Monday, December 4, 2017


Last Saturday evening,  friends, family and "sisters" came together to honor Carolyn Slade Harden, MS SENIOR AMERICA 2017.  More than 200 people attended the lavish party which was held in the ballroom at La Renaissance in Manchester.  Christmas was the theme, and the ballroom was decorated with red and white pointsettas, adorning the stage and tables, and fresh white tablecloths, with gold ribbons on the back of each chair, added a touch of elegance. 

All photos, compliments, Mark & Terry Meade
Soon after Carolyn won the National Title last October, plans for a party began to take shape.  A "Celebration Committee" was formed, which consisted of friends from La Renaissance and the New Jersey Cameo Club, and they are: from La Renaissance/Linda Celiano, Diane Harkavy, Arlene Kearney, Beverly Terranova, Paula Williams, Phyllis Zauberman, and Sherri McGhie, from the New Jersey Cameo Club.  Pictured above were the complimentary pamphlets for each guest to take home as a memento of the occasion.

Dick Guariglia, also part of the Committee served as emcee, and kept the evening flowing smoothly and pleasantly.  First on the agenda, was the announcement and procession of QUEEN Carolyn.  Everyone stood and welcomed her with warm and generous applause as she walked down the center aisle.

When she arrived at the front of the room, she was greeted by her daughter and grandson, who handed her a lovely bouquet of roses, and lots of kisses!

There she is, posing for the many guests with cameras, hoping to take as many photos of Carolyn as they could.  While in the background, the "Continental Entertainers", along with songstresess Linda Celiano and Phyllis Zauberman, provided music throughout the evening for everyone's dancing pleasure.  Carolyn's sister, Beverly who is a professional singer, gave a tribute to her sibling, with a poignant rendition of the popular song, "The Wind Beneath My Wings".  Of course, the evening wouldn't have been complete without a song from QUEEN Carolyn herself.

 During the evening, the "sisters" gathered together in the lobby for a special photo to commemorate the occasion.  Other guests of honor who attended were:  Dr. Al Mott, his wife Betsy and their assistant Robin Milne (standing in the back behind QUEEN Carolyn wearing a sparkling blue blouse).  Dr. Mott's brief speech was uplifting and eloquent.

It was a grand event for a grand QUEEN, and hopefully, one that Carolyn will remember and cherish for years to come.

Friday, November 17, 2017


The past week was very busy for the fabulous ladies of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, and Carolyn Slade Harden, MS SENIOR AMERICA 2017.  The Club is in high demand by organizations around the State, this year, because of the opportunity to meet the National QUEEN.  Showcase Director Renee Tompkins, has done a great job in scheduling Carolyn to appear before groups that extend well into the year 2018.

 photo, compliments Denise Mechan
On Tuesday, November 14, the Club entertained the Veterans at the Elks Lodge in Manahawkin.  Before she sang, QUEEN Carolyn shared memories of family members who served in the military, and thanked the veterans for their unselfish service in keeping America safe.

 photo, compliments Denise Mechan
Veterans were delighted by the sensous performance by the GRANDE DAMES CHORUS' rendition of the Salute to Diana Ross.

 photo, compliments Mark Meade
The next day, QUEEN Carolyn was honored once again by the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders in Toms River, this time, for her National Title.   Freeholder Little made the presentation, and wished her well as she begins this year of her reign.

 photo, compliments Mark Meade
The photo op continued, as the Freeholders invited the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB "sisters" to come up.  From left to right are: President Carole Lelli, Terry Meade, MSNJSA State Pageant Director, Nancy Bassett, QUEEN Carolyn, Johanne Santori/MSNJSA2006, and MSNJSA Administrator, Josephine Araniti/MSNJSA2007, and Sherri McGhie/MSNJSA2015.

After the meeting, QUEEN Carolyn and the Club took more photos in the lobby, joined this time, by an entourage of friends from La Rennaisance.

 photo, compliments Mark Meade
The holiday season officially started on Thursday, and the residents of The Regency in Toms River were treated to the Club's first Holiday Showcase.

 photo, compliments Mark Meade
Nancy Bassett, got everyone clapping and moving, with her roudy performance of the rock song classic, "We Are Family".  Terry Meade, MSNJSA State Pageant Director, and Diane Beebe/MSNJSA2014, were donned in festive holiday costumes, and had their own special moves to enliven the room.

As the familiar carol says, "Tis the Season to be Jolly!"  Well, the ladies of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB have only just begun making merry and spreading their special brand of Christmas cheer.  And, what's more, Renee Tompkins, Showcase Director, is feverishly working directly with Santa and his elves to make the season bright!

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Carolyn Slade Harden, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2017, took the country by storm last week, when she won the National title of MS SENIOR AMERICA 2017.  The event was held from Sunday, October 15 through Thursday 19, at Resorts Hotel and Casino in the Superstar Theater.  QUEENS from across the country, including the US Virgin Islands competed in the annual Pageant, and in the end, it was Carolyn who emerged as the winner.

