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Showing posts from 2008

2008 - IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR!

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It's that time again, when people say goodbye to the old year and ring in the new. For the members of New Jersey Senior America, it was no different. The year 2008 was marked by growth transition and change. It was a time to say goodbye and thank you to outgoing State Director Louise Ferla, and to welcome Johanne Santori to the position. Together with the help of Pinky Kravitz, affectionately known as "Mr. Atlantic City", they found a new home for the 2008 State Pageant at Harrah's Hotel and Casino. The national pageant also needed to relocate from Las Vegas, so Johanne and Pinky persuaded the management of Harrah's to hold it there as well. Johanne enlisted a force of devoted volunteers, and together, they worked tirelessly to produce a magnificent 2008 New Jersey Senior America Pageant. The New Jersey Cameo Club, which is the service wing of New Jersey Senior America, also had a record year of performance showcases around the the Garden State. The Class

THE SPOTLIGHT IS ON: DR. SANDRA GRECO, M.D.

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In the years that followed, many elegant and talented New Jersey Senior America Queens competed for the coveted national title, but no one won. Our founder, Dr. Al Mott explained that during those years, the growth and popularity of the Senior America Pageant was tremendous throughout the country and US territories. Each year, hundreds of beautiful and talented women aged 60 and over came out to compete, and the coveted title went to many other States. Then, in 2003 the tide changed. When beautiful and talented Dr. Sandra Greco, M.D won the State Pageant, everyone connected with New Jersey Senior America hoped and that she would be the one to bring the title back to the Garden State. And she did! Sandra was crowned the 23rd Ms Senior America at the Golden Phoenix Hotel Casino in Reno, Nevada on November 8, 2003. Dr. Greco sang "Misty" during the talent portion of the show. Sandra, the eldest of three sisters, was born in Chicago. She attend

THE SPOTLIGHT IS ON: JAN DICKSENSON

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In the photo above, Jan Dickenson on the left, has just been crowned Ms New Jersey Senior America 1986, by former State and National Queen, Laverne Stokes. No photo of her as Ms Senior America 1987 is available. In the following year, the national crown and title went to yet another "lady of elegance" who hailed from the Garden State. Lovely Jan Dickenson, lived in Leisuretown, an adult community located in Southampton. A talented vocalist, she sang the popular song, " Young at Heart ". The event was again held in Atlantic City at Resorts. Many years have passed at this writing, and not much is known is known about Jan through this reporter. Laverne Stokes however, remembered Jan as a sweet and humble lady, who gave a strong vocal performance at the 1986 State Pageant. She recalled that Jan served as Ms New Jersey Senior America 1986, and then, as Ms. Senior America 1987 with grace and cha

THE SPOTLIGHT IS ON: LAVERNE STOKES

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Three ladies from the State of New Jersey hold the national title of MS SENIOR AMERICA. Recently, this reporter had the pleasure of interviewing Mrs. Laverne Stokes, MS SENIOR AMERICA 1985 , and the following is her story in question and answer format: Q. How did you hear about Senior America? A. In 1983, I joined an exercise group at the Dover Senior Center in Toms River. The director told me about SA and suggested that I enter the pageant. At that time, there was a local and a State pageant to compete in, and you had to win them both before competing in the national. Q. How many titles do you hold then? A. 3. I hold the title of: MS SR OCEAN COUNTY 1983, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 1984, and MS SENIOR AMERICA 1985. Q. That's very impressive. What was your talent? A. Tap dancing then, and still is today. Q. Where were those early pageants held? A. The MS SENIOR OCEAN COUNTY pageant was held at Ocean County College, and the state and national pageants were he

THE TOP TEN

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Every pageant has a coveted "inner circle" that contestants vie for, which is called the top ten, and Ms New Jersey Senior America 2008, Jo Ann Gordon of Brick, made it. After many years in Las Vegas, the 28th Ms Senior America Pageant returned to the east coast, and was held at Harrah's in Atlantic City. The week long event offered many activities opened to the public which included: a parade on the boardwalk, live shows, a health expo, opportunities for shopping, and the Ms Senior America 2008 Pageant. Elegant and beautiful ladies from across the fruited plain and US territories graced the stage of the Concert Venue Theater, all hoping to win the crown, or if not, at least to be in the top ten. Wearing a demeure and beautiful pale pink gown, Jo Ann excelled in physical beauty and poise. She appeared radiant, as she glided effortlessy across the stage in the Evening Gown catagory. Returning again to recite her Philosophy of Life, Jo Ann used sign language as sh

