Monday, April 16, 2018


The 5th annual MR MATURE PAGEANT 2018, promised, a fun Saturday for the residents of Ocean City, New Jersey this year.  The morning started off with a "Parade of Pooches".  Residents were invited to bring their beloved dogs to march.  There were marching bands, and convertibles driving dignitaries along the parade route.  One person, in particular riding along was actor Eric Estrada, star of the TV series, "Chips".  

file photo

It was fitting that QUEEN Carolyn Slade Harden, began her cross country tour right here in New Jersey, on Saturday evening, April 14th.  Carolyn was invited to sing, and also to serve on a panel which consisted of 3 judges.  

The idea of creating a Pageant for men 55 and over, came from the long established and time honored MS SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT.  Some similarities do exist, however, the main difference between the two is the MR MATURE PAGEANT is local, and is sponsored by the City of Ocean City; whereas the MS SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT is nationwide.  State Pageants are held during the year, and then their QUEENS must compete for the national title.

The evening began with the singing of the "Star Spangled Banner", led by QUEEN Carolyn.  Eric Estrada was the emcee.  A capacity audience filled the room that evening, and people were excited and very vocal as they cheered for their favorite contestant.  There were eight in all, and each man tried his best to outshine the other as they paraded across the stage.  There were 3 Judging Categories: Talent and Poise, which were public, and a Judges Interview, which was private.  In the end, it was Bill Quain, who won this year's title. 

all photos, courtesy Denise Mechan
Although it has been at least three decades since he starred in the hit TV series "Chips", Eric Estrada still retains his masculine charm and allure, as he poses with with QUEEN Carolyn after the Pageant. 
Here, QUEEN Carolyn poses with:  Bill Quain/MR MATURE 2018, and the other two judges, Frank Farelli, Jr. - the very first MR MATURE, and Katie Schreckengast/MISS PA 2017, who was 10th runner up in last year's MISS AMERICA PAGEANT.

Yes, in America, "monarchies" still do exist, as proven by these two Senior Pageants.  See them as they stand regally, proudly wearing their crowns, banners and staff.  Long live QUEEN Carolyn Slade Harden/MS SENIOR AMERICA 2017, and Bill Quain, MR MATURE 2018.  YEAH!

Friday, April 13, 2018


"Ready, Set, Go, and they're off!" is the current mantra of the fabulous ladies of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB these days.  January 2018 began with with problems for its members, as did most of the nation, with colds, flu, physical ailments, and the passing of a beloved "Sister".  The cold, snowy and unpredictable weather was another factor that affected the scheduling of Showcases, and resulted in some cancellations in February and March.  But, April is showing promise so far, and the ladies are hopeful of getting back to a full season of performing for their constituents throughout the State of New Jersey.

The first Showcase for the month was Thursday, April 5th at Lutheran Crossing Enhanced Living, in Moorsetown.  Eight of our finest entertainers gave a great show for a predominently female audience.  The residents were generous with their applause.  One lady in particular, whose name was Deborah, was especially vocal in displaying her appreciation.  During the course of the Showcase, she gave little quips about her life and  her musical knowledge.

 Courtesy, Warren Beebe
The audience was invited to sing the finale song, "This Is My Country/God Bless America".  From left to right are: Diane Beebe/MSNJSA'15, Josephine Araniti/MSNJSA'07, Johanne Santori/MSNJSA'06, Denise Mechan/Showcase Coordinator, Nancy Bassett, Rose Majofsky, and Jo Ann Gordon/MSNJSA'08.

Of particular importance at this time of year, are the preparations for the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2018, which will be held on Wednesday, June 6th at Harrahs Resort and Casino, in the Concert Venue Theater at 1:00 PM.  Terry Meade, Executive State Pageant Director, outlined her plans and the details at the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB meeting, which was held on Tuesday, April 10th.  This year's theme is "Walk the Red Carpet", and her vision for the Pageant is intended to be exciting, imaginative, stylish, visually stimulating, and timeless; a show that will be appreciated and enjoyed by an audience of every age.  Josephine Araniti, MSNJSA2007, Public Relations/Publicity, spoke about the plan for getting out the press releases to the newspapers and media, and encouraged Club members to hang the Pageant flyers in places of prominence in that part of the State where they live.  Terry also announced the date of the "Meet the Candidates" luncheon, which is Tuesday, April 24th, 11:30 AM, at the Manahawkin Elks Lodge.  She was unable to give the exact number of contestants, because the deadline to enter has not closed, but, she did announce the names and acknowledged the 5 ladies, who are re-entering this year, all of whom are NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB members.

