WWII vet honored on his 100th birthday; recognized for impact in special needs community

LINCOLNWOOD, Ill. (WLS) -- At 100 years old, World War II veteran Abraham Bohrer is being recognized for his milestone birthday and his charitable spirit as he continues to give to an organization that has helped his son with disabilities for decades.

"I couldn't believe they were making such a big party over me," said Bohrer, a WWII veteran who landed on Normandy Beach. "I am happy. I really, truly appreciate all these people coming to see me."

As he sat in front of his home, dozens of people-- friends, family members and employees of Little City-- sent him birthday wishes during a drive-by party complete with balloons, sports cars, and police and fire vehicles.

Bohrer not only fought for his country but those who know him consider the Lincolnwood man a true champion for those with disabilities, including his son Mitchell who has special needs.

"It was God's will that I was given a son like Mitchell," Bohrer said after the drive-by party.

Mitchell, 69, has called Little City home for more than 50 years. Since 1959, the organization has served children and adults with autism, and other intellectual and developmental disabilities live to their fullest potential, said Tina Maraccini, Little City's director of communications.

Along with sending birthday wishes, Little City also gave Bohrer an award during the celebration, thanking him for his philanthropic efforts.

"His philanthropy to our organization has helped people for years and years to come so we can come out of this pandemic," Maraccini said.

On his 99th birthday last year, Maraccini said Bohrer donated land and property worth nearly $3 million to the organization. His giving spirit continues to this day as well.

"Every day my husband suggests to me a charity we need to give to, and I sit down and I write a check," said his wife Judy Bohrer. "Everyday."

The Bohrer family is grateful their uncle, husband and dad has been able to stay healthy throughout the years, especially during the pandemic.

"I hope and pray that when I'm 100 years old, I'll have his energy and his spirit," said Adrienne Bohrer, the youngest of three children. "Look at him. He's doing great!"

As for the secret to being a centenarian, Bohrer recommends staying healthy, and having great friends. He also added, "Family is very, very important."
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