On Monday another dream was fulfilled. I had the pleasure of seeing a magnificent statue of Miss America. It is located in Kennedy Plaza in front of Boardwalk Hall.

Her statue is tall, stately and handsomely done. On the wall behind the statue one will find pictures of the two former Miss America's, Betty Cooper and Suzette Charles, who were both representatives of New Jersey and the only ones from our state to win the title, to date.

In the middle on the two pictures is one of a montage of Atlantic City. The statue is perfectly set so that when one takes a picture you will see the background and note that it was taken in Atlantic City.

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Two Miss Americas were on hand for the ceremony, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri and Charles, who was Miss America 1984. They were both stunningly beautiful and had fitting remarks for this auspicious occasion. They stressed the fact that the Miss America pageant has raised over $45 million for scholarships of the contestants.

It was a privilege to once again see Suzette Charles in Atlantic City. For your information, Suzette was raised in Atlantic City and went through the school system before her family moved to Mays Landing. Her talent was weaned on local shows such as Lucy Russo's “Stars of Tomorrow” that was produced on the stage at Garden Pier. Suzette was a marvelous singer, and after relinquishing her crown, she went on to have a successful career in the entertainment industry.

She sang in several of the casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas as well as on other stages around the nation. She performed with such talents as Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Cosby and a variety of other top-name performers. In some shows she was the prime entertainer and others she was the opening act. To this day, she continues to do shows when it fits within her family's schedule.

Suzette married 20 years ago and has two children, one who will be graduating high school this year and the other in the not too distant future. Her husband is an opthalmologist, and they reside in New York City.

Those of you who will be on hand for the Miss America “Show Me Your Shoes Parade” will have the pleasure of seeing Miss America 1984 Suzette Charles celebrating her 30th anniversary.

Notes from readers

— PLEASE, PLEASE renew the affiliation of WMGM TV 40. Yes, we get duplication of the NBC network prime time shows that are broadcast from Philadelphia Channel 10. However, the overall news and community coverage TV provides to even the smallest of municipalities from Brigantine to Cape May City and from Atlantic City to Burlington is priceless.

— I just read your (April 24) column and I finished my letter to Brian Roberts requesting to keep NBC 40. I watch that over NBC 10 all the time. Local is better! I hope it helps and that others join in.

— First, let me say how much I agree with you on helping keep NBC 40 alive. I watch it often and it would be a sin to lose it.

There have been some others who wrote, but the three above show the feelings of many of the people who enjoy WMGM TV 40. There are many facets to this situation and hopefully in the not-too-distant future we will be able to explain them to you. In the meantime, keep blessing and enjoying your local television station.

Insider notes

Information is coming out about many casinos throughout the country that are having financial problems. A good example of this is what is taking place in Tunica, Mississippi. The Harrah’s casino there features a spa, three pools, a golf course and a shooting range. But there's one thing the 18-year-old facility, the largest of 10 casinos in the area, sorely lacks: gamblers. The northern Mississippi casino industry’s gaming revenue shrank to $738 million last year from $1.2 billion in 2006. Sound familiar?

Harrah's parent, Caesars, will shutter the resort on June 2. It had been stated that there is too much supply in that market. The closing could be a sign of things to come as the $38 billion US gambling industry bumps up against two unlucky trends: a proliferation of casinos and skittish customers in the wake of the financial crisis.

Debut of Borgata’s Baking Company

Borgata’s Hotel Casino and Spa will open the Borgata Baking Company on Friday, May 23, as the newest addition to its esteemed culinary lineup. Located inside the retail plaza, Borgota Baking Company will offer savory and sweet items around-the-clock as a convenient option for guests on the go. Borgota Baking Company will serve mouthwatering "sweets and eats" housemade by Borgota’s award-winning executive pastry chef Thadeus DuBois, a former chef for two years at the White House, where he provided pastries for President George Bush, his wife and their guests.

The $1.5 million concept will feature such classic desserts as Napoleons and eclaires, fun pastries like cake pops, whoopie pies and French macaroons. Pullman sandwiches and warm breakfast pastries such as cheesesteak croissants will be available in addition to Illy coffee and fresh-pressed juices. The $1.5 million dollar concept will host its grand opening celebration through Monday, May 26, with a “Borgota Golden Chip,” promotion. Chef Dubois will also demonstrate his immense artistic talents with nine-foot chocolate sculptures and candy flowers.

Serenity, Hansen houses benefit

The region’s most highly acclaimed singers and musicians will join together to perform a live concert to benefit the Serenity House and Hansen House on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. at the concert venue at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City. Inspired by a poignant song about a woman's personal account of life on the streets, the “9th Street Life” concert event will bring together more than 20 featured performers and their bands.

Presented by the Hansen Foundation, this year's concert theme is “The Music That Changed Our Lives”. This year's honoree is Harrah's Resort Atlantic City for its support of the mission of the Hansen and Serenity houses.

Pinky's Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky's Corner radio show airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. His TV show, "WMGM Presents Pinky," airs 7:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC TV40. Email Pinky at: pinkyscrnr@aol.com

Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.

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