Six women, all over 100 years old, celebrate Mother’s Day at South Loop fashion show brunch

The mothers, the oldest 111, arrived at a South Loop hotel by stretch limousine.

SHARE Six women, all over 100 years old, celebrate Mother’s Day at South Loop fashion show brunch
Mary Lee Stiger, 102, arrives for the Barbara Bates Brunch Fashion Show at the Marriott Marquis, 2121 S. Prairie Ave., on Sunday, May 14, 2023.

Mary Lee Stiger, 102, arrives Sunday for the Barbara Bates Brunch Fashion Show at the Marriott Marquis, 2121 S. Prairie Ave. Sunday, May 14, 2023.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Even at 102 years old, Eva Mae Holland still has her fashion sense.

“She’s still wearing 3-inch heels and her hat every Sunday in church,” said granddaughter LeDonna Barnes. “She’s always fashionably dressed.”

Holland was one of six mothers — all over 100 years old — who arrived by stretch limo dressed in their Sunday Best for a fashion show brunch at a Marriott hotel in the South Loop.

None of the five could complain about a lack of appreciation on this Mother’s Day.

Mothers of Club 100, a group of centenarians, joined by their loved ones, at the Barbara Bates Brunch Fashion Show at the Marriott Marquis, 2121 S. Prairie Ave. on Sunday, May 14, 2023.

Mothers of Club 100, a group of centenarians, joined by their loved ones, wait at their table for the start of the Barbara Bates Brunch Fashion Show at the Marriott Marquis, 2121 S. Prairie Ave. on Sunday.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

They were celebrated as part of Andrew Holmes’ Foundation’s Club 100, whose members are all centenarians.

“We couldn’t have Mother’s Day without honoring these types of mothers,” said fashion designer Barbara Bates, who greeted each of them with ceremonial sashes inscribed with their ages.

The oldest of the group, Juanita Mitchell, stepped out of her limo in a deep purple dress.

Juanita Mitchell, 111 (in wheelchair), gets a little help with her sash from Maru Muse, her daughter, after arriving by limo for a brunch and fashion show Sunday at the Marriott Marquis, 2121 S. Prairie Ave.

Juanita Mitchell, 111 (in wheelchair), gets a little help with her sash from Maru Muse, her daughter, after arriving by limo for a brunch and fashion show Sunday at the Marriott Marquis, 2121 S. Prairie Ave.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

The 111-year-old still takes fashion very seriously, said Mary Muse, her daughter. She and her mother wore matching hats.

“She likes bright, vibrant colors, and likes to be coordinated,” Muse said. “Before we left [from Flossmoor] she asked about my jewelry,” and for matching purple nail polish.

Mary Lee Stiger, 102, arrived in a bright white and green floral blouse and was joined by three generations of her family.

Stiger is a relatively new Chicagoan, having moved here 13 years ago from Kentucky to be closer to family.

“It’s just a wonderful day to be alive,” Stiger said.

Mary Lee Stiger, 102, sits in front of (from left) daughter Pamela Cox, granddaughter Danielle Cox-Jones and great-granddaughter Morgan Jones. All four attended the Barbara Bates Brunch Fashion Show at the Marriott Marquis, 2121 S. Prairie Ave. on Sunday, May 14, 2023.

Mary Lee Stiger, 102, sits in front of (from left) daughter Pamela Cox, granddaughter Danielle Cox-Jones and great-granddaughter Morgan Jones. All four attended the Barbara Bates Brunch Fashion Show at the Marriott Marquis, 2121 S. Prairie Ave. on Sunday.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Catherine Malone brought her 103-year-old mother, Clara Washington, who wore a light purple dress.

Besides the perks of hitching a ride in the limo, Malone said she was happy about the brunch because “I don’t have to cook.”

Barnes said her grandmother just turned 102, but Sunday’s limo ride was only her second ever.

“This is so amazing to me. Usually when you ride in a limo, it’s for a funeral or a wedding. My grandmother, when the limo pulled up, she said, ‘I got a limousine?’ She was so happy.”

So was Eva Mae Holland, her daughter said.

“It was just a blessing to be able to come here in the limousine and we don’t have to go to a graveyard,” Barnes said.

“It may sound morbid, but I’m glad that we’re here to celebrate her. Not breakfast in bed. A fashion show.”

Callie Lott, 103, makes her way to the ballroom during Barbara Bates Brunch Fashion Show at the Marriott Marquis, 2121 S. Prairie Ave. on Sunday, May 14, 2023.

Callie Lott, 103, makes her way to the ballroom during the Barbara Bates Brunch Fashion Show at the Marriott Marquis, 2121 S. Prairie Ave. on Sunday.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

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