GOOD LUCK! JO ANN GORDON, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA2008

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Since she was crowned Ms New Jersey Senior America 2008, Jo Ann Gordon has been one busy queen. In the first photo she is laughing at Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis of Brick, as he told a joke. Afterward, he read a proclamation of appreciation to Jo Ann on behalf of his Office and the Brick Town Council. Next, she and NJ State Pageant Director Johanne Santori stand in between the "Beatles", in the lobby of the Tropicana. She and Johanne were guests of radio show host Pinky Kravitz, which airs in the Atlantic City area. Below, Jo Ann smiles broadly as does host Mike Moran of WJRZ-FM Sunday morning show, "Down the Shore". Lovely Jo Ann at home standing in front of her piano. Lastly, Jo Ann, carrying a delicious culinary delight prepared by the head chef at "A Taste of Atlantic City". Besides, these events, she has been in several parades around the State, and continues to sing with the New Jersey Cameo Club Showcases. Next week, sh

THE SPOTLIGHT IS ON: MS. DELAWARE SENIOR AMERICA 2008

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"Many seek, but few are chosen". This is the story of Delores Puzio, who was chosen to represent the State of Delaware in the upcoming Ms. Senior America 2008 Pageant. In an effort to have all 50 States and US territories represented in the annual pageants, Senior America, Inc. chooses only worthy and exceptional women to the position of At-Large State Delegate. This year, Dr. Al Mott bestowed that honor upon Delores in appreciation of her 10 year association with New Jersey Senior America. In his opinion, there was no finer lady who could represent the State of Delaware better than she. Delores joins 45 other beautiful women from around the country, who will compete for the national title of Ms Senior America 2008. Many events are planned for the week of Sunday, October 19th through Friday, 24th at Harrah's in Atlantic City, which include: a Sunday Parade on the Boardwalk at 3:00pm, "Welcome To Atlantic City" show, Senior Health Expo with many opportuni

MEET MARGE WANAMAKER

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Organizations owe their success to the dedicated people who work for them, and New Jersey Senior America Cameo Club is no exception. Margaret "Marge" Wanamaker, an exceptional women of beauty and grace, is one such dedicated person. As the New Jersey Cameo Club Showcase Director, she is the lady who gives its members the opportunity to display their God-given talents. Over the years Marge has worked hard to promote the Cameo Showcase productions. Today, thanks to her hard work, the Cameo Club is constantly in demand to perform all over the Garden State. Most recently, she arranged a Cameo Club performance for the veterans at the Lyons, New Jersey campus. A large audience of veterans from all branches of the military and their families were in attendance, and a good time was had by all. Marge is also a very talented performer. As our resident "Marilyn Monroe", she does such an impe

NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA CAMEO CLUB

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Pictured above are the current officers of New Jersey Senior America Cameo Club. In the center is: Delores Puzio, President. To her left is Cathy Clark, Secretary, and on the right is Lyn Gibson, Vice President. In the second row is Doris Criscione, Treasurer. Since the New Jersey Senior America Cameo Club was founded by Dr. Al Mott, it remains today the first and oldest club in Senior America, Inc. Consequently its mission, purpose and goals are the same. The NJSA Cameo Club boasts to having the oldest member, who, at age 94, still gives a stellar performance every time she appears in the Cameo Showcases. The NJSA Cameo Club is designed to be a continuing contact between the pageant and former contestants, and State and national queens, and helps by assisting the State Pageant Director as much as possible. Its members give emotional

SENIOR AMERICA CAMEO CLUB

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"The Age of Elegance" Pictured above is the Senior America Cameo Club logo. The story of how it came to be is as follows: in his youth, Al Mott's singing teacher had a display of cameos in her studio. Years later, he remembered how elegant they looked. So, he chose the cameo for the logo, and then coined the phrase, "The Age of Elegance" to describe women 60 years and older. Dr. Al Mott believed that women who participated in the State and National Senior America Pageants should have the opportunity to continue to display their God given talents, and, at the same time volunteer their talents for the betterment of society. So, in 1972, along with the first Pageant, he established the Senior America National Cameo Club. Today, there are State Cameo Clubs wherever there are State pageants, and mature women showcase their performing talents, in nursing homes, adult and assisted living communities, veterans and childrens hospitals, and other community and char

