YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Antonina Pavesi got everything she wanted for her 100th birthday: enjoying a piece of (a giant) birthday cake while surrounded by family.

Even though she was technically still 99 (her birthday was May 3), members of her immediate and extended family travelled from as far as Georgia to celebrate the milestone at Little Sorrento in Yorktown on Saturday, April 29. Some of her nine grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren made it to the occasion.

Pavesi spent most of her life in the Bronx and worked as a dressmaker for 55 years. She was married twice and had two sons. She moved to Yorktown seven years ago to be closer to her son, John, and daughter-in-law, Rosemarie Mendicino.

Sign Up for E-News

“Family is very important to her,” said Pavesi’s son. “There’s no such thing as a step grandchild; they were all ‘my grandchildren.’ That’s one thing she taught us all.”

Mendicino describes his mother as an outgoing woman. She tried new things well into her 90s, he said, and received her “wings” at 93, when she and the Medicinos took a trip to Georgia to visit family members. In addition to spending time with family and staying engaged in life, the carb-loving, dessert enthusiast said her secret to longevity is a glass of red wine every evening and the occasional glass of brandy when she can’t sleep.