President Carole Lelli spoke about the Board's decision to change the location of the meeting place, to the Manahawkin Elks Lodge, and told of the generosity of the veterans, who offered the use of their hall to the CLUB free of charge.  All the members in attendance agreed that it was the right decision and that the new facility was cleaner and brighter than the last.
Jo Ann Gordon/MSNJSA'08, who was appointed interim Vice-President at the January meeting, was sworn in.  Treasurer Becky Orsatti/MSNJSA'10, announced the ticket price for the Pageant as $15.00, and were available immediately for purchase.  They can also be purchased at the door on the day of the Pageant at the box office which is located in the lobby of the theater.  Anyone wishing to purchase tickets in advance, can call her home phone at: 609-344-7802.

The meeting ended with everyone extending their love, and support to Carolyn Slade Harden/MSNJSA'17 & MSSA'17, as she embarks on her journey to many States across the country, as guest in MS SENIOR AMERICA STATE PAGEANTS.  She shared an impressive travel itinerary with the members, and asked for their prayers for stamina and good health in the months ahead. 

Kudos to the Board for making its members feel welcomed in the new meeting place, to the Committee,
for preparing a great lunch, and to the members, who kept an open mind regarding the Board's decision to move  to a new location for the quarterly meetings.  One door closes, and another door opens. 

See you at the Pageant!

Friday, February 23, 2018


Diane Beebe is an great example of women who live in the "Age of Elegance", that is 60 or better.  After winning the title of MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2014, she joined the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, and became an active member.  She is a regular performer in their SHOWCASES, and when she is present, she operates the sound system as well.  Diane helped the Pageant organization to grow, by creating the State website, and serves as the webmaster.  She served as Secretary of NSAA for 2 terms, and created that organization's website as well.

Diane Beebe, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2014, is realizing her dream of a career in acting. No stranger to show business, her debut as a solo performer dates back to the tender age of 4.  In her life, Diane combined the multiple roles of wife, mother, business woman, singer, and actress.  In her senior years, Diane decided to return to acting, and was successful.  She has appeared in TV shows and a soon to be released movie as a background actor.

Recently, Diane won an NY NUB Award, which was the first ever given by that film industry, for background acting.  This news caught the interest of, an area newspaper, and a reporter contacted Diane for an interview.  The article, published on February 22nd, is an in depth overview of Diane's interesting life, from childhood to the present day.  To read the full story, click on this link:

Kudos to this NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB member and former QUEEN, who has proven that life after 60, can be exciting, rewarding and fulfilling.

Thursday, February 15, 2018


Since her appointment as EXECUTIVE PAGEANT DIRECTOR of the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT, Terry Meade of Princeton Junction, has been busy seeking contestants for the 2018 Pageant, and doing her utmost to spread the word across the State about the Organization.   Recently, a reporter from the West Windsor News, a newspaper in her area, interviewed Terry and wrote an extensive article that was published this week. 

Terry's story is a poignant and beautiful account of her life from childhood to the present.  After reading it, one will realize why Terry was the most qualified successor to Johanne Santori.  The feature article also was published online, and can be accessed by clicking on this link:

FYI.     Any lady over the age of 60, who is interested in becoming a contestant, can call Terry at:  908-216-8534, or by email: 
             To learn more about the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT, please visit our website: 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


The ladies of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB had a great evening of food, libations, dancing and song, last December at the annual Christmas Party, but for some reason the event went unreported on this blog site.  Some CLUB members were unable to attend the party, due to illness, or distance.  So, the following is a recap of the great time had by all.

The Christmas party was held at the Toms River Hotel.  The ladies gathered together to pose for their annual portrait.  Betsy Mott and Robin Milne were the guests of honor, and were included in the photo also.

After dinner, announcements, acknowledgements, and gifts followed.  President Carole Lelli announced the new board members who will begin their term in January of 2018, who are: Carole, President, Lyn Gibson, Vice President, who is not in the photo, Leah Whelan, Secretary, and Rebecca Orsatti, Treasurer.  She thanked JoAnn Gordon MSNJSA2008 and her committee for providing such a great evening for the members.  Administrator Johanne Santori introduced Terry Meade as the new Executive State Pageant Director.

President Carole presented Carolyn Slade Harden MSNJSA2017 this portait  on behalf of the Board and NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB.  QUEEN Carolyn was noticably shaken when she expressed her thanks for the lovely gift.

Everyone settled down in anticipation of the Great Raffle that followed.  The tables were full of great gifts that were provded by the members.  JoAnn Gordon MSNJSA2008, took over to read the tickets and announce the winners.

Here she is, QUEEN Carolyn and her freinds from La Rennaisance, enjoying themselves all evening long.

