St. Peter’s welcomes new pastor

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 Christine Crist, Katie and Kooper Grim, Jill and Sydney Chin and Pat Custard pose for a picture at the welcome aboard dinner. Christine Crist, Katie and Kooper Grim, Jill and Sydney Chin and Pat Custard pose for a picture at the welcome aboard dinner.

Members of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church held a welcome aboard party recently for new senior Pastor Steve Donat and his wife, Dianna. I waved to Betty Ann Powell when I parked my car in the lot next to her home then Audrey van der Loo joked about walking the stairs to the Stainton Room to keep in shape.

Taking on a nautical theme as Pastor Steve takes the helm, everyone sported their favorite nautical outfits. Director of Music John Bate wore his “Captain” baseball cap from Hoy’s as he and the entire choir, wearing sailor hats, had shopped on Asbury Avenue after choir practice. Joan Robertson told me Macedonia United Methodist Church’s takeout dinner in June was very successful. I chatted with Robie McKinnon, Pat Custard and Jill and Steve Croft before taking my seat in the sanctuary with my neighbors, Pat and Gregg Matis and Meredith Neely. Keith Grim served as master of ceremonies for the proceedings and Lt. Christian J. Bickings (Ret.) held a Safety Drill with the help of Seaman Recruit Pursel. Handbell Quartet, Kathy Heller, Beth Lennox, Susan Norbeck and Sue Park, played a delightful rendition of “Do Lord Remember Me.” Associate Pastor Terry Lothian shared a funny story when he and Pastor Steve walked down the alley behind the church to Ready’s for breakfast while Keith Grim placed a Captain hat on Steve’s head and Dianna as first mate got a white sailor’s hat. Members were pleased to discover they not only got a minister but a talented musician when Donat picked up his guitar to accompany himself when he sang “If I Stand.”

Phil Young, stationed at the soundboard, blew a loud horn and cruise director Katie Grim announced dinner was now being served in the Stainton dining room while Julie Bickings and Bill Heap ushered guests from the pews. The large hallway leading to the dining room was decorated like a luxury liner complete with ship’s wheel created by Jill Adamson and her committee. Heidi and Steve Pursel presented each guest with a lei as they walked on board then Christian and Jill Chin ushered couples into the photo booth for a memento. I peeked in the kitchen where Jen Bowman and Kathy Thompson and crew, Andy Martin, Carlo Calle, Bob McNamara, Bill Bateson, Tom Thompson and Len Hoffman were busy getting ready to serve dinner. Jeff Turner and the Praise Band entertained while 200 guests found their seats. Jim and I enjoyed the lasagna dinner made by Jen Bowman and Kathy Thompson chatting with Gretchen and Ralph Bingham, Pat and Gregg Matis, Meredith Neely and Gayle Robbins. During dinner Donat played sax with the Praise Band. I thought Mildred Mott had taken over my column when I spotted her circulating around the room talking to everyone. Julie Bickings showed off her adorable 5-month-old daughter, Rose, whom everyone wanted to hold, but it was Angel Smith who charmed this little cutie while husband, George, and Carol and Sherm DeMill looked on. Church photographer Sandy Engstrom made sure she got lots of pictures during the dinner. Sarah Lee and members of St. Peter’s Youth group served dinner and bused tables. When I sat down to chat with Ginny and Dick Strang they introduced me to their granddaughter, Meredith Moon, and her brother, Andrew, who is enjoying his first year on the Ocean City Beach Patrol while spending the summer with his grandparents. Jennifer Bowman made three large chocolate cakes with chocolate icing (Pastor Steve’s favorite) for dessert. Keith Grim played game show host asking multiple choice questions about Steve and Dianna Donat with Rody O’Rourke getting the most correct and winning Pie Girl pies she distributed to the runners-up. I chatted with Donna Heap and her mom as we walked down Central Avenue to our cars. Next stop for this columnist was a walk on the Boardwalk to work off the delicious dinner I just enjoyed.

