Port Orange Police Department volunteer surprised with 100th birthday celebration: 'I just love it'

Mary Wittmeyer was stunned walking into the Port Orange Police Department for what she thought would be a quick meeting. Instead, it was a birthday party for her in a room filled with local leaders, her fellow Volunteers in Policing Services (known as VIPS) and there was another surprise on her 100th birthday.

Her family from Buffalo, New York, made the secret trip to celebrate.

"I just love it," Wittmeyer said. "There’s so many nice people here."Wittmeyer has been a volunteer with the Port Orange Police Department for over 41 years. She was one of the first women to join the program volunteering in the detective bureau where she would pick up pawn tickets to compare them to the department's stolen property list and help with fingerprinting and traffic control.

"She came here in the early ‘80s and started volunteering for the police department in 1983 – she’s still doing it today," Port Orange Police Chief Manuel Marino said. "That’s dedication. That is really uncommon. To not miss a beat and still be doing it at 100 years and still wanting to do it and still be as enthusiastic as she was in 1983 is just really incredible."

Wittmeyer now works two days a week with a partner doing courier service by making deliveries to City Hall and the State Attorney’s Office. 

She said she doesn’t plan to retire as a volunteer anytime soon.

"Sometimes I’m tired and other times I’m ready to go," she said.

She offered this advice for others wanting to stay healthy into their triple-digits:

"You have to exercise and eat right," Wittmeyer said. "Eat your vegetables. I like my rice and vegetables. It’s a matter of getting out among people. You can’t sit around and watch TV. You don’t learn much there."