Sunday, March 29, 2020


The month of March is usually the time when people look forward to welcoming the coming of Spring.  However, during the month, people all over the world learned about a serious disease, which is named the coronavirus, or COVID-19.  Public health officials around the world have declared an all out war to defeat this insidious disease.  In particular, United States' President Trump ordered a national 2 week quarantine for all Americans, which began on Monday March 16 and ends on Monday March 30.  Citizens were asked to stay home during this period, and not to go out unless it was absolutely necessary. 

New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy has stated frequently that, "this is no time to panic, but it's just as much no time for business as usual".  He urged Jerseyans to make the right call, if not for themselves, but for their families, friends and community, to help to stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

Schools are closed, as well as industry and non essential businesses.   The ladies of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB have had to cancel all Showcases throughout the State for the immediate future.  Last week, it was announced that the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2020, which was scheduled for Wednesday, June 3rd at Harrah's was also canceled.

Not all was doom and gloom though.  Before the national quarantine and lockdown was declared, certain events did take place.  Dr. Debra Canale, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2019,  participated in the St. Patrick's Day Parade which was held in Belmar the first weekend of March.

This photo is in sharp contrast to what she is doing these days!  As a nurse, QUEEN Debra is out there with her colleagues, working long hours, helping patients who come in with coronavirus symptoms.

Sunday, March 8th was the last Showcase of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB.  The ladies gave a stellar performance to a full house at the Monmouth County Library in Manalapan.  Little did they know that it would be their last one for the foreseeable future.

This photo was pulled out from the archives once again to show these fabulous ladies in a happier time, at the Christmas Party in December of 2019.  Although a few ladies are suffering from other illness,  happily none of the CLUB'S members have contracted the dreaded coronavirus.  As time goes by, hopefully none will.

Tomorrow is Monday, March 30th, and the end of the two week national self quarantine and lockdown.  Has this been enough to stop the spread of this silent killer, or will there be more hard times ahead?  We can use the religious phrase, "only God knows", but in this case, so do our country's leaders and scientists.  Jerseyans, as well as the rest of the nation await what tomorrow's news will bring.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020


The winter hiatus was halted in February in order to accommodate requests from two senior living facilities for a NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB SHOWCASE.  So, these fabulous ladies, troupers all, were only too happy to oblige.

The weather on Valentine's Day was picture perfect for the First NJCC SHOWCASE at Spring Oaks Assisted Living in Toms River.  The auditorium was adorned in Valentine's Day decor, and the residents were in a festive mood.

Dr. Debra Canale, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2019, opened the Showcase, and got the joint rockin' with her aerobic routine and dance.  Two male residents joined her along with some "Sisters", who can be seen in the background.

Carolyn Slade Harden, MS SENIOR AMERICA 2017,  performed one of her signature songs, "I Love Being Here With You".   Her style and grace made everyone feel welcomed, and set the tone for more great performances that followed.

Norma Mc Ghie, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 1995, has been entertaining audiences for many years since her coronation.  Her comedy routine made everyone happy.

Joan Kaplan, another long time member of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, went down memory lane, by telling stories of how much her mother loved music.  In her honor, she sang a popular WWII favorite.

The ladies and audience joined together for the finale to sing a patriotic medley.

The second NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB SHOWCASE, was at Cambridge Senior Living, in Moorestown, on February 28th.   

Another opening of another great show, as the ladies took their well deserved bow.

Although the spirit of Valentine's Day was still in the air, Denise Mechan, Showcase Coordinator, announced the theme for the day was to celebrate "All Matters of the Heart".  The purpose of the Showcase that day was to honor those club members and their their spouses who have suffered illnesses during the recent past and have survived.  The following is just a short list of brave ladies and/or their spouses.
Terry Meade, MSNJSA EXECUTIVE STATE PAGEANT DIRECTOR, sang "I Can't Smile Without You", to her husband Mark of 55 years.  Since receiving a new heart 11 years ago, they have become spokesmen for organ transplant awareness.

Johanne Santori, MSNJSA 2006, and MSNJSA STATE PAGEANT ADMINISTRATOR, a cancer survivor, is performing again. 

Nancy Bassett, another exceptional songstress, who underwent open heart surgery a few years ago, is living with chronic heart disease.  She was awarded a trophy from the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, for having attended the most Showcases in 2019.

Millie Tate of Linwood, is also a cancer survivor. Her humor and vitality are contagious every time she sings.  Her saucy rendition of "Big Spender", was fun to watch.

Every NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB SHOWCASE, begins with the current QUEEN, Dr. Debra Canale, MSNJSA 2019.  An accomplished gymnist, she wears tights for her routine, and ties her hair up in a pony tail.  She also closes the Showcase, and, at that time, the audience gets a chance to see how lovely she is when dressed in evening wear.  

After honoring the survivors, she invited them to the floor for a final dance.  After they started, she invited everyone else in the room to join them.

With the last note of the finale sung, the ladies clenched hands and raised their arms high over their heads, proudly proclaiming victory over their illnesses and adversities.  Kudos to all, with best wishes and good health for the 2020 performance season.