Saturday, June 3, 2017

A NEW QUEEN IS WELCOMED INTO THE AGE OF ELEGANCE


Carolyn Slade Harden, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2017

The search has ended, and a new QUEEN was crowned last Wednesday, who will carry on the mission of the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT organization, which is to "promote the positive aspects on aging".  A discerning and distinguished panel of judges recognized Carolyn Slade Harden of Manchester, as that special woman who possessed the most dignity, maturity and inner beauty.   Ms Harden enchanted the audience at Harrahs' Concert Venue Theater the moment she entered the stage, with a warm and engaging smile.     
Her attire was very haute couture, as she glided effortlessly across the stage in the Evening Gown portion of the competition.  Music has been her "lifes' blood", and for her Philosophy of Life, she composed a poem, using titles of familiar songs to show how she has lived her life.
Her philosophy was emphasized once again in the Talent Presentation, by the song, "For Once In My Life".  Carolyn possesses a warm mezzo voice, and her style is reminsicent of the great female songstresses of the past century.  Her delivery was deeply felt by the audience, who rewarded her with a standing ovation.

The QUEEN and her COURT. 
In the year to follow, QUEEN Carolyn will be accompanied by her COURT, in appearances with the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, in showcases throughout the State of New Jersey.  These 4 ladies also scored highly among the 9 women who competed this year.  From left to right are: Terry Meade of Princeton, 2nd Runner up, who sang and danced to the song , "Broadway Baby", from the hit musical Follies; Carol Rosario of Southampton, 1st Runner up, who sang "Orange Colored Sky"; QUEEN Carolyn; Denise Mechan of Bayville, 4th Runner up who sang a John Denver song, "Perhaps Love"; and Wenonah Brooks of Hopewell, 3rd Runner up, who sang "Over The Rainbow".  

After the Pageant, everyone flocked to the stage in a photo frenzy.  QUEEN Carolyn is flanked on the left by Peggy Lee Brennan, MS SENIOR AMERICA 2016.  Peggy flew in from Missouri, and was one of the  featured guest performers.  Standing on the right is Johanne Santori, MSNJSA STATE ADMINISTRATOR & PAGEANT DIRECTOR.  Johanne also sang a popular song in French.  Other featured performers were: the GRANDE DAMES CHORUS; Jim Craine, the "singing lifeguard";  the reigning Mr. Mature, 2017,  and a farewell performance by outgoing QUEEN, Diane Deluca, MSNJSA 2016.  An Apres Pageant Party was held in the Eden Lounge, with music provided by Steve and Debbie Berger.

The MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT, a time honored Pageant, that began in 1971, shares the same philosphy of its parent organization, the MS SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT, which is based on the belief that Seniors are the foundation of America and our most valuable treasure.  Over the years, these QUEENS have carried out their responsibilites successfully.  Over time, many have either passed away, or have moved to other States.  QUEEN Carolyn is seen here with those past QUEENS who  still remain, with the oldest, Norma McGhie, MSNJSA 1995, to outing going QUEEN, Diane Deluca, MSNJSA 2016. 
To paraphrase a popular quotation, "it takes a village to make a pageant",  describes how hard  many people worked this year to make the MSNJSA PAGEANT 2017, successful.  However, without proper leadership, none of it would have happened.  Kudos to NJ State Administrator & Pageant Director Johanne Santori, MSNJSA2006, and her beloved husband Adeo, for their tireless efforts, who made it all possible. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2017


"The Age of Elegance, Acknowledge it, Embrace it, Act on it", is the theme for the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2017.  Harrah's Resort Hotel & Casino will host the annual event on Wednesday, May 31st at 1:00PM, in the Concert Venue Theater.  The Pageant is the search for that gracious lady who best exemplifies the dignity, maturity and inner beauty of all senior Americans.

Nine women who have entered the "Age of Elegance", that is, 60 years or better, will participate in the time honored Pageant.  The winner then goes on to compete for the national title of MS SENIOR AMERICA 2017, which will be held at Resorts also in Atlantic City in October.

Meet the Class of 2017.  Seated from left to right are: Millie Tate/Linwood; Terry Meade/Princeton; Diane Deluca/MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2016/Linwood; Wenonah Brooks/Hopewell; and Carol Rosario/Southampton.  Standing from left to right are: Carolyn Slade Harden/Manchester; Denise Mechan/Bayville; Gail Wright/Trenton; Mary Neafie/Barnegat.  Not in photo is Wirta Armstrong/Oakhurst.   The NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB hosted a Meet the Contestants luncheon in April, at which time the ladies got to know one another and to prepare for the upcoming Pageant.

