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75 Things to Celebrate 75 Years: A Love Story

A woman takes on the task of honoring her grandparent's 75th wedding anniversary with a unique twist.

Kristen Colyer wanted to celebrate her grandparent's 75th wedding anniversary in a unique way. Yes, you heard right. They've been married 75 years. 

So Kristen grabbed onto "75" and ran with it.

"I challenged everyone in the family to do 75 things, of their choosing, and video it or take pictures and I am going to make a video of it all to take to the anniversary celebration," Colyer said.

Colyer says her grandparents live in Louisville, KY, and have lived in Kentucky their entire lives.  

"They met as my grandmother was carrying pails of water from the river to her farm," Colyer said. "My grandfather saw her, looked at his brother and said, 'That is the girl I am going to marry.' And he did!" 

Colyer said her grandparents -- he is 98, she 97 -- are frugal, hardworking, caring people who remain self-sufficient.

"I could go on for hours telling you stories about them and the amazing things they have done for others," Colyer said.

Colyer said their May 15 wedding anniversary presented a problem because shopping for them is difficult; they want for nothing and favor homemade items as wel as simple expressions of love.

So, she challenged her family to get creative, and they did. These are the "75" tasks they accomplished:

  • Colyer's mom donated 75 oranges to a food bank in Florida where she lives during the winter
  • her stepfather donated $75 to an animal shelter in Louisville
  • her husband read the first 75 pages of the Bible -- a Bible her grandparents gave to her on her third Christmas in 1971
  • her oldest daughter made 75 motivational cards and donated them to Opportunity Works, Human Service Program's job readiness program in Carroll County
  • Colyer's youngest daughter made 75 cupcakes and donated them to a nursing home in Westminster
  • her brother's family planted 75 flowers
  • her niece made 75 basketball baskets
  • her sister's friend made a quilt for each of the grandparents - each quilt consists of 75 small squares
  • her sister donated 150 (75 for each grandparent) articles of clothing to Goodwill Industries in Denver
  • her friend will collect 75 food items and donate them to a local shelter
  • Colyer, herself, has found 75 random people around town to say "Happy Anniversary" to her grandparents on the video 

Colyer said she is having fun and has been moved by the number of people who have chosen to participate, not only to honor her grandparents but also to complete projects that will have an impact on others in the community, even if only in a small way.

"It has been an amazing experience," Colyer said.  "I love to watch people's reactions when I tell them the story. They usually say, 'Aw, that's nice,' then about a minute or two later they stop me and say, 'Wait, did you say they have been married for 75 years?'"

Patty B May 11, 2012 at 12:04 PM
This is amazing! Congrats to the lovely couple, 75 years! Kristen, you are a kind and loving person, what you're doing brought tears to my eyes. I hope that you make your video available for us to enjoy! I will smile 75 times today just thinking of you, your grandparents and your wonderful family!
Kym Byrnes (Editor) May 11, 2012 at 01:33 PM
So after writing this, it occurred to me that there are probably a lot of really unique things people have done to honor special anniversaries -- so tell us, what are some other great celebration ideas?

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