On the occasion of Helen Mulrennan Young’s 100th birthday celebration at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Brandon on Feb. 25, she took a moment to discuss her family’s agricultural roots with Betty Jo Tompkins, executive director of the Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District.
“I think that back in those days we were healthier because we ate all of our own homegrown vegetables,” Helen said. “Nothing processed. It was all natural and I think that’s very important.”
The Mulrennans, Tompkins said, are among “a select group of wonderful people, who because of their hard work, dedication and commitment to agriculture have made Hillsborough County the third-largest agricultural county in the state of Florida.”
Paying tribute to those roots, and the remarkable achievements of Mulrennan Young's family and siblings, was Hillsborough County Commissioner Michael Owen, who grew up in the Greater Brandon area and graduated from Bloomingdale High School in Valrico.
He secured a commendation signed by himself and his peers on the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, and was at the Cornerstone Baptist Church celebration to read and hand the framed commendation to Helen herself, with so many in attendance to wish her well. "Growing up here, people like Helen are pioneers and founders of our community," Owen said. I'm a a benificiary of what she's laid the path for, for folks like me. It's a true honor to be here."
The proclamation reads as follows:
"The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to honor Helen Mulrennan Young of Valrico on the occasion of her 100th birthday, a century filled with joy and love with her family and service to he Greater Brandon community.
"Born on Feb. 27, 1923, Mrs. Young is the proud member of one of Hillsborough County's pioneering families, for whom a middle school in Valrico is aptly named. Throughout her distinguished life, she has committed herself to faith, friendship and especially service, following in the footsteps of her seven older siblings, whose diverse careers included duty as an entomology pioneer, U.S. Army nurse, U.S. Marine, U.S. Coast Guardsman, well-known citrus grower, and co-founder and early president of the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce. Young's compassion is well known and cherished, especially for her expertise in crochet. For more than 23 years, she has crocheted blankets and hats for newborn babies, blankets for newlyweds, and homemade items for cancer warriors, Tampa General Hospital patients, and benefactors of the Linus Project, whose mission is to help children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need. For her work and dedication, Mrs. Young received the 2022 Spirit of Kiwanis Award, further illustrating that she truly is "Mother of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Brandon," a nickname she will always cherish.
"The Board of County Commissioners of Hillsborough County, Florida does hereby commend Helen Mulrennan Young for her service to the Greater Brandon community, and wishes her a memorable 100th birthday.
"Awarded this 25th day of February, 2013."