Ms. New Jersey Senior America Carol Dugan, of Ventnor, wears a smaller dress size now than she did in high school.

The 62-year-old singer, fitness instructor and personal trainer says she got serious about exercise in her early 30s, and earned a black belt from the American Tae Kwon Do Association. She will compete next month against other state winners in the Ms. Senior America 2012 Pageant in Atlantic City.

Dugan met her husband, John Dugan, in 1998 at their 30th high school reunion in Florida. As teens, they barely knew each other. They had danced together briefly after performing in a talent show, and then she left.

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“I was very shy in high school,” she said. “It was just a brief moment in time, but he remembers it.”

John had a successful career as a saxophonist and flutist, and Carol singing with national touring companies of Broadway shows. When they married 12 years ago, she moved to South Jersey from Atlanta.

They first performed as a duo at their wedding, and soon formed the band Boardwalk Baby, which plays at weddings and retaurants in the area.

Carol is collecting a knock-out wardrobe of gowns for the national pageant in October with help from Ms. New Jersey Senior America Pageant Director Johanne Santori, of Linwood; 2010 state winner Becky Orsatti, of Atlantic City; and former contestant Mary Ann Andrews, of Linwood.

If you go

Ms. Senior America 2012 Pageant preliminaries and finals 1 p.m. Oct. 7-11 at Harrah’s Resort. For tickets, call 800-369-1369 or visit

Singing teacher

Steven Calakos, 32, a fourth-grade teacher at Petway Elementary School in Vineland, will sing Broadway hits and pop songs in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at Vineland’s Landis Theater. Special guests include Mennies Elementary School kindergarten teacher Nancy Dixon and dancers from Dixon's Dance Academy. For tickets, call 856-691-1121 or visit

Golfing for Good

Special Olympians Dan Miller, 39, of Ocean City; Sue Dever, 40, of Mantua Township, Gloucester County; Patrick Rooney, 48, of Mays Landing; and Sara Misal, 35, of Ocean City, will compete Sept. 22 in the I. Rice & Co. Golfing for Good Tournament at Harbor Pines Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township. It benefits The Arc of Atlantic County.

Dan Phillippi, 23, of Egg Harbor Township, will tee off with every foursome at the 10th hole. Groups will have the option of using his drive as longest. Michael Dirkes, 31, of Ocean City, will be at a hole where golfers can pay $5 to compete against him. For information, call 609-703-1526 or visit

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