BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - She lives alone, drives her own car, plays bridge, enjoys Pokeno, volunteers in her church, is a member of an all woman's bowling league; oh, and she's 100 years old!
If staying active and keeping your mind engaged causes you to live healthier, longer then Mildred Bowie epitomizes that example.
"You realize nothing goes on on Tuesday but bowling," Mildred explains to friends who wanted to celebrate her 100th birthday on a Tuesday. "No doctor's appointments. Please don't have your funeral on Tuesdays. Leave my Tuesdays alone!"
You see, Mildred has been an active member of the Golden Nuggets Bowling League for 47 years. They bowl from 9 till noon every Tuesday mornings at Circle Bowl in Baton Rouge.
With Mildred so obstinate on keeping her Tuesday bowling date sacred, family and friends organized a surprise 100th birthday party at Circle Bowl on Tuesday immediately following league bowl!
"My mother died when I was 20 years old," says Gloria Patin who calls Mildred her second mom and who nominated Mildred for Hand It On. "I submitted her name because of the community service that she had done in her community such as caring for the sick, feeding the hungry and using her car as a taxi cab for people who didn't have a vehicle."
We arrived at Circle Bowl on the appointed Tuesday to find more than 50 women, ranging in age from 55 to, well, 100, bowling. Tables of food were organized, the entire facility was decorated with balloons and streamers. It was certainly a festive atmosphere. And spearheading the entire event was Circle Bowl general manager Allen Cope.
"Ms. Mildred definitely has about her five basic rules – she definitely loves faith, family, friendship, fellowship and most of all sportsmanship," Allen explained. He's known Mildred for 25 years.
Once league bowling had concluded, the entire assembly relocated away from the lanes for the celebration and Hand It On presentation.
"On behalf of WAFB-TV Channel 9," best friend Gloria Patin began, addressing Mildred, "and the Golden Nuggets Bowling League, I'd like to present to you this Hand It On award. This is $300."
As Gloria handed it to Mildred, no one in that room was surprised at what happened next.
Mildred Bowie thanked Gloria and immediately handed it on to her church for mission work!
"Nobody but Mildred," one guest was overheard saying with a smile. "Nobody but Mildred."
Happy Birthday Mildred Bowie, with our love!
To nominate someone for WAFB's Hand It On recognition, send an e-mail to HandItOn@wafb.com.