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Ocean City’s First Mr. Mature America Pageant on Saturday received a standing ovation from an audience of 400. The event began with a lively and humorous production number choreographed by Jessica Albertson. This set the stage for a very entertaining show by talented contestants 60 and over.

Frank Faralli Jr., 61, a nurse from Cape May Court House, is the world’s first Mr. Mature America. Mr. Faralli sang Edelweiss for his talent, and won the poise and interview awards. Former Ocean City mayor, Roy Gillian, 84, won Talent with an impressive rendition of piano favorites.

 

Each of the other contestants received enthusiastic ovations. These included Rene Sese, 73 of Egg Harbor Twp., who sang a love song; Eugene Ross, 89 of Ocean City, who recited a humorous poem and presented an original song, Jerry Lukas, 66 of Vineland, a noted cartoonist who produced a professional onstage drawing in three minutes and Captain Joel S. Fogel, who entertained with a lively, original harmonica and ukulele performance. Bubba Mac, another contestant scheduled to appear, was hospitalized last Thursday.We wish Bubba a complete and speedy recovery.

The Pageant was enhanced by the performance of four talented ladies over 60. They included Hollywood Walk of Fame Legend, actress and vocalist, Peggy King who sang a jazz number; Betty Lambert, an 81 year old baton twirler who amazed the audience with her twirling and splits; Vanessa Shaw, Miss New Jersey Senior America and long time Broadway performer with an inspiring vocal performance and super soprano, Nancy Fox, who sang the National Anthem and an original Runway song.

Atlantic City icon, Pinky Kravitz, received Mr. Mature America’s Inspirational Award. Kravitz, 86, has been hosting a popular radio show for 57 years. He is a Hall of Fame Broadcaster and has received countless public service awards. He was presented the inspiration award by Hall of Fame Broadcaster, Dick Sheeran, a popular anchor and feature reporter with KYW-TV 3 for over 30 years, who assisted emcee Maribeth Neall.

Neall and Kristie Fenton, who produce the Miss Ocean City, Little Miss and Junior Miss Pageants, provided the expertise necessary to structure the event professionally. Ray Esterlund, Assistant executive Producer, was the glue that held the event together, attending to countless details over many months.

Laurie Howey produced an outstanding program book with the assistance of Art Barlow. Stu Sirott handled the stage design and worked on production. Donna Schmitt was in charge of tickets and finances.

Jessica Albertson choreographed the colorful production number that got the show off to a rousing start. Denise Sammartino of the Flanders Hotel was an important member of the production team. The Flanders was also a valued sponsor that provided dinner for the judges and contestants. Brittany Johnson assisted with production, realtor John Walton was the Men’s Host. Walton chairs the Business Person’s Plunge held every year to welcome the new season prior to Memorial day. John Sabella, CPA, MST of Ford Scott and Associates was our auditor and David Nahan, official photographer.

Judges Chair was Janet Simiriglio. Judges included Mamma Dietz, Ruth Eni, chair person and chief executive officer of pageant sponsor, Dietz and Watson, who was also honored during the pageant; Peter Voudouris, President of the Board of the Flanders Hotel and a Pageant sponsor; Jane French, a volunteer with the Public Relations Office for 23 years and Volunteer of the Year in 2010; Rosalyn Lifshin, Executive Director of the Ocean City Arts Center and a casino marketing executive for 25 years and Lora Stankiewicz, former owner of Bernie’s Barber Shop and also a member of a ministry team at Coastal Christian of Ocean City that leads Grief Share, a program that helps people through the process of grief.

It took these people and more to present the First Mr. Mature America Pageant. And yes, we’re going to do it again next year.

(April 12) Save the date! Our 29th Annual Doo Dah Parade will highlight a weekend of events devoted to fun and humor. The Parade begins at noon at 6th and Asbury Ave., goes to 12th and Asbury then to the Boardwalk and ends at the Music Pier. Peter Funt of Candid Camera will be grand marshal. The Parade will include 600 friendly Basset Hounds, costumed characters, clowns, fun brigades, bands and surprises. When the Parade ends at the Music Pier, the popular PieAsco begins at the Moorlyn Terrace site. Folks sit in grandstands and smoosh each other with shaving cream pies honoring our great, late friend Soupy Sales. You can enter just by being there. Smoosh the person sitting next to you and receive a certificate to celebrate the occasion.

On Friday April 11th at noon the hilarious Basset Hound Olympics are set for the Tabernacle Grounds, 6th and Asbury Ave. On Friday at 2 p.m., world renowned humorist, Dr. Joel Goodman will present a program on the benefits of Humor at the Ocean City Free Public library, 17th and Simpson Ave. On Friday at 7p.m., Peter Funt will host a program featuring the Best of Candid Camera at the Music Pier. Admission is by a donation of canned or dried food for the City’s Food Cupboard. All of the other above events are free. On Sat., April 12 after the Parade, there will be a Tribute to Abbott and Costello at the Ocean City Free Public Library featuring the best Abbott and Costello impersonators and a movie by the legendary comedians. This event is free. For information on events or to enter Parade, call (609) 525-9300, after hours or on weekends, call 609-364-4010.

The Ocean City Boardwalk Merchants Association's Easter Egg Hunt is bigger and better than ever for 2014! There will be 2 Easter Egg Hunts this year, one on Saturday April 12th, and one on Saturday April 19th at 2:30pm. Each will feature 90,000 eggs for children to find candy and prizes in. Age groups include ages 0-2, 3-4, 5, 6, & 7. Each age group with have a designated spot on the beach between 11th and 13th streets. Don't miss this FUN and FREE Spring event in Ocean City NJ! *Rain dates are Sundays April 13th, and April 20th.

(March 26) A FREE LECTURE by Eddie Shiffler will explore the ancient orders of Egypt, India, Persia and the Mediterranean in a quest for a better understanding of the human story. The secrets of the ancients will be unveiled. Come and discover the history behind these secrets, Wed., March 26 at 7 p.m. at lecture Room N110 of the Ocean City Free Public Library.

(Through the rest of March) Millville Artist Ellen Galvin will exhibit her award winning paintings at Ocean City Arts Center, 17th and Simpson Ave. Admission is free. The Arts Center is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Mon.-Fri. and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat.

(April 3-5) The Ocean City Drama Club presents Monty Python’s “Spamalot.” Times: April 3, 4 at 7 p.m., April 5 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets $12. for Students and Seniors, $15 for adults. Call (609) 399-1290, ext. 1442. 

(April 5-6) The Spring Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts, featuring the most creative artisans on the East Coast, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. Free parking at nearby Boardwalk lots. $3 contribution benefits local charities. Children under 12 are free. For information, call 1-800-822-4112.

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