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.