Miss Ocean City 2015 will be crowned on the Music Pier this Saturday night. Several weeks ago the Exchange Club of Ocean City, who sponsors the pageant, hosted an Ice Breaker at the Ocean Reef Clubhouse when contestants met with pageant organizers and hostesses in preparation for the big night. Official pageant photographer Dave Nahan was on hand to take contestants head shots and group photo. Ian Nahan came along to help his father, but this sophomore psychology major at Rutgers said the newspaper business is not for him. Contestant coordinator Andrea Paul, looking bright in yellow, welcomed the girls when they arrived and got dress sizes for the opening production number. When Barb Adams showed up, also sporting yellow, after having dinner at The Crab Trap with sons, David and Todd, visiting from California, Joyce Trofa thought she missed the memo to wear yellow as this columnist was the third looking like sunshine. Holly Cassidy, Linda Gronert and Jane Lugo set out refreshments on the buffet table while contestants chatted with Miss Ocean City Carley Del Sordo who told the girls to just be themselves and they were in for a wonderful experience participating in the pageant. Avonlea Canizzaro and Kendall Coughlin were runners-up last year and have returned for another shot at the crown. BriarRose Ginn’s older sister, Jamie, was crowned Miss Ocean City when BriarRose was a toddler and she would love to wear the crown. Keeping the crown in the family is what Samantha Del Sordo is trying for this year as she joins contestants in the quest for the title. Emily Aita was Junior Miss Ocean City a few years ago and would be delighted to represent America’s Greatest Family Resort as Miss Ocean City.

Miss Ocean City Carley Del Sordo (center) poses for a picture with Jayne Snyder, Anita Culp, Linda Gronert and Kendall Coughlin. Miss Ocean City Carley Del Sordo (center) poses for a picture with Jayne Snyder, Anita Culp, Linda Gronert and Kendall Coughlin. Cathy Finnegan and Maribeth Neall chat with McKayla Perry, BriarRose Ginn and Miranda Schumacher at the Miss Ocean City ice breaker. Cathy Finnegan and Maribeth Neall chat with McKayla Perry, BriarRose Ginn and Miranda Schumacher at the Miss Ocean City ice breaker. Jane Lugo, Nicole Bachich, Abby Montemurro, Samantha Del Sordo and Andrea Paul line up for a picture at the Miss Ocean City ice breaker. Jane Lugo, Nicole Bachich, Abby Montemurro, Samantha Del Sordo and Andrea Paul line up for a picture at the Miss Ocean City ice breaker.  Holly Cassidy, Avonlea Canizzaro, Isabella Rose, Emily Aita and Sue Doll get together at the Miss Ocean City ice breaker. Holly Cassidy, Avonlea Canizzaro, Isabella Rose, Emily Aita and Sue Doll get together at the Miss Ocean City ice breaker. Bill Bateson, Jennifer Bowman, Bob McNamara, Andy Martin Carlo Calle and Kathy Thompson serve up dinner at St. Peter’s.  Bill Bateson, Jennifer Bowman, Bob McNamara, Andy Martin Carlo Calle and Kathy Thompson serve up dinner at St. Peter’s. Gretchen and Ralph Bingham and Bill Heap welcome Dianna and Steve Donat to St. Peter’s United Methodist Church. Gretchen and Ralph Bingham and Bill Heap welcome Dianna and Steve Donat to St. Peter’s United Methodist Church.  Homer Gerken, Joan Robertson, Terry Lothian, Dorothy Gerken, Keith Grim and Dick Strang board the USS St. Peter’s. Homer Gerken, Joan Robertson, Terry Lothian, Dorothy Gerken, Keith Grim and Dick Strang board the USS St. Peter’s.

\Pageant producer Maribeth Neall and Warren Iredell, pageant chairman on behalf of the Exchange Club, welcomed contestants to the scholarship pageant, then choreographer Devon Vanderslice, Miss Ocean City 2013, discussed plans for the American Idol-themed show. Chairwoman Sue Doll introduced contestants to their chaperones for pageant week. Ticket chairwoman Anita Culp encouraged contestants to get their orders in early and Sally Onesty of A’Bella Salon discussed makeup and hairstyles for the pageant. New Exchange Club President Bill Culp arrived during the ice cream social, ducking out of the weekly Exchange dinner at L’s Restaurant early leaving Vice President Mark Cassidy in charge. I caught up with Judi Roseland and Rose Haas checking out the doughnuts made by Cathy Greene at 14th Street Bakery. Eileen Adams is looking forward to her first year as a hostess with the pageant. Best friends, Jane Snyder and Nicole Bachich, had so much fun in the Miss NIV Pageant they decided to try their luck at Miss Ocean City. Miranda Schumacher’s sister, Phoebe, had good memories of competing in the pageant so she decided to join in the fun. Abby Montemurro is the tallest contestant in the pageant and McKayla Perry and Isabella Rose made sure this columnist had the correct spelling of their names.


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