Since 2002, Thelma Welborn has been knitting hats for babies. Nearly 10 years later, the 99 year old Weed native has donated 1,000 hats to Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta, where they are distributed to newborns on their way home from the hospital.

Since 2002, Thelma Welborn has been knitting hats for babies. Nearly 10 years later, the 99 year old Weed native has donated 1,000 hats to Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta, where they are distributed to newborns on their way home from the hospital.

“I like to stay busy,” Welborn said Friday from her West Division Street home that used to be her grandmother’s.

Until she was 18, Welborn lived on Weed’s Main Street, and still remembers the fire that started in the Weed Bakery and ravaged the town when she was just six years old.

Though Welborn said her memory for names isn’t great, she doesn’t sit still for long and said the secret to staying  young at heart is keeping active.

“I was still skiing at 90, and I?climbed Castle Crags in my late 80’s,” she said with a smile. “I climbed everything.”

As a mother of three, Welborn rarely missed a basketball, baseball or football game, and followed her children’s grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s sports careers closely. She walked most places she went and took exercise classes regularly.

Today, only months away from her 100th birthday, Welborn still lives alone and cares for her house and the flowers growing in her yard around the large front porch. She knits, cares for several cats and does a lot of ironing.

Though she doesn’t sew as much as she used to, or pick the blackberries she still makes into jelly, Welborn manages to stay very busy, said her daughter, Barbara Castaneda.

Every month, Welborn makes about 10 hats in a variety of colors, she said. She keeps track of them all, and when she accumulates a batch, she donates them to the hospital.

Though she doesn’t know if she’ll make another 1,000, she’ll continue to make the hats because “it gives her something to do” and she enjoys it, she said with a laugh.