Former I.L.G.W.U. worker hits 100 — and she’ll drink to that!

BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | A Chelsea woman turned 100 years old on May 17 and celebrated the milestone at the Hudson Guild two days earlier.

At the celebration, Rita Corchado was surrounded by friends from Hudson Guild Adult Services, in whose meals-service program she is an active member. She comes to the Guild daily for breakfast and lunch.

Rita Corchado is an active participant at the Hudson Guild. (Photo by David Rivera Jr.)

“She is very happy and very upbeat,” Brigitte Garzon, a Hudson Guild case manager, told NY1 noticias. “She always has a smile when she comes here.”

Corchado was born in 1919 in the Plaza of Vista Alegre district of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, which is just outside of the island’s capital of San Juan. In 1935, at the age of 16, Corchado moved to New York City. Four years later, she started working for the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union, and eventually was responsible for directing many factories that made women’s suits. Although Corchado retired from the union in 1984, she carries a membership card to this day.

Rita Corchado looking good — make that great — at 100! (Photo by David Rivera Jr.) 

In 2006, Corchado moved into the Elliott-Chelsea Houses, which qualifies as a NORC, or Naturally Occurring Retirement Community, due to the high percentage of senior residents.

According to Corchado, the secret to a long life lies in a little before-bed libation.

“Having one glass of beer every night before going to sleep,” she said, has been the key to her many active years.

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