Drive-by birthday celebration held for Luzerne County woman turning 105


NEWPORT TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A Luzerne County woman is celebrating a major milestone Tuesday. Helen Wilkes of Newport Township has turned 105-years-old.

Dozens of vehicles lined up Tuesday afternoon to honor Helen’s birthday as she turns one-hundred five years old. She is a mother of two sons, four grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.

“To think little old me could have all of this, it’s unbelievable,” Helen said.

The family tells Eyewitness News they received a call Monday from Newport Township, wanting to pay tribute by hosting a drive-by. They didn’t tell Helen about this celebration until an hour before.

“Thank you, thank you everybody for doing this, especially my daughter-in-law and my sons,” Helen said.

Prior to the drive-by, Helen went to church, as she does on every birthday.

“Everyone was so nice to her, and they sang to her in church and that made it very special,” said Carol Wilkes, Helen’s daughter-in-law.

Helen has lived in the area for her entire life and is still able to do many things independently.

“She cooks, she does her own laundry, she’s in her own environment, very comfortable. She has a lot of support, we as a family support her in that environment,” Carol said.

“I remember being here when she turned one-hundred and she had a big thing. We just never thought we’d get to 105 and here we are,” said Lindsey Wilkes, a family member of Helen’s.

While Helen’s says she doesn’t have any tips or secrets, she does give one simple reminder: “Just keep faith.”

State Senator John Yudichak also participated in the festivities by sending Helen letter, celebrating 105 years of life.

Helen’s family says she really enjoyed visiting the casinos pre-pandemic. And even with a few setbacks throughout her life, family members say she fights back like nobody else.

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