Carolyn Slade Harden of Manchester, this year's reigning QUEEN.

Carolyn stepped onto the stage and established herself as an impressive candidate from the start.  When she introduced herself as the delegate from New Jersey, her fans screamed wildly with joy.

Carolyn looked like a queen as she moved gracefully across the stage, dressed in a champagne evening gown.  She chose "music" as the theme for her Philosophy of Life, and she quoted titles of several songs to illustrate her viewpoint.
As she sang  the poignant song, "For Once In My Life", she engaged the audience by singing directly to them.  She was rewarded by thunderous applause and a standing ovation.  It was clear at that moment to the crowd that she became the front runner.
The MS SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT also included a variety of entertainment  for the audience to enjoy.  The NSAA QUEENS CHOIR, under the direction of Josephine Araniti, MSNJSA 2007, received a standing ovation for their performance of the medley, "Andrew Lloyd Webber, A Concert Celebration".
The NEW JERSEY STAR DANCERS delighted the audience with a a saucy and roudy dance to the song of "I Feel Like A Woman".
On Thursday, the day of the Finals, Carolyn was chosen as part of the Top 10.  The ladies competed one last time in all catagories except the Juges Interview.  The New Jersey fans cheered for Carolyn every time she appeared onstage.  A hush fell across the auditorium when it was time to announce the final 5.  When Carolyn's name was announced as the new MS SENIOR AMERICA 2017, all pandemonium occured. 
There she is!  Glorius and triumphant, as she walked across the stage, smiling broadly as she greeted the crowd.  After the Pageant, photographers and papparrozzi came onto the for a photo op. 
Everyone in the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT Organization is so proud of Carolyn's achievement.  Her NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB sisters wish her well as she begins her reign.    The search has ended for that gracious lady who possesses the diginty, maturity, and inner beauty, because this year, Carolyn Slade Harden, MS SENIOR AMERICA 2017, it is you!

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Carolyn Slade Harden, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2017
The time is drawing near for QUEEN Carolyn Slade Harden, as she prepares to enter the MS SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2017.  The time honored annual Pageant for women over 60, is a week long event, and takes place at Resorts Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City in the Superstar Theater, from Sunday, October 15th through Thursday, October 19th.  Many events and activities are scheduled during Pageant Week, and a complete schedule of events, and ticket information to the 2 Preliminaries and Final Pageant, can be found on their website at: 

Since winning the State Pageant last June, QUEEN Carolyn has been very busy meeting her commitments across the State.  She has spoken and entertained in many age related venues with the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, and has been in parades.  Carolyn has received written proclamations and congratulatory letters from lawmakers in every level of the State of New Jersey government, honoring her for her achievements.  There were several articles written about her in area hometown newspapers.

The MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT and the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, that sponsor Carolyn, are very proud of their QUEEN.  She has proven to be an excellent role model, and has given inspiration to all her constituents.

The National Pageant will be over next week, but QUEEN Carolyn's year long reign in the Garden State has just begun.  She will represent the State of New Jersey with grace, warmth, talent and charm - and that's the "stuff" that winners are made of!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


File Photo - S. Kong

The ladies of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB held their 3rd quarterly meeting on July 12th at the American Legion Post in Lakewood.  The agenda was filled with topics that evoked lively discussions, and opinions from the membership.  President Carole Lelli kept the discussions focused, and Director Johanne Santori clarified situations for the membership.

The main focus, however, of the July meeting was to welcome and honor their newly crowned QUEEN, Carolyn M. Harden, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2017.  She received her first pin to be worn on her banner, the traditional crown, other gifts, and monetary awards from both the MSNJSA PAGEANT and the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB.  Carolyn spoke humbly to the membership, and offered sincere friendship to all her "sisters".

The luncheon menu consisted of sandwich wraps, an assortment of summer salads, and desserts.  Special thanks to the committee for the delicious fare, and to Jo Ann Gordon, MSNJSA2008, for baking her yummy blonde brownies!

The CLUB honored QUEEN Carolyn and the Ladies of her Court, with a special cake.  In the photo from left to right are: Denise Mechan/4th RU; Carol Rosario/1st RU; QUEEN Carolyn; and Terry Meade/2nd RU. Wenonah Brooks/3rd RU was absent.

Governor Chris Christie has already sent QUEEN Carolyn a congratulatory letter.  On August 28th, she will meet personally with Mayor Palmer of Manchester and the Town Council, to receive an Award of Achievement.  On August 2nd, she will meet with the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders in Toms River.  Plans to meet State Assemblymen Wolfe and McGuckin and Senator Holzapfel in their Brick office are still pending. US Congressman Chris Smith and US Senators Booker and Menendez are expected to mail their congratulations during the course of the summer.  QUEEN Carolyn would welcome an entourage at any of her personal appearances.

Here's wishing our new QUEEN a happy, healthy, busy and successful year!