Of course, there was dancing to the music of Steve and Debbie Berger.  Line dancing is a fun activity, as members joined in dancing their favorite, the electric slide.

As the evening came to an end, the ladies joined hands together to form the "Circle of Sisterhood", singing and swaying to the song, "That's What Friends Are For".  Hugs, kisses and well wishes followed as the ladies gradually dispersed and went home.  Hopefully, the cold and flu season will not affect these sweet ladies in the days and year ahead.

FYI.  These photos were taken by Mark Meade, and lovely provided by Terry Meade, our new Executive State Pageant Director.

Monday, February 12, 2018


The past week marked the passing of Josephine Mazzarella, mother of JoAnn Gordon, MSNJSA 2008.  Family, friends, and New Jersey Cameo Club sisters attended her wake on Sunday, February 11th at the Silverton Memorial Home in Toms River, followed by a funeral Mass this morning at St. Justin Roman Catholic Church.

Josephine was a woman whose warm smile and loving ways enriched the lives of all those who knew her.  She was so proud of her daughter JoAnn when she won the title of MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2008.  Josephine loved to attend New Jersey Cameo Club Showcases, to hear JoAnn sing.  Over the years, she was a generous financial supporter of the annual MSNJSA PAGEANT.

Josephine was born in Newark, NJ, and worked as a clerk for the Essex County Probation Department.

Josephine made such a lovely bride of the forties era, when her name then changed to Mrs. Papasidero. 

 Unfortunately, tragedy struck with the death of her husband, and Josephine had to raise their two children, JoAnn and Joseph alone.  She was proud of her Italian heritage, and would welcome anyone into her home with with a delicious homecooked Italian meal.

Josephine was fortunate to find love again later in life, and was married to Joseph Mazzarella.  They lived in Lavalette in Joe's home, until he predeceased her.

During the last few years of her life, Josephine managed to enjoy life amid countless setbacks with her health, and JoAnn was always by her side.  They were inseparable - laughing, and crying together - hoping that the next day would be better.  Mother is gone now, and the hole that remains in her daughter's heart will be hard to close in the days, weeks, even years to come.

Josephine is God's very own now, and she is at peace.  As for JoAnn, please know that God also cares for you today and will take of you in this your time of sorrow and loss.  He will either shield you from your suffering, or give you the strength to bear it.  Amen. 

Monday, December 4, 2017


Last Saturday evening,  friends, family and "sisters" came together to honor Carolyn Slade Harden, MS SENIOR AMERICA 2017.  More than 200 people attended the lavish party which was held in the ballroom at La Renaissance in Manchester.  Christmas was the theme, and the ballroom was decorated with red and white pointsettas, adorning the stage and tables, and fresh white tablecloths, with gold ribbons on the back of each chair, added a touch of elegance. 

All photos, compliments, Mark & Terry Meade
Soon after Carolyn won the National Title last October, plans for a party began to take shape.  A "Celebration Committee" was formed, which consisted of friends from La Renaissance and the New Jersey Cameo Club, and they are: from La Renaissance/Linda Celiano, Diane Harkavy, Arlene Kearney, Beverly Terranova, Paula Williams, Phyllis Zauberman, and Sherri McGhie, from the New Jersey Cameo Club.  Pictured above were the complimentary pamphlets for each guest to take home as a memento of the occasion.

Dick Guariglia, also part of the Committee served as emcee, and kept the evening flowing smoothly and pleasantly.  First on the agenda, was the announcement and procession of QUEEN Carolyn.  Everyone stood and welcomed her with warm and generous applause as she walked down the center aisle.

When she arrived at the front of the room, she was greeted by her daughter and grandson, who handed her a lovely bouquet of roses, and lots of kisses!

There she is, posing for the many guests with cameras, hoping to take as many photos of Carolyn as they could.  While in the background, the "Continental Entertainers", along with songstresess Linda Celiano and Phyllis Zauberman, provided music throughout the evening for everyone's dancing pleasure.  Carolyn's sister, Beverly who is a professional singer, gave a tribute to her sibling, with a poignant rendition of the popular song, "The Wind Beneath My Wings".  Of course, the evening wouldn't have been complete without a song from QUEEN Carolyn herself.

 During the evening, the "sisters" gathered together in the lobby for a special photo to commemorate the occasion.  Other guests of honor who attended were:  Dr. Al Mott, his wife Betsy and their assistant Robin Milne (standing in the back behind QUEEN Carolyn wearing a sparkling blue blouse).  Dr. Mott's brief speech was uplifting and eloquent.

It was a grand event for a grand QUEEN, and hopefully, one that Carolyn will remember and cherish for years to come.