew out.
Next was the presentation of gifts. One was very close to her heart. The Little Sisters of the Poor recently received a second NuStep Exercise Bike. Eva, known as the “queen of the bike”, received a shirt, hat, towel and gym bag with the NuStep logo on them, from the Little Sister’s of the Poor. Eva was thrilled. She will be sure to put all of them to good use, as she exercises daily on the bike burning 80 to 90 calories a day. She sure likes the bike. Also Eva was presented with a box of Multi-Grain Cheerios from General Mills. This is Eva’s favorite food.
With 72 in attendance, it was a wonderful celebration. There were many hugs, laughs, surprises, and a lot of fun. Everyone had a wonderful time, especially Eva.