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Yuma neighborhood hosts a 100th birthday surprise

The neighborhood of Wildwood Estates gathered together to celebrate the nearing 100 years of one special lady

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - One Yuma local is close to reaching the milestone of living up to a century!

Lori Karelis thought she was attending her weekly routine of playing dominos, but her neighbors had another plan.

Chris Woodard is the resort manager at Wildwood Estates and planned to celebrate Lori's soon-to-be-birthday with the community. It’s safe to say Lori was quite surprised.

“When I came through the door I felt the tears swelling up,” said Lori Karelis.

Karelis' attendees were all glad to be a part of the celebration as they showered Lori with love.

Lori is a self-proclaimed former snowbird, escaping the cold winters of Minnesota .

Karelis has lived here for 35 years and settled in the Wildwood community where she says it's like a family to her.
“ I do appreciate everyone of you and I just don’t know what to say any more than that you’ve been so good to me,” said Karelis to her friends.

When asked what her secret was to a long life? Karelis answered, “get plenty of exercise. Get outside and have fun. Eat right. Don't' drink too much and don’t too much and all the good things we hear every day. I’ve tried to live by them and I guess I didn’t do too bad.”

Lori’s actual birthday is August 11th, where her family plans to gather to continue the celebration.

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Mercedes Martinez

Mercedes Martinez joined the KSWT team as anchor/producer in October 2020. You can catch her on 13 On Your Side at 4:00pm.

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