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102-year-old gets surprise delivery from Cheerwine

“I know it’s not my birthday, and it’s not cold enough for Christmas, but daggone keep it coming!”

SALISBURY, N.C. — At the age of 102, Salisbury native Gaynelle has few friends as old as her, except her daily can of Cheerwine, founded 103 years ago in a factory not far from her childhood home.

“She’s had one every day since she moved here.  Her family says it’s always been her favorite drink,” said Jessica Swanson, memory care unit manager at Health and Rehab at Trinity Oaks in Salisbury.

Due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, the facility is restricting visitors.  As a safety precaution, the vending machines are not being restocked.

“When we ran out (of Cheerwine) in the vending machine we thought, uh oh,” Swanson said.

Trinity Oaks is a 25-bed facility and many family members call to check on their loved ones.

On March 16 Trinity Oaks posted photos to social media with messages for family members.  When Gaynelle asked what she wanted written on her sign, she responded, “Send Cheerwine.  Other than that it’s all good.”

Swanson said shortly after the photos were posted to social, people started asking how they could help.

Habitat for Humanity Restore of Rowan County was one of many in the community that responded sending her bottles of Cheerwine and Cheerwine cakes.  But the big surprise came on a rainy Monday morning when a representative from Cheerwine arrived with plenty of Cheerwine mini cans to cheer up Gaynelle.

“I know it’s not my birthday and it’s not cold enough for Christmas, but daggone keep it coming,” Gaynelle told Swanson.

Cheerwine was founded in Salisbury in 1917.  Gaynelle was born in Salisbury in 1918.

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