Thursday, December 29, 2016


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


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


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


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


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.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Sherri McGhie, captured the hearts of a discerning panel of judges and an admiring audience last year when she won the covetous title of MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2015.  The following October, she won fourth place in the National Pageant.

It is hard to imagine why anyone could not wait to turn 60 years old, but that was Sherri McGhie's dream.  Her story began 20 years ago, when her Mom Norma, entered the MS NEW JERSEY AMERICA PAGEANT in 1995 and won.  Sherri was proud of her mother's success, and hoped that one day she could achieve the same.

The first Mother/Daughter dynasty for the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT organization.  QUEEN Sherri unselfishly shared the spotlight all year long with her Mom Norma.

In the years that followed, Sherri saw the fun and camaraderie that Norma shared with her "sisters" of the New Jersey Cameo Club.  Her skill in taking pictures, became helpful to the State Pageant organization and its service wing, the New Jersey Cameo Club, and she became the official photographer.  Her reputation spread to the MS SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT organization, which also engaged her in the same position.  Over the years, Sherri became the indispensible "little sister", who drove Mom to Showcases, and helping out wherever she was needed.   Occasionally, she would be invited as guest onstage to sing in NJCC Showcases.

Sherri's dream epitomized the theme of this year's MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2016 which is:  "Wish Hard ... Dream Big ... Make It Happen"!   As the year of her reign comes to an end, she can be proud of her accomplishments.  She will take her rightful place in the Pageant organization and will be welcomed into the "sisterhood" of the New Jersey Cameo Club.  Kudos to QUEEN Sherri, for being "that gracious lady who exemplifies the dignity, maturity and inner beauty of all senior Americans".

Her final official duties as QUEEN, include: the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2016, Wednesday, June 1st, Harrahs Resort Hotel & Casino, Concert Venue Theater, at 1:00 PM, at which time she will deliver her farewell speech and performance, and crown the new Queen.  Tickets are $12.00 and can be purchased at the box office which opens at 11:00 AM.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


The lovely ladies who make up the CLASS OF 2016 come from various parts of the Garden State. Seated from left to right are: Judy Panos/Lebanon; Hermine Bartee/Newark; Jeri Georger/Toms River; Winonah Brooks/Hopewell.  Standing are: Diane DeLuca/Mantua; Nancy Bassett/Lakewood; Renee Tompkins/Wall; Debra Britt Lady Dee/Pleasantville; Susan Martone/Toms River; and Irene Rose/Pennington (not in photo).

The MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2016, is only weeks away, the exact day of which is: Wednseday, June 1st, Harrahs Resort Hotel & Casino, in the Concert Venue Theater at 1:00 PM. A "Meet The Contestants Luncheon" was held on Wednesday, April 27th, at the American Legion Post #166 in Lakewood, for 10 lovely women, aged 60 and over.  The event was co-sponsored by the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB and Johanne Santori, Administrator and State Pageant Director.

Director Santori conducted the meeting, and introduced Sherri McGhie, MSNJSA 2015.  QUEEN Sherri shared some of her experiences during the year, and gave helpful hints to the eager contestants.

Each Committee member talked about the different aspects of the Pageant, followed by Carole Lelli, President of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, who gave an overview of the Club's purpose, background and activites, and encouraged the contestans to join.

The meeting was suspended temporarily, and everyone was invited to enjoy a tasty buffet luncheon.  The contestants were encouraged to continue to get to know each other.  Each round table had a blue tablecloth, a basket of spring flowers, and gift bags for the contestants.  Kudos to the Committee for a job well done!

After lunch, the meeting continued, with Melanie Brough, Pageant Choreographer, who held a short rehearsal of the opening number.  Director Santori continued to give more information and instructions to the contestants.  A question and answer period followed, and the meeting concluded with a photo op.

The ladies went home filled with enthusiasm, great expectations, and sufficient knowledge, as they prepare themselves for the upcoming MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2016.  Everyone in the Pageant organization, wishes them good luck, in this most eventful time of their lives.  May their experience in the Pageant be a happy one, filled with memories that will last for many years to come.

FYI:  Tickets are $12.00 and can be purchased ahead of time by calling Becky at: (609) 344-7802.