She Turned 100 and It’s Not Her Only Milestone

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Lillian Weber's story is a great one to tell.

A few months ago we told you Lillian had a goal: she wanted to sew a thousand dresses before she turned 100 years old.

She reached one goal weeks ago... the other she met today, May 6th.

The day started with a birthday tradition: breakfast at the Village Inn.

She's at a table filled with family ready to celebrate a life that's now 100-years in the making.

"We are just so blessed to have her for 100 years," says daughter Linda Purcell.

But to tell Lillian's story, we have to take you back to her home, her favorite chair, and her needle and thread.

She's been sewing dresses for a non-profit group called "Little Dresses for Africa" ever since learning about it through a local sewing group.

Then she came up with a goal: a thousand dresses before her 100th birthday.

She reached that goal in March, two months early.

The story you saw on News 8 and WQAD.com in August was picked up around the world, getting the attention of the group's organizer who hand delivered her dresses to Malawi.

It was read by people in Europe, Asia, and Australia who commented about her work.

And grabbed the attention of the makers of Singer,  Husqvarna Viking, and Pfaff sewing machines.     The company donated a sewing machine for her to use.

But today, they are giving her something more.

Inside a sewing machine case are birthday cards for Lillian, sent to the company after it told its customers about the dresses she sews.

"There's over 400 cards in here from people all over the world that were so impressed by your story," says daughter LeAnn Winger.

Cards from around the world including one from Denmark that read "Happy 100th birthday Lillian, you make the world a better place."

And an envelope from Georgia.    Inside isn't a card, but a dress made by a woman who wants to add to Lillian's good work.

"How cute," says Linda.

That dress could be the best present of all.   It further shows the worldwide impact one woman, reaching 100 years old, can still make.

"What an inspiration that she is to all these other people," says Linda.

"I mean how phenomenal is that?"

For Lillian, it's no big thing.

It's like turning 100.  There was never a worry...

"My mother lived to be 99", she says.

And after breakfast, there are more dresses to make.

"If I'm doing something for somebody, I'm content."

She's content, but not finished.

She's still sewing every day, now on dress number 1039, and plans to reach 1050 by Memorial Day.

Little Dresses for Africa has created the Lillian Weber Shipping Fund to help deliver all of the dresses made by Lillian and others to help girls in Africa.

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