Supporters come out for Susan Sheppard

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It was a beautiful clear fall night when friends of Susan Sheppard gathered on the outside deck at the Deauville Inn for a benefit to support Susan in her bid for Cape May County surrogate.

Susan was at the entrance to greet guests when they arrived, then Aimee Schultz and Cathy Flood slipped white wristbands on everyone’s arm while Mary Ann Nespoli and Joanne Budnick took orders for lawn signs. Linda and Curt Gronert arrived early as Linda had an American Home meeting at 7. Frank Faverzani stopped by with sons Frank Jr. and Mark to enjoy his wife’s benefit. Frank Jr. attends St. Augustine’s Prep and is playing freshman baseball while younger brother Mark is in the fourth grade.

I caught up with Lois Werner and Judy and Phil Kolea sitting at a table enjoying the sunset and light buffet. John Flood owes Marie Hayes a dinner since I showed up at the benefit. CC Barrick was excited about working on the campaign. My husband enjoyed chatting with Frank LoBiondo, Jim Plousis and Gary Schaffer while I talked to Beverly Warner, who recently purchased Ocean Abstract from Joel Mott. Beverly lives in Marmora, her older son is in the military, her daughter is getting her master’s at Rutgers and her younger son is a freshman at OCHS. I met Amy Croce, who is a realtor at Prudential Fox and Roach while husband Joe is with Longport Media, the radio station that broadcasts the St. Peter’s UMC worship service. John Kemenosh misses sitting on council, but now finds time to do lots of volunteer work. Barb and Bart Russell, Brian Broadley, Denise and Gary Jessel and Scott Ping were among the supporters at the benefit.

Jon Batastini is excited about being appointed to the Board of the Ocean City Pops and hopes to shake things up a bit. After almost a week off from work, Leigh Batastini isn’t sure she wants to go back as she has been having fun partying. Darlina and Jim McCormick recalled being at a Halloween party at the Deauville many years ago when my husband did “the worm.” Dave Eisele, who works at Marshall’s in Mays Landing, introduced me to Tom Kitchen, who has lived in Ocean City for 18 years, but commutes to work in Philadelphia. Tom and wife, Tami, are headed for Palm Springs for a vacation.

When I sat down to rest my feet and took off my glass slippers, Glenn Watson stopped to see if I was Cinderella. Tony Wilson took wife, Melissa, to Bermuda to celebrate her 40th birthday and both looked well rested at the party. Tony’s parents, Donna and Leo Wilson, took care of the kids while Tony and Melissa were away. Bill Friend stepped out on the deck to turn off the music when Carol Heenan and Marie Hayes joined Susan Sheppard on the platform to rally the guests and introduce the VIPs at the party.

Frank LoBiondo and Lenny Desiderio also stepped up to say a few words. You couldn’t keep this group quiet for long and everyone was soon partying again. Charlie Bowman had a red face as he had been kiting in the wind on the beach all day. Joan Walker did nothing but eat all day, first it was lunch at The Crab Trap, then dinner at St. Peter’s Terrific Tuesday and now she was at this party. Kristina and Bob Doliszny were beaming as they should be having recently put together the sale of Mia’s Christmas Gallery on the Boardwalk.

Herb Godfrey shared photos of son, Townie, getting his long curly hair cut earlier in the day. After growing his hair for a year, he’s now sporting a crew cut and loving it. I joked with Ronnie Town about trying to call her to report a street light out after the June 30 storm when she was working on getting everyone’s power restored. Ron Denney was excited about being honored at a recent Penn State v. Navy football game. John Walton gave his camera to a friend, so he could get his picture taken with this columnist. Steve Bergman kept losing wife, Karen, who was flitting around talking to everyone at the party. While Barbara Deaney and I discussed the new fall fashions, Rich talked with Jim about the long wait he had getting his car back from Harry Klause. Marlene Sheppard asked for her favorite Marine when I caught up with her talking to Ginnie Berwick. Beth Bowman corralled the ladies then took pictures with my camera. Justin Flood was delighted when Jim and I picked up two lawn signs which meant two less for him to deliver.

The annual Halloween Parade marched down Asbury Avenue on a beautiful warm fall evening with no rain in sight much to the delight of parade chairman Jeff Shirk. Denise Jessel handed out clipboards to Exchangette judges and Andrea Paul and I headed over to pre-judge Division 1 while Eileen Adams and Linda Gronert checked out Division 2. While walking up to the reviewing stand, I stopped while Liz Woods snapped a picture of her mom, Mary, with this columnist. Meanwhile, Bill Woods greeted us when we arrived at the reviewing stand. My husband finally appeared to assist Sharon Capizzi with crowd control and emcee Michael Hartman stepped up to the podium to announce the line of march, often joking with judge Maribeth Neall sitting next to him. The Dramis Marine Detachment led the parade followed by Mayor Jay Gillian and wife Michele; the OCHS band, Pitman Hobo Band, Mainland High School band and the all important costumed children, who were the stars of the evening.

Beauty queens, floats, cheerleaders and dance groups rounded out the line of march along with fire engines with firemen delivering candy to all along the route. Dottie McClain, Suzan LaRosa and Jane Lugo were still deciding the winners in the Float Division as we headed over to the Masonic Temple for refreshments. Stu Sirott, Mike Bloom, John Lugo, John LaRosa and Tom Ulmer were already eating hoagies when we arrived. However, when Ed Price showed up, he put out baskets lined with napkins filled with chips and pretzels. Mark Cassidy took some ribbing as members called him Hopilong, and then David sang “Happy Birthday” to Mark when he told President Frank McCall he forgot his birthday at Monday’s meeting. Jeff Shirk received kudos on another fine job running the Halloween parade as he tried to convince new member, Don McBride he should take it on next year.

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