Wednesday, August 31, 2011


The gracious women who make up the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB lead busy and productive lives in their own communities, and, each in her own way, exemplifies the philosophy of the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT: which is, "to promote the positive aspects of aging". At the July meeting, they participated in an informal survey to discover what life is like once they had reached the "age of elegance", or, 60 years and over. The results are in, and can be summed up in the following categories: (1) have fun; (2) strive to touch someone every day; (3) continue to make your voice heard. Forty women participated, and although it is not possible to mention each one by name, the survey did show that most of the ladies are involved in these 3 aforementioned categories.

This can be anything from: doing puzzles, reading, writing poetry, traveling, equestrian riding, going to sports events; keeping fit by playing golf, running, water aerobics, kayaking, karate, and belonging to health clubs; flower arranging, arts and crafts, cooking and giving dinner parties, sewing, modeling, gardening; belonging to other clubs/groups IE: musical, theatrical, opera chorus, dance, church choir or cantor; playing the piano, learning another language; teaching hula and tap dancing; tutoring children, and teaching animal therapy.
Some ladies write, produce, and direct shows in their communities, others sing in small groups, and some perform one-woman shows of her own, or sing with dance bands.

Grand parenting, taking care of a beloved spouse, and taking care of home bound neighbors, is the top priority in this category, while other ladies do volunteer work at local hospitals, schools, day care centers, the American Cancer Society, veterans' homes and the public library. Some are active in their church, IE: head ushers, Eucharistic ministers, Pastor Emeritus. Lastly, some help out at the local humane society, and others adopt and take care of animals in their homes.

Some ladies still work full time at their own businesses, while others work full or part time in the public and private sectors. Lastly, our ladies serve of boards of local philanthropic and artistic groups, and others take an active interest by speaking out and writing on matters of concern involving their Town, State and Nation.

No, our wonderful ladies do not sit in rocking chairs pining and letting the world pass them by. They use it, rather, to gently rock an ailing baby, or to calm a young child who is afraid of the storm. They appear at county fairs, not as little grannies, selling apple pies or jars of pickles, but as smartly dressed entrepreneurs of their newly formed companies, passing out samples and business cards to passersby. They are out there making a difference, raising an awareness that seniors are the foundation of America, upon which the younger generations can build a better society.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Members of the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT organization have been eagerly awaiting coverage of the 2011 pageant on the Style Network. Last night it aired on the popular reality show, "JERSEYLICIOUS".

Since true reality is not that interesting, the producers of the show created a story line, a rivalry between 2 beauty consultants, Tracy and Olivia. Tracy's grandmother, Catherine Schroeder, had entered the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2011, and Tracy was determined to help her out to be the best that she could be. She presented the idea of doing hair and makeup for all 13 contestants to Gayle, the owner of the Gatsby beauty salon. Her idea was accepted and a crew of hair and makeup specialists were assigned to the pageant.

Now, fast forward to June 2nd, the day of the pageant, and the scene is the contestants' dressing room at Harrah's in Atlantic City. After the crew meets the ladies, Olivia becomes partial to one contestant, Patricia Genovese, and offers her advice and options for 4 different "looks". Tracy overhears their conversation, and takes Olivia aside; accusations abound, resulting into a full blown cat fight with no holds barred. Patricia and Catherine were great in their roles: Patricia played a very agressive and competitive contestant who wanted to win no matter what the cost; and Catherine was calm, complacent, and just wanted everyone to get along.

The writers for "JERSEYLICIOUS" followed the standard formula as far as reality shows go: there were 3 other storylines that filled out the hour, with coverage of the pageant lasting about 12 minutes in all. The segment reached the expected conclusion with the crowning of the new Queen Desiree Nigrelli, with Tracy and Olivia expressing their disapointment that neither of their 2 faves had won.

The one major criticism of the show was the confusion over where the pageant actually was held. There were scenes showing the boardwalk, and the outside of Convention Hall, thus implying that the pageant was held there. Just to set the record straight, all who attended the pageant know that it was held at Harrah's. The MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT enjoys an ongoing relationship with Harrah's, and this year is the organization's 4th year with the hotel/casino, since leaving the Taj Mahal.

Cudos to the crew of makeup artists and hairstylists from "JERSEYLICIOUS" for doing a fantastic job of making each contestant look so beautiful. However, the show's writers did not do a good job of capturing the essence of the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT organization, nor did they give the women who have entered into the "age of elegance" the respect they so richly deserve.