ATLANTIC CITY — Eleven women will take the stage Wednesday at Harrah’s Resort to vie for the title of Ms. New Jersey Senior America.
The winner will have the chance to represent the Garden State in October in the Ms. Senior America pageant in Atlantic City.
Contestants must be at least 60 to compete. The women will sing, dance, tell jokes and generally let it be known that age is just a number.
Also on stage will be the current Ms. New Jersey Senior, Suzie Neustadter, of Margate. A seasoned performer, Neustadter, 62, not only earned the title in her very first competition, she was the first runner-up in the Ms. Senior America Pageant.
Neustadter said she went into her year with no expectations because it was all new to her. She finishes her year with a head full of memories and many new friends she has met while logging about 20,000 miles traveling across New Jersey.
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Peggy Ann Brennan Haberer is crowned Ms. Senior America 2016 in Atlantic City by Barbara Mauldar, Ms. Senior America 2015.
The four runners-up and Ms. Senior America; from left are third runner-up, Trina Shelton of Mississippi; first runner-up, Sherri McGhie of Maryland; Ms. Senior America Peggy Lee Brennan of Missouri; second runner-up, Elaine Willingham of Alabama, and fourth runner-up, Joyce Schumaker of California.
Peggy Lee Brennan is crowned Ms. Senior America 2016 by Dr. Barbara Mauldin, Ms. Senior America 2015.
The Jersey girls; members of the Cameo Club show their support for the women in the Ms. Senior America Pageant Thursday, Oct. 20 at Resorts Hotel and Casino. Front and center is Ms. New Jersey Senior America 2016-Dianne DeLuca of Linwood.
Friends reunited after more than 40 years, Ms. Senior America Peggy Lee Brennan with Marge Fopeano of Northfield. The two were cheerleaders at St. Joseph Hall Academy on Staten Island in the 1970s.
Noellani DeRossett proved she still has the form that landed her a chance to perform with Elvis Presley in "Paradise Hawaiian Style."
Attending the Ms. Senior America Pageant Thursday in Atlantic City is former Ms. Senior New Jersey contestant, Maria Crowell and Elbert Taclan, both of Egg Harbor Township.
Ms. Senior Alabama, Renee Pierce performs a piano solo during the talent competition at the Ms. Senior America Pageant Thursday, Oct. 30 at Resorts Hotel and Casino.
Ms. Senior Kentucky, Deborah Miller performs “Musetta’s Waltz” from the opera La Boheme.
Ms. Senior Virginia, Patsy Godley is taken by surprise when her name is called as Ms. Senior America 2014.
The newly crowned Ms. Senior America, Patsy Godly, 62, of Fredericksburg, Va., is surrounded by the runners-up. From left are Ms. Alabama, Renee Pierce, 62, third runner-up; Ms. Michigan, Carol Thomas, 60, first runner-up; Godly; Ms. Kentucky, Deborah Miller, 66, second runner-up; and Ms. Massachusetts, Ethel Lee, 66, fourth runner-up. alt=
Jersey girls rock! Forever Ms. New Jersey Senior Americas get together at the Ms. Senior America Pageant Thursday, Oct. 30 at Resorts Hotel and Casino. From left are Becky Orsatti, 2010; Josephine Araniti, 2007; JoAnn Gordan, 2008; Bernadette Dudek, 2009; Diane Beebe, 2014; Johanne Santori, 2006, from Margate; Lynn Gibson, 2000; Leah Whelan, 2011, and Carol Dugan, 2012, from Ventnor.
Ms. Senior America 2013, Carolyn Corlew prepares to take her final walk before her successor is crowned Oct. 30 in Atlantic City.
The Dallas Tap Dazzlers brought their performance from Texas to be part of the Ms. Senior America Pageant Thursday in Atlantic City.
Johanne Santori, state pageant director for the Ms Senior America Pageant and Vanessa Shaw, first runner-up in the Ms Senior America Pageant Thursday, Oct. 24 at Resorts Casino.
Carolyn Corlew of Tennessee is crowned Ms Senior America in Atlantic City Thursday, Oct. 24.
Vanessa Shaw, Ms New Jersey Senior America performs “Losing My Mind” at the Ms Senior America Pageant. Shaw is the first runner-up.
Mary Ann Andrews of Linwood is the lady in red at the 40th annual Ms. NJ Senior America Pageant Thursday, June 2.
Kay Vigue of Pleasantville performs “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from the Disney classic “Little Mermaid.”
Desiree Nigrelli of Atlantic City, Ms. New Jersey Senior America, is escorted on stage by Atlantic City High School Jr. ROTC cadet Chris Bakaj, 17, of Longport.
Crowned Ms. New Jersey Senior America Thursday, June 2, Desiree Nigrelli of Atlantic City will represent the Garden State in October when she vies for the Ms. Senior America title.
Carole Lelli of Ocean City performs “Honey Rag” Thursday, June 2 in the Ms. NJ Senior America pageant at Harrah’s. Lelli is the third runner-up.
“I really enjoyed the speaking engagements and the chance to talk with women,” Neustadter said.
One event that stood out was a women’s health forum with Dr. Adebola Nnewihe at Gilda’s Club, talking about what women need to know from their 20s to their 60s and beyond.
“I had the chance to speak about the importance of connecting generations, which was my platform when I competed and something I feel strongly about.” Neustadter said. “That is something having the title has allowed me to do. Whether I am speaking to local politicians or performing for seniors or veterans, it is so important for the generations to connect and work together.”
Neustadter is a voice teacher and said she had to do a lot of juggling this year to work with her students and fulfill her commitments as Ms. New Jersey Senior America.
“It was a challenge at times, but it was an amazing year,” she said. “Walking into a room where maybe some of the people were down, and they would see the sash and the crown and a smile would break across their face — it was something I will never forget.”
A number of local women are competing this year. Millie Tate, 74, of Linwood, is in the competition for the third time.