Winnipeg woman receives special surprise for 100th birthday

By | May 25, 2020

WINNIPEG — Helen Atnikov turned 100 on Monday.

Her son Earl Atnikov, who lives in Ottawa, hasn’t been able to visit his mother in over two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wanting to do something special for his mom’s birthday, Earl hired a singer to sing for her outside of the Shaftesbury Park Retirement Residence.

Unfortunately, they had to cancel, leaving Earl without a singer for the occasion.

That’s where Nathan Zassman comes in.

A mutual friend asked Zassman, who sings in two choirs, to fill in.

“I was thrilled and delighted to sing for this woman’s 100th birthday,” he said.

At 11:30 on Monday, Helen came out on to her balcony. On the lawn, a sign that read “Still blooming at 100. Happy Birthday Helen” was surrounded by flowers.

“Is this ever beautiful,” she said. 


Helen Atnikov smiles while listening to a musical performance from her balcony on her 100th birthday Monday morning (CTV News Photo Scott Andersson)


Zassman performed “Young at Heart” for Helen.

“These days, you need to do whatever you can to brighten people’s lives,” he said.

Zassman said he declined payment for his performance, saying he could never accept money for something like this.  

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