Photo courtesty of Johanne Santori
QUEEN Diane Deluca spoke at the luncheon about her experiences during this year of her reign.  The photo collage was from the Mr. Mature America Pageant, that was held in Ocean City earlier this year.  She had an exciting and rewarding year, and gave much needed advised to the contestants.

Everything is set and ready for next week's MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2017, and the anticipation of crowning the new QUEEN is at a feverish pitch.  Who will she be?  Friends and family will be there to cheer for their own to win.  Tickets are $15.00 for all seats, and can be purchased at the box office which opens at 11:00 AM on the day of the Pageant.

For more information about the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT, please visit our website:  www.newjerseysenioramerica.org.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 - THE YEAR IN REVIEW


Another year has come to a close, and the fabulous ladies who make up the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT organization, and the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, can rest in the knowledge that their continued efforts to promote the positive aspects on aging have been successful.  This year's Pageant at Harrah's was very a glamorous event, and one that the 11 contestants will remember for years to come.  Several contestants have joined the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, and along with our reigning QUEEN, Diane DeLuca, have been performing in Showcases around the State.

 Diane DeLuca, MSNJSA2016, is joined by the ladies from the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB  last August, as they participated in the Armed Forces Parade in Atlantic City.

 QUEEN Diane entertained a crowd at Kennedy Plaza last July in another NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB Showcase.

It was another great Showcase, as the ladies appeared together for the finale.

Showcases at the Regency Adult Day Care Center in Toms River are always fun.  They set themes for each month, and last January, it was a salute to Hollywood icons.

Most of the ladies wore green, for St. Patick's Day celebration at Crestwood Manor.  The show honored a former Club member and dear friend, Gloria Segal, seated, who resides there.

QUEEN Diane and her Court are performing with the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB.  From left to right are: Winona Brooks, Jeri Georger, Diane, Renee Tompkins, and Hermine Bartee.

The MSSA PAGEANT 2016, was an exciting time for QUEEN Diane, and the ladies came out to show their support.

 The Annual Christmas Party on December 8th was great.  Kudos to Jo Ann Gordon/MSNJSA2008, chairman, and to her committee for making the evening so much fun.  The food was delicious, entertainment by Steve & Debbie Berger, fabulous, and the raffle prizes were amazing.

 The NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB sparkled during December with special Holiday Showcases.  The last one was at a Brandwine Assisted Living in Linwood, on December 22nd.  Peggy Lee Brennan, MSMO & MSSA2016, was visiting New Jersey, and was invited to perform.  The Showcase ended with a holiday Sing-a-long, led by Josephine Araniti/MSNJSA2007.

  Dr. Mott and his wife Betsy also attended the Showcase that day, and were impressed by our performance.  We were all invited to a dinner party at the home of Adeo and Johanne Santori, MSNJSA2006, Administrator and State Pageant Director.

The MS NEW JERSEY PAGEANT organization is thriving, because of these special ladies who are: Renee Tompkins, NJCC Showcase Coordinator; Diane Beebe/MSNJSA2014, audio, and website setup; the NJCC Officers; and Johanne Santori and husband Adeo.  It is from their labors, that the year ahead looks to be brighter.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER GREAT SHOW IN ATLANTIC CITY


Last Thursday, 18 ladies from the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB gave a stellar show in Atlantic City, at Kennedy Plaza, an outdoor theater,  located on the boardwalk, opposite the legendary Boardwalk Hall, at 5:00 PM.   The show included a variety of performances from grand opera, to Broadway, country, dance and female impersonations.

Before the show is the all-important photo-op.  This year, this group portrait and several other photos which appear in this article, is compliments of photographer Lou Tate.

Johanne Santori/MSNJSA2006, Administrator/State Pageant Director, was Mistress of Ceremonies.  During the show, she spoke about the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2017, and the search for contestants, and encouraged ladies in the audience to come forward after the show to sign up.

As is the tradition, the reigning QUEEN always begins and ends NJCC Showcases.  Lovely Diane De Luca, MSNJSA2016, sang 2 familiar songs that the audience enjoyed.

Nancy Bassett, is new in the NJCC, and she is a member of the Class of 2016.  Nancy received a special award in the Talent Category.  When she sang the popular song, "Happy",  everyone joined in clapping. 

Another memorable moment was the performance by NJCC Vice President Terry Meade, who sang, Take Off Your Mink, from the Broadway show, "Guys & Dolls".  She is pictured here with her clothes on, but by the end of her song, several items did come off!  Sorry folks, but those pics are rated X, and this is a family friendly blog.  So, you'll just have to imagine the subsquent photos!

