Theresa Gonzalez celebrated the start of the new decade in a way few others can.

Gonzalez, a volunteer at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Alice, celebrated her 100th birthday on Thursday, Jan. 9. CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Alice Associates and hospital leaders are helping Teresa to ring in her centennial year in a major way.

"Last year, we celebrated Theresa’s 99th birthday – which is a huge accomplishment in and of itself," said Thomas McKinney, President of CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Alice. "We asked her then what she wanted to celebrate her 100th birthday, and Theresa told us she wanted a mariachi band and her own parking space. How could we say ‘no’ to that?

Not only was Gonzalez serenaded by a mariachi band and received her own parking space, she was also given a purple corsage and balloons. No birthday is complete without a birthday cake and punch.

McKinney said Gonzalez is often found volunteering at the hospital at least one day each week and typically on Sundays – when she assists with preparations for that week’s Mass.

"It’s such a blessing to have Theresa in our lives," adds McKinney. "I think we all hope to just live long enough to see 100 years of life. The fact that Theresa has chosen to spend this time with us and our patients is such a wonderful illustration of her commitment to extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. She is truly an inspiration."