Published August 13th, 2014
"First Century Club" Members Have One Thing in Common: Staying Active
Submitted by Debbie Fuchs
From left: Anna Bowman, Ermina Dykstra, Margaret Dugan, Rita Stirnus, Ruth Kelly, Sara Alchermes, and Vera Miebergen Photo provided
There's a running theme among those who are 100-plus years old: stay active and have a positive outlook on life. No matter their background, those in the First Century Club at Kisco Senior Living's Byron Park community in Walnut Creek have experienced more than 100 years each of good and bad times and have kept a bright outlook on life. There are seven members in the First Century Club at Byron Park, and a few others on the cusp of three digits: Vera Meibergen, 104, regularly participates three times a week in Tai Chi classes and attended water aerobics until she was 100; Rita Stirus, 105, stays sharp by playing card games and other "brain games;" Ruth Kelly, 101, is former Miss Hermosa Beach, 1929; Sarah Alcermes, 100, is one of the original members of the Industrial Workers of the World (WWI) and is still very involved in the community through Grandmothers for Peace; Margaret Dugan, 104, is a great example of the power of maintaining close ties - she's a former first grade teacher from the Midwest, who had one of her former students travel to California just to visit her; Ermina Dykstra, 100, stays mentally active by enjoying a good mind game like Scrabble; and Anna Bowman, 100, studied at Yale School of Music and keeps her music skills sharp by continuing to play the piano. Kisco Senior Living communities offer independent lifestyle options for seniors, as well as licensed assisted living and memory care in some locations. For information, visit

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