Becky Orsatti/MSNJSA2010, always an audience favorite, has a distinctive jazz style, that is always fresh and entertaining.  Her delicious alto voice and absolute delivery continue to impress all who hear her.
Female impersonator Marge Wanamaker of Manchester, portrayed country legend Dolly Parton, in a performance of the song, "Nine To Five". 
Another member from the Class of 2016, Millie Tate, gave a sassy rendition of the Nancy Sinatra hit song from the '60s "These Boots Are Made For Walking".

 These were but a few ladies highlighted above.  Kudos to the rest who gave equally fabulous and impressive performances.

Everyone was invited to Johanne and Adeo's home for an apres show party.  Thanks for such a lovely dinner, and for providing a friendly atmosphere to unwind.
It was not an all-female party.  The husbands and significant others have become the Club's beloved mascots, who provide physical help and emotional support to the ladies.  Thank you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

AC BOARDWALK SIZZLES WITH GROUP'S HOT PERFORMANCE


The annual Atlantic City Armed Forces Parade was set aglow last night with another great performance by the fabulous ladies of the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT organization.  The recent heat wave saw unprecedented crowds of locals and vacationers who flocked to New Jersey's popular resort city.   It seems that despite the heat, people lined the boardwalk for miles to honor, watch and enjoy the parade.
QUEEN Diane De Luca, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2016, sat casually onboard the float before the parade.  But when the parade began, she sprung into action, singing, smiling, waving and throwing kisses to the enthusiastic crowd.

In the top tier, QUEEN Diane was flanked on each side by Johanne Santori/MSNJSA2006, ADMINISTRATOR & STATE PAGEANT DIRECTOR and most recent QUEEN, Rebecca Orsatti/MSNJSA2010.

Each year the ladies take their traditional photos before the parade.  They all wore the traditional patriotic colors of red, white and blue to honor our country's vets.

Here is another pre-parade photo, with everyone settled onboard the lovely float which is decked out in royal colors of purple and gold, in front of the mega-casino Revel.  Its silvery facade and curving arches make a beautiful background setting.  Standing in the foreground are Josephine Araniti/MSNJSA2007, and Director of the Pageant organization's GRANDE DAMES CHORUS, and Diane Beebe/MSNJSA2014, who prepared the music and ran the sound system.  On the first tier, in the stunning blue sequined gown, is Carole Lelli/President of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB.  Lastly, at the top tier is our leader again, Johanne Santori.  Thanks to these women who made last night's successful performance possible.

With formalities behind, the parade and show began, and the ladies showed their "stuff".  QUEEN Diane sang the solo to "Tie a Yellow Ribbon", and the ladies joined in on the chorus.  There was the traditional "5 Song Armed Forces Salute", and ended with "This Is My Counrty/God Bless America" medley.  In between, were other medleys of  tunes from some of Broadway's longest running shows, and a musical salute to Diana Ross.  This year, the float stayed longer at the viewing stand, and the ladies gave a mini concert for the dignitaries and the crowd of spectators.  Their performance was great, and kudos to a job well done!

Friday, July 15, 2016

NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB 3RD QUARTERLY MEETING


The July 13th meeting of the fabulous ladies of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB was lively, energetic and filled with ideas for the club's future growth.  It was a time to strengthen the bond with members who came from different parts of the Garden State, and to welcome the new QUEEN and the Class of 2016 into the "Sisterhood".  The attendance was very good, despite the extremely hot and and humid weather.  Many ladies donated to the "food/goodies drive for our veterans", held by Diane De Salvo-Beebe/MSNJSA2014. The gown/shoe swap was also a success.  Diane Beebe, modeled a stylish shrug that she designed to wear with a gown.  It comes in white only, and is just enough coverage to keep the shoulders warm in air conditioned theaters and ballrooms.  She is willing to make them for a cost of $15.00 to $20.00.  The usual committee reports were given, with all indications point to the membership is cooperating with Director Santori to maintain the vitality and continuance of the CLUB and Pageant Organization.

Before the meeting, there was a delicious luncheon, consisting of sandwiches, salads, fresh seasonal fruits and Jo Ann Gordon's delicious blonde brownies.  To top that off, cake and coffee was served.  QUEEN Diane smiled brightly, as she displayed the special cake, with the words, "Congratulations to the Class of 2016".  Diane De Luca, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2016 posed with 3 ladies in the QUEENS COURT.  To her left is: Geri Georger/Toms River, 2nd runner up, and to her right are: Renee Tompkins/Wall, 1st runner up, and Wenonah Brooks/Hopewell, 4th runner up.

