The Monument Avenue 10K will be a family affair for this grandma’s birthday

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Fran Shinholser has just one wish when she turns 85 years young in March. A mobile birthday party. She is not talking about renting a limo or a progressive dinner party. The Henrico woman has much bigger plans. She wants to make the Monument Avenue 10K a family affair.

Fran Shinholser walks through her Henrico neighborhood several times a week to stay fit. In fact, she likes to tackle at least ten thousand steps a day. It is tough keeping up on her daily walks.

“To me, I have to stay mind and body active," said Fran. "Otherwise you’re below ground.”

Fran Shinholser

Fran sets goals too. Recently, she came up with the idea to walk the Monument Avenue 10K, with her entire family, which rivals the size of a small army.

Fran Shinholser is counting on her big family to be with her every step of the way. The Former Mrs. Richmond in 1966 has eight children, 15 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

She says she is not wanting for anything and does not need or want presents. The dynamo says having her loved ones walk with her will be the best gift ever.

Fran Shinholser

“There really isn’t anything they can do," said Fran. "I’ve got all of the food and clothes and whatever. I said, ‘I’ll tell you what I want to do. This is the year I do the 10K. Come walk with me.' And they jumped right on board with that.’”

Family members, like her daughter Janis Kouche, say it will be an honor to join her on the route.

“Fascinating. Energetic. A joy. A joy to be around," said Kouche. "Very blessed to have a mother like this. The best mother I’ve ever seen. Like I said, when I grew up I wanted to be like my mom.”

Fran Shinholser

Fran walks the Monument Avenue 10K every five years, but this will be the first time that most of her family members will accompany her. We hear they will be coming in from Charlotte, Baltimore and possibly Florida to join her when she starts her fourth Monument Avenue 10K on April 14.

Good luck, Ms. Fran and Happy Birthday!

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