DR. AL MOTT, THE FOUNDER

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The dictionary defines a "visionary" as a person with unusual powers of foresight. It is easy to see how Dr. Al Mott falls into this category. During the 1960's Al saw how bleakly older Americans, were percieved by the media as being fragile, non productive and a burden upon society. He set out to change that image, and in 1971, created Senior America, Inc., to promote instead, the positive aspects of aging. Dr. Mott's goal for the first Senior America Pageant in 1972, was to create a public awareness of the continuing social contributions of senior Americans, and by 1983, his idea spread to States from coast to coast. Each year since then, women across the country, who have reached the "Age of Elegance", compete first in their State for the title, and then go on to nationals to see who will

MEET OUR NEW STATE DIRECTOR!

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Johanne with husband Adeo Johanne as Ms New Jersey Senior America 2006 The popular English composer Elton John wrote a song called " The Circle of Life" . The meaning of the song suggests that life is like a circle, whose continuity is preserved and replenished by the outgoing constantly preparing the way for the incoming. Thus the continuity of the Ms New Jersey Senior America Pageant has been preserved, with the appointment of Johanne Santori. This is Johanne's first year as Ms New Jersey Senior America State Pageant Director, who succeeds Louise Ferla, who after 13 years, had decided to retire. Johanne, who is no stranger to the pageant industry, served as hostess for the Miss America Pageant for many years. During that time, she met several industry professionals, whose friendship she maintains to the present day. It was these ladies who guided her in the planning of the 2008 Ms New Jersey Senior America Pageant that was held on June 25th. As well as being

A FOND FAREWELL

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Louise Ferla, won the title of Ms New Jersey Senior America in 1993. Three years later, she was appointed New Jersey Senior America Executive Director, and Vice President of Ms Senior America, Inc. Here she is with husband Bob. One of the highlights of the Ms New Jersey Senior America Pageant 2008 was when Louise Ferla came onto the stage at Harrah's in Atlantic City, to give her farewell address. A woman of grace and poise, her speech was eloquent as it was sentimental. It was a retrospective narrative, and one couldn't help but to be impressed by her humility and dedication to this organization that she served so well for 13 years. Due to health concerns, she decided that it was best to retire at this time, and wished Johanne Santori, the new State Director much love and success. Louise will, however continue to work with the national organization, Senior America, Inc. All of us who know Louise,

THERE SHE IS!

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Pictured directly below is Jo Ann with former New Jersey State Queens. To the right, she is with the other 4 finalists. Left to right are: Joan Kaplan, Bernadette Dudek, Joan Cooney, Frances Lundeen. At the bottom are 2 photos of our lovely Queen. The Queen reigns, long live the Queen! A capacity crowd filled the Concert Venue Theater at Harrah's in Atlantic City, on Wednesday, June 25th, where 14 fabulous ladies graced the stage to compete for the coveted title of MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2008, and lovely Jo Ann Gordon won. A retired public school teacher of 38 years, Jo Ann taught in the Neptune Township School System where she learned sign language in order to participate in the hearing impairment and special education programs. A big band style singer, she has sung backup for Paul Anka, toured Europe, and has recorded CDs. For her talent, she sang an arrangement of a Nat King Cole standard, "Orange Colored Sky&

OUR PHILOSOPHY

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The cameo pictured here is the logo for both State and national organizations, as well as our philosophy which reads: The Ms. Senior America Pageant is the world's first and foremost pageant to emphasize and give honor to women who have reached the "Age of Elegance ". It is a search for the gracious lady who best exemplifies the dignity, maturity, and inner beauty of all senior Americans. The Ms, Senior America Pageant philosophy is based upon the belief that seniors are the foundation of America, and our most valuable treasure. It is upon their knowledge, experience and resources that the younger generation has the opportunity to build a better society. Our odessy will begin with the Ms New Jersey Senior America 2008 Pageant. To learn about past State and national pageants, please log on to the Senior America, Inc. website: www.senioramerica.org. Another blog of interest is: josephinea