During the meeting, State Pageant Administrator/Director, Johanne Santori, MSNJSA2006, on the far left, introduced QUEEN Diane to the membership, and presented her with her first pin, which is the traditional crown, and a stylish bag.  Johanne encouraged her to carry on the custom of adding pins to her banner.  QUEEN Diane also received a financial gift award, which was given to her by Carole Lelli, President, on behalf of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB.

Diane also spoke about her schedule since becoming QUEEN.  Director Santori keeps her busy with parades, and NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB SHOWCASES.  She has received numerous plaques and letters of acknowledgement from New Jersey  and US Legislators.  Later this month, she will meet personally with the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and in August, she will be honored by the Mayor and Town Council at Linwood Townhall.  In the above photo, 2 more ladies from the Class of 2016 posed with the QUEEN AND COURT, who are: Nancy Bassett/Lakewood, on the far left, and Judith Panos/Lebanon, second on the right.

Friday, June 3, 2016

MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT CROWNS THEIR 2016 QUEEN!


The year long search for that "gracious lady who best exemplifies the dignity, maturity and inner beauty of all senior Americans" is over, with one lady, Diane De Luca, who had it all.   
 
Diane De Luca, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2016, took her first QUEEN'S WALK across  the stage of Harrahs Concert Venue Theater, Wednesday afternoon, at the conclusion of the Organization's time honored PAGEANT.

QUEEN Diane joins the ladies who make up the QUEEN'S COURT 2016.  From left to right are: Wenona Brooks/Pennington, 4th Runner Up; Jeri Georger/Toms River. 2nd RU; QUEEN Diane/Linwood; Renee Tompkins/Wall Twp, 1st RU; and Hermine Bartee/Newark, 3rd RU. The QUEEN and her Court will be performing exclusively in NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB SHOWCASES, throughout the Garden State, in many age related venues.

QUEEN Diane is a singer, and for her Talent Presentation, she sang "The Glory of Love".  She posseses a warm mezzo voice, and her rendition of the popular American standard was sensuous and stunning.  When her face was revealed by the spotlight, she projected a vulnerabilty across the footlights, making her talent even more appealing.  At the end, the audience responded to her performance with much enthusiasm.

Outgoing QUEEN, Sherri McGhie, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2015, gave her farewell performance, speech and QUEEN'S WALK, with grace and charm.  She thanked so many people who made her year memorable and happy.  She reminisced tenderly about her late father, and became overwhelmed with emotion.  QUEEN Sherri now joins the 50 plus QUEENS who have won the crown before her, and will continue, to offer her talents to the PAGEANT Organization, and its service wing, the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB.

There were 11 contestants who came from various parts of the Garden State.  This year, the audience was treated by a variety of performances during the Talent Catagory which included: tap, belly and praise dancing, an original poetry recitation, and songs from Broadway, pop, jazz, country and opera.

The Pageant began with "This Is My Country/God Bless America", sung in duet by Dr. Sandra Greco/MS SENIOR AMERICA 2003, and Diane Beebe/MS NEW JERSEY 2014, followed by a Military Honor Guard who led the Pledge of Allegiance.  There were a variety of performances which included: Jim Craine, Atlantic City's Singing Lifeguard, who sang and entertained the audience with impromptu comedic remarks.  Rene Sese, Mr. Mature 2016, sang the Tony Bennett hit song, "I Left My Heart In San Francisco".   The GRANDE DAMES CHORUS, under the direction of Josephine Araniti, MSNJSA 2007, delighted the audience in a medley of songs from famous Broadway composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and the JERSEY GIRLS ROCK danced to the tune of "Happy" .

 After the Pageant, family and friends ascended onto the stage in a photo op frenzy along with the Organization's photographer.  Here is an un-official shot with QUEEN Diane and past QUEENS.  As you can see, some QUEENS did not hear Sofia's cue to look ahead!

Everyone was invited to the Apres Pageant Party, which was held  in the Eden Lounge.  H'ordeuves and drinks were served, and music for dancing was provided by Steve and Debbie Berger.  Speeches and more photos abounded.  This photo captures QUEEN Diane with (from left to right), MSNJSA Pageant Administrator & Director, Johanne Santori/MSNJSA 2006; and NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB Board Members who are: Rebecca Orsatti/MSNJSA 2010, Treasurer; Carole Lelli/President; QUEEN DIANE; Geri Rizzo/Secretary; and Terry Meade/Vice President.  It was truly a fun time for contestants to unwind with their families and friends.

Kudos to Director Johanne Santori and her husband Adeo for producing another successful PAGEANT.  Everyone in the Organization are most grateful and appreciative.  We applaud them for their tireless efforts to bring so many elements together, that resulted into a world class event.