Selma Stone is one of those helping Rockville Centre realize its reputation.

Stone and 40 of her peers were invited to the Sandel Senior Center to celebrate the "Awesome 90s," its 41 members over that age.

Stone was the most senior, having turned 102 on Aug. 17.

Joined at a special luncheon by more than 70 relatives and friends, Stone was among those heartily clapping when Mayor Francis X. Murray suggested the center had helped them live so long and vigorously.

"The center is good for me," she said, adding that it offers much in which to participate.

Two activities she enjoys, she said, are "Talk It Out," a Tuesday morning discussion where any topic can be discussed, and "news and headlines," a discussion about current events.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

She recently got a tablet to go along with her Kindle and said one of her big things now is reading newspapers online. "I like to keep up with the news," she said.

She said she still enjoys reading, even though her eyesight is "deteriorating a bit." On the Kindle, she said she has gone to audio books a lot, and with her tablet, "I enlarge the print."

The mayor, who attended yesterday's event with Deputy Mayor Nancy Howard and Trustee Emilio Grillo, said of the gathering: "Celebrating the active and productive life of more than 40 of our residents older than 90 years old is a true joy.

"Each . . . participate in the numerous activities that are offered [here]. I am . . . delighted that our village has gained the reputation as one of the top places to live, work and grow old."

The 720,000 people in the country age 90 and older in 1980 almost tripled to 1.9 million in 2010, said a U.S. Census report released in 2011.

The census bureau released data this June that projected the group's continued growth for those 90 to 94, from 1,859,000 in 2015 to 2,024,000 in 2020, and from 498,000 to 649,000 for those 95 to 99.

Stone has lived in Rockville Centre since 1961, she said. She and her husband, Harry -- who died three years ago -- had three children, two of whom are still alive.

She has three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

She recently went to California to celebrate her great-granddaughter's bas mitzvah, she said.

With Whitney Lee