Van Mall resident celebrates 105th birthday

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Van Mall -- Helen Darden celebrated her 105th birthday Sept. 24 at Van Mall Retirement and Assisted Living Community, where a cake and 105 yellow carnations set a festive mood. Helen has three grandchildren, three half-grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She fondly recalls living in Yakima with her son, Dennis, and her travels with her daughter, Carol, to Australia, Egypt, Israel, Greece, the Mideast, Europe and Hawaii. She credits her longevity to abstaining from alcohol, coffee, soda, tobacco and drugs. She enjoys playing bingo, and she plays poker with the men. When asked if she ever beats them, she said, "You bet!"