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The Ocean City Community Center Association held an End of Summer Gala recently at Café Luciano. Board members Laurie Howie, Karen Pratz, Cricket Frank and Fred Marcell welcomed guests and made sure they purchased lots of 50/50 raffle tickets while Ken Cooper, sporting his shorts, circulated around the room chatting with everyone.
When I caught up with Community Center Association Chairman Drew Fasy he told me what they have been able to accomplish with their fundraising endeavors. They purchased a piano for the arts center, a timing system for the aquatic center pool, a photo archiving system for the museum and are working on getting an audio tour system for the museum that will be recorded by docents who usually give the tours. They worked with Community Arts Projects on the “Joy” sculpture in front of the center and provide swimming lessons for underprivileged children. Gail Ping and daughter Jen arrived early to get good seats. John Shirk introduced me to Renee and Jack Krutsick, who have lived in Ocean City 20 years, and their son, Jake, graduated No. 1 in the Ocean City High School Class of 2011 with the highest grade point average ever. Marion Talese accompanied Peggy Lloyd to the benefit. Peggy, who celebrated here 99th birthday Sept. 10, was honored by the Ocean City Community Center Association for her generous donations over the years to the center and was presented with a bouquet of flowers. Joe Ney made sure I got a picture of Peggy.
Dick Waddell enjoyed the benefit while wife Nancy was working at the library. Dick is an avid volunteer, who works at the food cupboard and dog park and serves on the zoning board. Jane Farina is headed to Hilton Head for a two-week vacation. John Petrycki recalled the time he and his wife flew to St. Lucia on the same plane with Jim and I a few years ago. John plans to rent a villa in Tuscany for his family this winter to celebrate his brother’s and cousin’s 70th birthdays.
Eleanor Eason enjoyed the Ocean City Yacht Club’s bus trip to NYC to see “Evita.” Lisa Rumer, who is the program coordinator at the Aquatic & Fitness Center, enjoyed the gala with mom Pam Rumer, who looks more like her sister and who has been making women beautiful for the past 38 years at Cerruti’s Beauty Salon.
It was nice to see Pam Horn, Peggy Momyer, Tara Booth and Tiffany Katsiff enjoying a night out and away from Ocean Pharmacy. Tiffany reports she and husband Brett celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary on Sept. 18. Peggy introduced me to her brother, Keith MacEwan from Somers Point, and sister and brother-in-law Kelly and Robert Oliver from Egg Harbor Township, who came over to support the community center. Linda Gronert, Pat Smith, Diane Van Stone, Barbara Keen and Peg Cole all enjoy working out at the fitness center and they were on hand at the gala with their husbands, Curt Gronert, Jim Smith, John Van Stone, Reynolds Keen and Steve Cole. Linda and Curt have been busy coordinating the Exchange Club’s Quantico trip with Ron Denney. The Van Stones are delighted their new home is coming along on schedule with an April move-in date. Beverly and Frank McCall got the last seats at the bar when they arrived.
Jeff Shirk is busy working on the Halloween parade while wife Jennifer is finishing up her fifth book, another mystery. Herb Godfrey, Margaret Gallagher, Charlene and Bruce Twiggs and Teric and Clarise Stell biked over the Ocean Drive bridge to the benefit. Teric told me his parents wanted to name him Eric, but all their children’s names started with “T.” Bruce will have 25 years on the Ocean City Police Department in February when he plans to retire. Margaret celebrated her 45th birthday at the benefit. Kate and Pat Logue had to wait to get in the front door when I had it blocked taking pictures. Laurie Howie looked like one of the girls on “The Price is Right” when she carried around a large sign stating the 50/50 was closing in a few minutes. I enjoyed chatting with Jen and Mike DeVlieger as we filled our platters at the buffet then I caught up with Tom Heist whose son, Tuck, and daughter, Rachael, are away at college while son Christian is still in high school. When I sat down to talk with board member Bill Schumacher, he told me he has been at emergency room doctor at Shore Medical Center since 1999 while his wife, Beth, is a physical and massage therapist at Compass Massage on Eighth Street. Christine and Paul Leonetti and Beth and Bill Schumacher also biked to the benefit, but had to come from the south end of the island, so had a lot farther to go than the northend bikers. Paul, who has been a male nurse for 25 years, just got a new 2012 gray Honda Civic from Harry Klause. Christine teaches third and fourth grades in Green Bank. Sandy and Tom Aromando invited me to the Fright Night Halloween party at The Flanders. Barbara and Rich Deaney enjoyed a trip to Alaska with a couple of their grandchildren this summer and are contemplating renting a place in Hawaii this winter.
While Bob Garrett and Lloyd Hayes discussed hot topics, Marie Hayes, Hazel Kavle, Mary Garrett and Leigh Batastini talked about everything from politics to movies and fashion. Everyone loves Cathy Flood’s new hairstyle. John Flood was pleased when I didn’t try to take his picture. Susan Sheppard made Café Luciano one of her stops Friday night. Phyllis and Jerry Bonner spent most of the evening table hopping. I stopped to chat with Anita and Billy Culp, Warren Iredell, Ed Price, Beverly Denney and Nicole Presnall having a late dinner at the bar. Jon Batastini looked like a politician as he made his way around the room talking to everyone all night. I stopped to chat with Carrie Merritt near the entrance as I bid everyone a fond farewell and headed back over the bridge to Ocean City as it had been a long week and an even longer day and my feet hurt after standing on them all night.