Meta A. Griffith, owner of Griffith Electric Supply Co., Inc., was not surprised that a party was being held in her honor on July 19, but she was surprised by how many levels of government marked her special birthday with resolutions, letters of congratulation and even a street dedication. After all, it's not every day a business leader gets to celebrate her 100th birthday.
The City of Trenton resolved that Second Street, in Trenton, N.J., where Griffith Electric sits, shall from now on be known as “META A. GRIFFITH WAY”. New Jersey's Governor Corzine sent birthday wishes in a personal letter, while New Jersey Senator Shirley Turner introduced a resolution to the State Senate, commending Mrs. Griffith's many accomplishments, her devotion to Trenton and dedication to New Jersey, as well as her work for local charities, such as The Children's Home Society of N.J.
One of the most exciting surprises came from The White House in the form of a letter from President and Mrs. Obama, wishing Mrs. Griffith a Happy 100th Birthday noting, “You have witnessed great milestones in our nation's history, and your life represents an important piece of the American story.”
The party was attended by more than 200 guests who watched as Mrs. Griffith greeted family and friends and as Griffith's board of directors read Senate Resolutions, toasted the honoree and shared in the unveiling of two bronze sculptures, one of Meta Griffith and one of her late husband, William Griffith. Mrs. Griffith was left speechless, saying only “thank you” and handing the microphone back to Bill Goodwin, president of Griffith Electric, who tried to express what he saw in Mrs. Griffith's face and what he knew was in her heart. The sculptures honor both William and Meta for their lifes' work and love for each other.
“They remind us of the spirit our country was founded upon that allowed faith and courage to make dreams come true. Encouraged in that faith by their good friend Mr. Charlie Westman, a salesman with Cutler Hammer, the Griffith's accepted his offer of financial help along with his guidance and encouragement and they started Griffith Electric Supply in 1938. A life of hard work, community service and exceptional generosity was the focus of Meta Griffith's 100th birthday celebration,” said a Griffith Electric statement. “Loved by everyone who knows her, she humbly attributes her success to what her husband taught her and tells anyone who asks, her secret to a long life is ‘staying positive.’”
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