Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Review of April Events

File photo
Carolyn Slade Harden, MSNJSA 2017 & MSSA 2017

The month of April was a busy time for the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT and it's service wing, the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB.  As was mentioned in the previous article, Carolyn Slade Harden, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2017 & MS SENIOR AMERICA 2017, has begun her countrywide tour.  She is currently in North Carolina, and is a guest at the MS NORTH CAROLINA SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2018 this afternoon.

Members of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB were also busy performing for their constituents.  The following photos are highlights from one Showcase, which was at the New Jersey Firemens Memorial Home in Boonton, on Wednesday, April 18th. The program consisted of song, dance and comedy.

 All Photos, courtesy of Mark Meade
New Jersey's own, Carolyn Slade Harden, MS SENIOR AMERICA 2017, started off the program with a friendly welcome and great song.

 Denise Mechan, NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB SHOWCASE COORDINATOR, emceed the show and also sang.  The following performers are not necessarily in order.

Norma Cruz Vaszuez sang a popular, hip swinging Spanish song.

NEW JERSEY STATE PAGEANT DIRECTOR, Terry Meade delighted everyone with a song from the Broadway musical "Grease".

Marge Wanamaker looked stunning in her costume, as she imitated a shapely flapper of the "Roaring 20s"

Then, there was easy listening, as Nancy Bassett sang a jazz song that evoked memories of the late and great Ella Fitzgerald.
Rose Majofsky took the stage, and swept everyone off to the Hawaiian Islands as she swayed ever so gently to a popular Hawaiian tune.
The firemen enjoyed Geri Georger's lively tap routine, that brought back memories of World War II.  They also appreciated her shapely legs!
Norma McGhie, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 1995, brought along a bag full of jokes.  Her delivery was spot on and hilarious.

Diane Beebe, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2014, always pleases audiences with her songs, and today was no exception.

As always, the audience was invited to sing the finale song,  a medley called, "This is my County, & God Bless America".
On Tuesday, April 24th, a "Meet The Contestants" luncheon was held at the Elks Lodge in Manahawkin.  The event was hosted by the officers of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB.  The purpose of the meeting was to welcome the contestants, give them the opportunity to interact with each other, how to prepare for the upcoming MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2018, and to learn about the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB.

The contestants are pictured above along with QUEEN Carolyn, seated in the middle, NEW JERSEY STATE PAGEANT DIRECTOR, Terry Meade, standing on the left, and ADMINISTRATOR, Johanne Santori, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2006 & HONORARY MS SENIOR AMERICA 2017, standing on the right.  Members of the Class of 2018 are:  seated, from left to right are: Norma Cruz Vasquez/singer, Renee Tompkins/singer, Susan Neustadter/singer, Millie Tate/singer. Standing are: Geri Georger/dancer, Sheila Jackson/dancer, Roxanne Terramagra/photographer, and Denise Mechan/singer.  Debra Canale was absent.  

Contestants were treated to a delicious lunch which consisted of a variety of over stuffed sandwiches, salads, and desserts.  They were given plants and little paper crowns, which were atop the cupcakes that Jo Ann Gordon, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2008, baked especially for the occasion, to take home.  
Kudos to the Board and Committee for the great food, and elegant decor.  Mostly, for their attention to fine details that resulted in an informative meeting, and a wonderful time for everyone!

Monday, April 16, 2018


The 5th annual MR MATURE PAGEANT 2018, promised, a fun Saturday for the residents of Ocean City, New Jersey this year.  The morning started off with a "Parade of Pooches".  Residents were invited to bring their beloved dogs to march.  There were marching bands, and convertibles driving dignitaries along the parade route.  One person, in particular riding along was actor Eric Estrada, star of the TV series, "Chips".  

file photo

It was fitting that QUEEN Carolyn Slade Harden, began her cross country tour right here in New Jersey, on Saturday evening, April 14th.  Carolyn was invited to sing, and also to serve on a panel which consisted of 3 judges.  

The idea of creating a Pageant for men 55 and over, came from the long established and time honored MS SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT.  Some similarities do exist, however, the main difference between the two is the MR MATURE PAGEANT is local, and is sponsored by the City of Ocean City; whereas the MS SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT is nationwide.  State Pageants are held during the year, and then their QUEENS must compete for the national title.

