Published: Nov 19, 2012 6:34 PM EST
Updated: Nov 19, 2012 6:34 PM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Donnie Long celebrated a special milestone today, but the highlight was having her family in town from all over the country.

The Healthpark Care and Rehab Center resident turned 100 years old today, and her family came in town to join the celebration.

The center threw her a birthday party, complete with balloons and a cake with her picture on it.

Long says, "it's too much for me but I'm glad they did it. I appreciate it."

The centenarian says she doesn't feel any different today, what matters is having her family in town to celebrate with her. "Oh I love it. It's good to have them home anytime to tell you the truth, but of course special days, it makes a difference."

She worked at the cafeteria for the Lee County School System for more than 30 years and says she has great memories of those days. She took care of her four kids on her own, when her husband died when they were young.

Her son, Donald Dukes, says she worked hard all her life and held the family together. "She provided for all 4 of us kids for what seemed like forever. The biggest thing I've learned from mother is to be an ethical person, be a hard worker, the best you can be and don't ever miss church," he says. They are lessons she's learned to help her live 100 years. "I love the Lord and he loves me and takes care of me. And my family takes care of me so overall I guess I'm just lucky," she says.

About 20 family members are already in town and more will join them for a second birthday celebration on Thanksgiving.