UNLV's biggest fan turned 100 - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

UNLV's biggest fan turned 100

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UNLV mascot Hey Reb! joins Helen Kuttum for her 100th birthday celebration (Miguel Martinez-Valle / FOX5). UNLV mascot Hey Reb! joins Helen Kuttum for her 100th birthday celebration (Miguel Martinez-Valle / FOX5).
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

One of UNLV's biggest fans turned 100 on Wednesday and Hey Reb was there to help her celebrate. Helen Kottum had no idea her care takers at Las Ventanas in Summerlin planned a centennial celebration.

She was especially surprised to see the Runnin' Rebels mascot at the party since she said there was a time when UNLV basketball was her life. 

"I don't think I missed a game, I've been to Alaska, Hawaii a couple times, Nebraska, New York,"  Kottum said. 

"That was just our life, everything I had in the house was red," she added. 

Kottum attended the 1990 championship game. She watched her Runnin Rebels win big, a memory she shared with her twin sister Harriet. She told FOX5 she shared every moment with Harriet. 

Her son, Dennis Claridge, said Harriet's death hit his mother particularly hard. 

"When my aunt died in February, there were a lot of tears, a lot of 'I don't know if I can live through this, I don't know if I can make it anymore,'" Claridge said. 

Kottums had a hard year. Those who love her, especially her care takers, knew the way to cheer her up was with some scarlett and grey. 

"We wanted just to have something for her to think a bout reliving life again, and get her in a better mood," said Assisted living director Darcy Tumminello. 

Her son said the surprise was just what his mother needed for her centennial celebration.

"So to see her get this attention, and enjoy it, it's pretty special," he said. 

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