Tuesday, December 17, 2019


Neither age nor physical malady kept these fabulous ladies of elegance, all 60 plus, from keeping their appointed shows during the holiday season which started from Thanksgiving and ended this month. 

The kickoff began at Brandall Estates, in Linwood on Thursday, November 14th.  The residents clapped enthusiastically in appreciation of the opening number.  They held their own Pageant that  day as well, and one of the residents was crowned Miss Brandall Estates. Those who received awards wore maroon sashes, and were seated in the audience.

The NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB entertained the veterans at the Manahawkin Elks Lodge on Tuesday, November 19th.  Opening ceremonies included:  the Presentation of the Flag by the New Jersey State Troopers Honor Guard,

and was followed by the National Anthem, sung by Carolyn Slade-Harden, MS SENIOR AMERICA 2017.

 NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB member Millie Tate, lead the singing with a soulful rendition of "Proud to Be An American".

  The five branches of the military were honored in a musical salute, conducted by Josephine Araniti, MSNJSA 2007 and MUSIC DIRECTOR of the Grande Dames Chorus.

The residents at Bartley Healthcare in Jackson, were treated to a great Holiday Showcase, on Thursday, December 5th, and they participated in the  Christmas sing-a-long with great gusto.

By now, you know how our Showcases always begin and end.  So, with the Monmouth Crossing Showcase, in Freehold, on December 9th, the focus is on highlighting the individual performers.

Denise Mechan/NJCC SHOWCASE COORDINATOR, was a kindergarten school teacher, and at Christmastime, she taught her children the song, "Must Be Santa".  It is a cumulative song, that has many verses describing Santa, that repeats backwards, over and over, and the kids had to remember it!  She sang it as her signature song at all the Christmas Showcases and invited the "Sisters" to sing along.   At the the last Showcase, more and more "Sisters" actually remembered a lot of the song!

 Nancy Bassett jazzed up the rhythm a bit, when she sang the popular carol, "Silent Night".

 Renee Tompkins sang a popular Christmas ballad, while Jo Ann Gordon/MSNJSA 2008 signed it.

 Santa's favorite elf, Rose Majofsky, dressed in red, and armed at the wrists with jingle bells, shimmied and shaked to a popular Christmas jingle.

As QUEEN For A Day, Jo Ann Gordon/MSNJSA 2008, entertained the audience with a Christmas favorite. 

Josephine Araniti/MSNJSA 2007, & MUSIC DIRECTOR of the Grande Dames Chorus, also sang a Christmas song called, "Mistletoe and Love".

Crestwood Manor in Whiting is always a great venue to perform at, and the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB is a frequent guest there.  The usual black evening wear was interspersed this day with festive reds and green velvet to heighten the holiday spirit.

 Becky Orsatti/MSNJSA 2010, sang a beautiful and stirring rendition of "White Christmas".

The final Showcase for 2019 was on Monday December 16th.  As expected, the ladies set the mood for the opening,

and finished with a fabulous ending.
But what about in between?   There was a Christmas sing-a-long, and great performances.  Two members in particular, deserve special mention.  Whenever Terry Meade, MSNJSA EXECUTIVE STATE PAGEANT DIRECTOR, performs, she always promotes her platform for organ transplants.  Dressed as a beautiful candy cane, she mimed to the song, "All I Want For Christmas is You".  At the end, she kissed her husband Mark, a heart transplant recipient of 11 years.

Another highlight of the afternoon, was a toe tapping, finger snapping, hand clapping rendition of the classic Christmas favorite "Jingle Bell Rock", joyfully sung by Jo Ann Gordon/MSNJSA 2008.

The Holiday Party is the time when the ladies gather together to celebrate the season, have a good time, and renew the bonds of  the "Sisterhood".  Many sisters came from far and near to attend the CLUB's annual event, which was held at the Clarion Hotel, on Thursday, December 12th.  Of special mention is "Sister" and friend, Bernadette Dudek/MSNJSA 2009, seated on the floor next to Jo Ann Gordon, who came all the way from South Carolina.

The evening's festivities began with a welcome from Jo Ann Gordon/MSNJSA 2008, and Chairman of the Holiday Party, followed by Carole Lelli, President/NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, who acknowledged and thanked those members for their contributions to the CLUB this past year.  She passed the microphone back to those who then made special presentations. 

Terry Meade/MSNJSA EXECUTIVE STATE PAGEANT DIRECTOR, presented Josephine Araniti/MSNJSA 2007, & MUSIC DIRECTOR of the Grande Dames Chorus, the Sister of the Year trophy.

Nancy Bassett was awarded the Performer of the Year trophy by Denise Mechan, SHOWCASE COORDINATOR/NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB.

Another hightlight of the evening was the chance to win a great prize at the raffle table!

A beautiful backdrop of a crown was set up outside the banquet hall for photo ops, and members took many pictures to remember the great time they had.  Dr. Al Mott, the founder of  MS SENIOR AMERICA, INC was an honored guest, and he posed alongside Terry Meade/MSNJSA EXECUTIVE STATE PAGEANT DIRECTOR, and Johanne Santori/MSNJSA STATE PAGEANT ADMINISTRATOR.

The food was great as was the music for dancing the night away, provided by Steve and Debbie Berger.  Here is the couple leading the ladies in a popular line dance.

Meanwhile, where has New Jersey's pride and joy, Dr. Debra Canale, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2019 been?  To be sure, she has been the featured performer in the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB SHOWCASES, as can be seen in the above photos.  Dr. Debra had a schedule of her own, which included parades, with the latest one held in Atlantic City.

The annual Atlantic City Christmas Parade was held on the boardwalk, on Saturday, December 14th. Dr. Debra stopped at the casino to have a bite to eat.  She wore her new jacket which was given to her by the officers of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB at the Christmas Party a few days earlier.

Then, she took it off to model her beautiful white sequenced gown by the Christmas tree.  Oo lah lah!

And now, we know why, don't we?  Because it was so cold that she couldn't show it at the parade!  But, she wore a lovely fur coat anyway.  Looks like mink.  She and her younger counterpart, the current MS NEW JERSEY, pose as they shiver together!

That's QUEEN Debra again ... this time posing with a youth group marching band.  Thanks for including the young in your travels. 

"Fast away the old year passes ... hail the the new, ye lads and lasses"!  So the song goes.  Kudos to these fabulous ladies of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB.   May they rest secure in the knowledge of a job well done in 2019.  Enjoy the holidays and your well earned hiatus, because 2020 is just around the corner ... see you then!