Saturday, June 3, 2017


Carolyn Slade Harden, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2017

The search has ended, and a new QUEEN was crowned last Wednesday, who will carry on the mission of the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT organization, which is to "promote the positive aspects on aging".  A discerning and distinguished panel of judges recognized Carolyn Slade Harden of Manchester, as that special woman who possessed the most dignity, maturity and inner beauty.   Ms Harden enchanted the audience at Harrahs' Concert Venue Theater the moment she entered the stage, with a warm and engaging smile.     
Her attire was very haute couture, as she glided effortlessly across the stage in the Evening Gown portion of the competition.  Music has been her "lifes' blood", and for her Philosophy of Life, she composed a poem, using titles of familiar songs to show how she has lived her life.
Her philosophy was emphasized once again in the Talent Presentation, by the song, "For Once In My Life".  Carolyn possesses a warm mezzo voice, and her style is reminsicent of the great female songstresses of the past century.  Her delivery was deeply felt by the audience, who rewarded her with a standing ovation.

The QUEEN and her COURT. 
In the year to follow, QUEEN Carolyn will be accompanied by her COURT, in appearances with the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, in showcases throughout the State of New Jersey.  These 4 ladies also scored highly among the 9 women who competed this year.  From left to right are: Terry Meade of Princeton, 2nd Runner up, who sang and danced to the song , "Broadway Baby", from the hit musical Follies; Carol Rosario of Southampton, 1st Runner up, who sang "Orange Colored Sky"; QUEEN Carolyn; Denise Mechan of Bayville, 4th Runner up who sang a John Denver song, "Perhaps Love"; and Wenonah Brooks of Hopewell, 3rd Runner up, who sang "Over The Rainbow".  

After the Pageant, everyone flocked to the stage in a photo frenzy.  QUEEN Carolyn is flanked on the left by Peggy Lee Brennan, MS SENIOR AMERICA 2016.  Peggy flew in from Missouri, and was one of the  featured guest performers.  Standing on the right is Johanne Santori, MSNJSA STATE ADMINISTRATOR & PAGEANT DIRECTOR.  Johanne also sang a popular song in French.  Other featured performers were: the GRANDE DAMES CHORUS; Jim Craine, the "singing lifeguard";  the reigning Mr. Mature, 2017,  and a farewell performance by outgoing QUEEN, Diane Deluca, MSNJSA 2016.  An Apres Pageant Party was held in the Eden Lounge, with music provided by Steve and Debbie Berger.

The MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT, a time honored Pageant, that began in 1971, shares the same philosphy of its parent organization, the MS SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT, which is based on the belief that Seniors are the foundation of America and our most valuable treasure.  Over the years, these QUEENS have carried out their responsibilites successfully.  Over time, many have either passed away, or have moved to other States.  QUEEN Carolyn is seen here with those past QUEENS who  still remain, with the oldest, Norma McGhie, MSNJSA 1995, to outing going QUEEN, Diane Deluca, MSNJSA 2016. 
To paraphrase a popular quotation, "it takes a village to make a pageant",  describes how hard  many people worked this year to make the MSNJSA PAGEANT 2017, successful.  However, without proper leadership, none of it would have happened.  Kudos to NJ State Administrator & Pageant Director Johanne Santori, MSNJSA2006, and her beloved husband Adeo, for their tireless efforts, who made it all possible. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


"The Age of Elegance, Acknowledge it, Embrace it, Act on it", is the theme for the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2017.  Harrah's Resort Hotel & Casino will host the annual event on Wednesday, May 31st at 1:00PM, in the Concert Venue Theater.  The Pageant is the search for that gracious lady who best exemplifies the dignity, maturity and inner beauty of all senior Americans.

Nine women who have entered the "Age of Elegance", that is, 60 years or better, will participate in the time honored Pageant.  The winner then goes on to compete for the national title of MS SENIOR AMERICA 2017, which will be held at Resorts also in Atlantic City in October.

Meet the Class of 2017.  Seated from left to right are: Millie Tate/Linwood; Terry Meade/Princeton; Diane Deluca/MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2016/Linwood; Wenonah Brooks/Hopewell; and Carol Rosario/Southampton.  Standing from left to right are: Carolyn Slade Harden/Manchester; Denise Mechan/Bayville; Gail Wright/Trenton; Mary Neafie/Barnegat.  Not in photo is Wirta Armstrong/Oakhurst.   The NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB hosted a Meet the Contestants luncheon in April, at which time the ladies got to know one another and to prepare for the upcoming Pageant.

Photo courtesty of Johanne Santori
QUEEN Diane Deluca spoke at the luncheon about her experiences during this year of her reign.  The photo collage was from the Mr. Mature America Pageant, that was held in Ocean City earlier this year.  She had an exciting and rewarding year, and gave much needed advised to the contestants.

Everything is set and ready for next week's MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2017, and the anticipation of crowning the new QUEEN is at a feverish pitch.  Who will she be?  Friends and family will be there to cheer for their own to win.  Tickets are $15.00 for all seats, and can be purchased at the box office which opens at 11:00 AM on the day of the Pageant.

For more information about the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT, please visit our website: