And you think you get a lot of people celebrating your birthday on Facebook

Mary Egan and her sister Elizabeth don't even use the site. But thousands upon thousands of people are celebrating with them via Facebook this month as they celebrate their 101st and 99th birthdays, respectively.

"They understand what Facebook is, but they're totally blown away by what's happening," said Fern Marder, marketing communications manager for the Frances E. Parker nursing home in Monroe.

The idea was a simple one. A few days ago, staffers Anne Fox and Sandra Lippan posted a picture to the nursing home's Facebook page of the two sisters celebrating. Mary Egan's a resident of the nursing home and her sister was stopping in from Brooklyn. All involved saw it as a neat way to take the festivities just a little further.

"Help us get 200 likes to celebrate our milestone," the sisters asked the Internet via a sign they held for the picture.

"OK," the Internet said 100 times over.

That was Monday. By Friday, the picture had exceeded 20,000 likes. More than 1,500 people had left well-wishes and more than 19,000 had shared the picture with their own friends.

"The ones from foreign countries were shocking to them," Marder said. Several were from Australia, Bucharest, Poland, New Zealand, Iceland and elsewhere. There were lots and lots of nice Canadians (figures).

And of course, there were plenty of congrats from across the United States.

One person even wrote to the nursing home to ask how to mail in a card (which is apparently like an e-card, but on paper — who knew?).


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