Monday, May 17, 2010


June 3rd is quickly approaching and Harrah's in Atlantic City will be buzzing with excitement as plans for the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2010 are well underway. The pagaent will be held in the Concert Venue Theater at 1:00 pm.

On Tuesday, May 11th an orientation meeting was held for the CLASS OF 2010, at Leisuretown in Southampton. The contestants were treated to to lunch beforehand, which was hosted by Johanne Santori, MS NJ SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT STATE DIRECTOR, and trustees of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB. The hall was arranged by Lyn Gibson, MSNJSA 2000, NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB member, and resident of Leisuretown.

Johanne Santori began the meeting with a warm message of welcome, and then explained the pageant process to the contestants. Dale Maglia, President of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB talked about membership and eligibility requirements to join the club. Delores Puzio, Showcase Director of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, spoke of how the club spreads smiles and cheer by performing for senior groups in the State. Bernadette Dudek, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2009, was on hand to speak about her experiences during this year of her reign, awarded the contestants a plaque of appreciation and participation, and was helpful later on, during rehearsal.

This year's class of "elegant ladies", come from all over the Garden State. They are all so gifted and talented, and possess impressive resumes. And now, here they are! A brief resume of the candidates:

1. MARTY NOEL STIER, South River, talent/singer, won the title, Mrs. New Jersey International 2000. (Not in photo)

2. CAROL JOHNSON, Trenton, talent/karate. Teaches crocheting and arts & crafts Department on Aging, City of Trenton. "I try to use my God given gifts as much as I can to help others, and to be a role model for my children and grandchildren".

3. PAULINE RITA PETTO, Manalapan, talent/tap dancer. "I heard about the pageant from my mentor, Laverne Stokes (MS SENIOR AMERICA 1985). I have a very large family that extends all the way south to North Carolina. They are all excited for me, and all are coming to cheer me on to victory".

4. LEAH J. WHELAN, Southampton, talent/singer. A lover of barbershop singing, Leah has 30 years experience singing in ladies barbershop groups such as: Sweet Adelines (Jersey Sound Chapter); Good Time 4 Quartet; Champagne Edition; and Act 2. She performs in shows in Leisuretown, and was encouraged to enter the pageant by her friend and mentor, Lyn Gibson, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2000.

5. BETTY PRUITT, Marmora, talent/baton twirler. Betty learned baton twirling in high school, and won several competitions. She continued her interest into her adult life because "it is a fun way to exercise". Betty is the Executive Director of the MISS CAPE MAY COUNTY PAGEANT, which is the precursor to the MISS NEW JERSEY PAGEANT. A retired school teacher of 34 years, Betty has many interests that keep her busy; pageant life, scholarship fundraising, church bell choir, scrapbooking, and piano playing, to name a few.

6. BEVERLY PIERCE, Trenton, talent/poetry. Beverly enjoys reading poetry, and over the years, has written several poems of her own. She works for the Department on Aging, Trenton, as as teacher of arts and crafts.

7. MARIANNE SZUMSKI, Southampton, talent/singer. Marianne has known about the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT, for sometime because she lives with Gloria Segal, who has been a contestant and is a member of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB. "I couldn't wait to turn 60 to enter the pageant". Marianne is also a writer, producer, and director. Her most recent show is called, "Scenes of Women", which was premiered at Leisuretown last year.

8. PATRICIA MARIE GENOVESE, Dover, talent/tap dancer. Patricia is an accomplished high school language arts teacher, published author, business woman, tap dancer and inspirational speaker. A committed community volunteer for animal causes and for women changing directions after divorce, loss by death, or overcoming addiction, she is one of best in the fundraising arena.

9. REBECCA ORSATTI, Atlantic City, talent/singer. Born and raised in Atlantic City, Becky graduated from AC High School. She kicked off her professional singing career singing with the Paul Mann Orchestra in Atlantic City. Some highlights of her career include: Opening act for shows like; Danny Thomas, Patti Page, "Professor" Irwin Corey, and Diane Carol. She has sung for the March of Dimes and Jerry Lewis Telethons, and at Miss America Pageant parties. Becky has also sung in New York City, Las Vegas, California, and dedicated her time to sing for wounded American veterans and various non-profit organizations. In 2006, she recorded her own CD entitled, "Starting Here Starting Now", which is dedicated in loving memory of her late husband Arnold. "Ballads inspire me because they tell a story of life and love. I also enjoy Jazz, Pop, Standards - and my favorite - Big Band Music".

10. MARIA CROWELL, Egg Harbor Township, talent/dancer. Maria is manager of "America ... Shall We Dance"?! Her dance group performed for the American Cancer Society, as well as other fundraising organizations. In 2007, Maria won a dance contest called Dancing With the Stars at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. She has done modeling, TV commercials, and has appeared in Hollywood movies as an "extra". Maria's hobbies include: kniting, embroidery, cooking, gardening and reading.

11. PATRICIA FRANZ, Mercerville, talent/singer. A very active performer in the Princeton, Trenton area, Patricia was discovered by Rose Majofsky, a member of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, who had attended one of Patricia's performances. She prefers to remain as active as active as possible, and is so excited to be in the pageant.

12. GAYLE A. LEE, Brielle, talent/singer. Gayle's special interests are: acting, singing, storyteller, cooking, and remaining close to family and maintaining family values. She worked with Bill Cosby Show as contestant coordinator, and at the Castle and Trump Casino in Atlantic City.

13. PHYLLIS J. BURTON, Whiting, talent/baton twirler. Phyllis learned twirling at a very young age, which eventually became her lifelong passion. Over the years Phyllis performed in many talent shows - just to have fun. During the 1980's, she was hired by the Willingboro Recreation Department as director/coach of a dance twirl team, called "The Sizzlers". Her girls won numerous awards, and performed in parades, recitals, fairs and competitions.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010



1:00 P.M.

CALL: 732-323-9034