The evening began with the singing of the "Star Spangled Banner", led by QUEEN Carolyn.  Eric Estrada was the emcee.  A capacity audience filled the room that evening, and people were excited and very vocal as they cheered for their favorite contestant.  There were eight in all, and each man tried his best to outshine the other as they paraded across the stage.  There were 3 Judging Categories: Talent and Poise, which were public, and a Judges Interview, which was private.  In the end, it was Bill Quain, who won this year's title. 

all photos, courtesy Denise Mechan
Although it has been at least three decades since he starred in the hit TV series "Chips", Eric Estrada still retains his masculine charm and allure, as he poses with with QUEEN Carolyn after the Pageant. 
Here, QUEEN Carolyn poses with:  Bill Quain/MR MATURE 2018, and the other two judges, Frank Farelli, Jr. - the very first MR MATURE, and Katie Schreckengast/MISS PA 2017, who was 10th runner up in last year's MISS AMERICA PAGEANT.

Yes, in America, "monarchies" still do exist, as proven by these two Senior Pageants.  See them as they stand regally, proudly wearing their crowns, banners and staff.  Long live QUEEN Carolyn Slade Harden/MS SENIOR AMERICA 2017, and Bill Quain, MR MATURE 2018.  YEAH!

Friday, April 13, 2018


"Ready, Set, Go, and they're off!" is the current mantra of the fabulous ladies of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB these days.  January 2018 began with with problems for its members, as did most of the nation, with colds, flu, physical ailments, and the passing of a beloved "Sister".  The cold, snowy and unpredictable weather was another factor that affected the scheduling of Showcases, and resulted in some cancellations in February and March.  But, April is showing promise so far, and the ladies are hopeful of getting back to a full season of performing for their constituents throughout the State of New Jersey.

The first Showcase for the month was Thursday, April 5th at Lutheran Crossing Enhanced Living, in Moorsetown.  Eight of our finest entertainers gave a great show for a predominently female audience.  The residents were generous with their applause.  One lady in particular, whose name was Deborah, was especially vocal in displaying her appreciation.  During the course of the Showcase, she gave little quips about her life and  her musical knowledge.

 Courtesy, Warren Beebe
The audience was invited to sing the finale song, "This Is My Country/God Bless America".  From left to right are: Diane Beebe/MSNJSA'15, Josephine Araniti/MSNJSA'07, Johanne Santori/MSNJSA'06, Denise Mechan/Showcase Coordinator, Nancy Bassett, Rose Majofsky, and Jo Ann Gordon/MSNJSA'08.

Of particular importance at this time of year, are the preparations for the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2018, which will be held on Wednesday, June 6th at Harrahs Resort and Casino, in the Concert Venue Theater at 1:00 PM.  Terry Meade, Executive State Pageant Director, outlined her plans and the details at the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB meeting, which was held on Tuesday, April 10th.  This year's theme is "Walk the Red Carpet", and her vision for the Pageant is intended to be exciting, imaginative, stylish, visually stimulating, and timeless; a show that will be appreciated and enjoyed by an audience of every age.  Josephine Araniti, MSNJSA2007, Public Relations/Publicity, spoke about the plan for getting out the press releases to the newspapers and media, and encouraged Club members to hang the Pageant flyers in places of prominence in that part of the State where they live.  Terry also announced the date of the "Meet the Candidates" luncheon, which is Tuesday, April 24th, 11:30 AM, at the Manahawkin Elks Lodge.  She was unable to give the exact number of contestants, because the deadline to enter has not closed, but, she did announce the names and acknowledged the 5 ladies, who are re-entering this year, all of whom are NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB members.

President Carole Lelli spoke about the Board's decision to change the location of the meeting place, to the Manahawkin Elks Lodge, and told of the generosity of the veterans, who offered the use of their hall to the CLUB free of charge.  All the members in attendance agreed that it was the right decision and that the new facility was cleaner and brighter than the last.
Jo Ann Gordon/MSNJSA'08, who was appointed interim Vice-President at the January meeting, was sworn in.  Treasurer Becky Orsatti/MSNJSA'10, announced the ticket price for the Pageant as $15.00, and were available immediately for purchase.  They can also be purchased at the door on the day of the Pageant at the box office which is located in the lobby of the theater.  Anyone wishing to purchase tickets in advance, can call her home phone at: 609-344-7802.

The meeting ended with everyone extending their love, and support to Carolyn Slade Harden/MSNJSA'17 & MSSA'17, as she embarks on her journey to many States across the country, as guest in MS SENIOR AMERICA STATE PAGEANTS.  She shared an impressive travel itinerary with the members, and asked for their prayers for stamina and good health in the months ahead. 

Kudos to the Board for making its members feel welcomed in the new meeting place, to the Committee,
for preparing a great lunch, and to the members, who kept an open mind regarding the Board's decision to move  to a new location for the quarterly meetings.  One door closes, and another door opens. 

See you at the Pageant!