Monday, October 26, 2009


From left to right: Jo Ann Gordon, MSNJSA 2008, Vice President; Dale Maglia, President; Agnes Traschetti, Secretary; and Joan Kaplan, Treasurer.
The ladies of the New Jersey Cameo Club held their final meeting of the year, on Wednesday, October 14th, at the Dover Senior Center in Toms River. A tasty luncheon was served, that was catered by Cafe Italia, Route 37 Toms River, consisting of chicken in a mushroom sauce, pasta, green salad, and a delicious homemade potato salad, provided by Dolores Peronace. Several scrumptious desserts were compliments of Jo Ann Gordon.
The meeting followed, in which many topics were discussed quickly, in order to allow plenty of time on the agenda for the Club's main purpose: the election of the new slate of officers who will serve the New Jersey Cameo Club for the next two years.
Fourty members attended the meeting to cast their ballots. The voting procedure was done by secret paper ballot. The ballots were collected and tallied by Marge Wanamaker and Norma McGhie, who are members of the nominating committee, assisted by Micki Bordi and Rose Majofsky. The results were then read by President Delores Puzio. After that, the committee shredded the ballots.
The newly elected officers spoke briefly, to thank the membership, and each promised to do her best to keep the New Jersey Cameo Club running as smoothly as their predecessors.
Installation of the new slate of officers will take place in January, 2010.
The meeting adjourned at 3:15 pm.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


This year, MSNJSA State Pageant Director, Johanne Santori, requested a vintage car for Queen Bernadette. Here they are pictured in the shiny green convertible, vintage ala late 1920's, with MS STAFFORD 2009, standing alongside.
Delores Puzio NJ CAMEO CLUB President and MSDESA 2008, also found a vintage car, courtesy Seaside Parade Marshal. She is seated in white fur, with Josephine Araniti, MSNJSA 2007, and Jo Ann Gordon, MSNJSA 2008. They are pictured smiling and wavng, but the article
below, reveals a different story.
The weather on Sunday, October 11th, was perfect, sunny and unusually warm, and there was hardly any breeze. The New Jersey Queens began to feel warm, so they shed the weight of their fur coats, soon after these photos were taken. NJSA State Director, Johanne Santori had a friend who lives in Atlantic City and owns that green vintage automobile. While she and her husband Adeo drove up the Garden State Parkway in their stylish car, (and who knows how fast he drove), her friend could only drive his car 35 miles all the way to Seaside. What a friend indeed!
Delores Puzio, NJCC President, and MSDESA 2008, also arranged for another car from Lester Glenn Hundai, so that this year, Queen Bernadette Dudek, MNNJSA 2009, might have a royal entourage to follow her. However, here's where the story took a turn for the worse. The car dealer backed out at the last minute, because there was no 2010 convertible available for them to advertise, and he wouldn't allow last year's model to be in the prade. So, Delores spoke to the Parade Marshal, who then made a few phone calls, and found another friend who also had a vintage car.
So, all should have turned out fine, right? End of story. Well, not so fast. No sooner did Delores Puzio, MSDESA 2008, Josephine Araniti, MSNJSA 2007, and Jo Ann Gordon, MSNJ 2008, get into that buggy, when steam began to emerge from under the hood. They took the photo above, smiled bravely, and hoped for the best. But, alas, it was not meant to be. The car's owner declared that he couldn't fix the car on the spot, and needed to call for a tow truck. Therefore, they were out of a car, and subsequently, out of the parade. The three ladies kissed Queen Bernadette and Johanne, and wished them a happy parade, and went home.
It was reported later, that Bernadette, received many cheers and bravos along the parade route. She looked beautiful and radiated such warmth as she waved the "queen's wave", and threw kisses to all her constituents. It was her day, and she was great. As for the three queens, they had our day. Their only regret was not to to have been able support her on her day. The idea of having a queen's entourage was good, and hopefully, Delores can try again next year.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB SHOWCASE, The Regency in Toms River, July 23, 2009
Recently, one of my Cameo Club sisters gave me this picture, since I am in it, as a keepsake. (I am the lady on the far right, chest out, proudly wearing my MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2007 banner). As I gazed further at it, a proverb came to mind, "a picture is worth a thousand words". So, I would like to share my thoughts on what I see in this photo and what it means to me.
It was a very hot summer day, the kind of day that one should stay home and avoid the hot sun and oppressive humidity. Yet, our sisters turned out in large numbers to entertain for the residents at the Regency. The center is dedicated to working with people who are in all stages of Alzheimers Disease. The NJ Cameo Club joins with the Regency, by bringing our own kind of love and cheer to these very special and needy people.
The next thing I noticed, was the wide age range and the variety of our active performers. Of course, I wouldn't point them out specifically, but they are between 60 and 85. Each "elegant lady", can charm a crowd in her own unique way. We have singers of the old songs, big band, popular, country, and opera. And then, there are the dancers, who do ethnic and jazz tap. Do you like impersonators of famous Hollywood stars? There are there!
The photo shows the different ranks of the sisterhood, a kind of protocol. Bernadette Dudek, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2009, our reigning Queen, is the only one who wears both crown and banner. Past Queens wear banners that show the year of their reign. The rest of the ladies have all been contestants in past MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANTS. They have joined the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, and perform in all our shows. At present, NJCC has 55 members, most of whom are still active performers, who also perform during the year. The photo shown here represents just a small portion of performing members.
We are fortunate to have 2 National Queens from New Jersey, and in this case, I will point them out. Laverne Stokes, dressed in clown costume, is MS SENIOR AMERICA 1985, and in the center dressed a dark blue gown is Sandra Greco, MS SENIOR AMERICA 2003.
Lastly, the photo shows that our ladies come in all shapes and sizes. Our ladies illustrate one of the goals of Senior America, and its affiliated State pageants: and that is, "it is the search for inner beauty". This point will be emphasized in the months ahead, as we prepare for the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2010.
Well, there you have it. I invite you, who are currently reading this article, to look at the picture for yourself. See what you can find, and let me know. At the bottom of the page, there is a pencil. Click on it, write down your thoughts and impressions and send them to me.
Lastly, if you can imagine yourself in this picture, then you should think about becoming a contestant in next year's pageant. Call our MS NEW JSERSEY SENIOR AMERICA State Pageant Director, Johanne Santori, 609-822-7441, and request an application.


Bernadette Dudek, MSNJSA 2009, dressed in a beautiful blue beaded gown, proved to be an impressive contestant in this year's MSSA Pageant, as she came in 3rd runner up. Here she is with MSNJSA State Pageant Director, Johanne Santori, who is equally dressed for the occasion, as she smiles with pride at Bernadette in appreciation for a job well done.
To the left of Queen Bernadette is Jo Ann Gordon, MSNJ 2008, and on the right, is MSNJSA State Pageant Director, Johanne Santori.

Bernadette with MSNJSA State Pageant Director, Johanne Santori, and to the left are Sandra Greco, MSSA 2003, and MSVASA 2009, Maureen Fitzpatrick Ribble.

The MS SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2009 QUEEN'S COURT. Bernadette Dudek, MS NEW JERSEY, 3rd runner up, stands elegant and statuesque, next to reigning Queen Gayle King, from New York. Next to her is Maureen Fitzpatrick Ribble, MS VIRGINIA SA, 4th runner up. Next to Gayle is Barbara Travis, MS MISSISSIPPI SA, 1st runner up, and on the far left is Dianne Wilson, MS IDAHO SA, 2nd runner up.

Queen Bernadette proudly displays her plaque, as Josephine Araniti, MSNJSA2007 congratulates her on a job well done.

The year 2009 marked the 29th MS SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT. As always, "elegant ladies"came from across the fruited plains to compete for the coveted title of MS SENIOR AMERICA. Sonia Rheinhardt once again produced a glamorous and world class production. In the opening number, the ladies of the class of 2009 were dressed in yellow, and stood stationary, as they gently moved their feathered fans to the song "Amapola", sung by Andrea Bocelli. Colonel Macalise was a funny master of ceremonies, and did well in "stretching the time", whenever it was needed. Past national queens, and the Queen's Choir provided most of the entertainment in between. Their performances were all wonderful.

The Class of 2009, was small, 30 States in all, including the US Virgin Islands. Because of this, there was only one Preliminary Pageant, in which all 30 contestants were seen. In spite of the very long afternoon, the audience remained patient. All the contestants did their best and each lady had her own special gift(s) that appealed to both the judges and the audience. The next day the top 10 finalists were chosen, and the battle for the winner was on.

Cheers and screams rang throughout the theater whenever Bernadette appeared, and when she made the top 10, everyone was happy. She looked every inch a queen, and performed flawlessly in every catagory. Then, the atmosphere turned electric, when she made the Queen's Court. Her family, friends, amateur audience score keepers, and New Jersey Cameo Club sisters, held their breath, in anticipation of the judges results. An audible show of disbelief was heard around the room, when she made 3rd runner up. It was obvious that Bernadette had captured the hearts of many people that day, but unfortunately, the judges decision was final.

We extend our congratulations to the winner, Gayle King, from New York, our new, MS SENIOR AMERICA 2009, and, we are also very proud of Bernadette Dudek, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2009, who made the QUEEN'S COURT, a very high and exhaulted place to be.