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Friends catch up at Garden Club luncheon

Exchange Club President Frank McCall installs Linda Gronert, president of Exchangettes, while Denise Jessel passes her the gavel and Vice President Jane Lugo, treasurer Dottie McClain and proud husband Curt Gronert look on. Exchange Club President Frank McCall installs Linda Gronert, president of Exchangettes, while Denise Jessel passes her the gavel and Vice President Jane Lugo, treasurer Dottie McClain and proud husband Curt Gronert look on.

It was a warm sunny day when members of the Garden Club gathered at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church for their monthly luncheon meeting. Lorraine Scott greeted me at the door. When I admired her pin with garden charms, she told me she got it at a craft show. When I got a tap on the shoulder and turned around, I recognized the lady, but couldn’t come up with her name.

It was Carol Dotts, who my husband and I enjoyed being with on our recent trip to Quantico with Ron Denney in October. Carol and her husband are looking forward to Ron’s next trip, hopefully to Normandy. President of the Garden Club Carolyn Lothian is sporting a new hairstyle with bangs. Carolyn introduced me to their guest speaker, Ann Cinquina, a Master Gardner, who got her degree from Rutgers in 2005 and is a past president of the Northfield Garden Club. Mary Kosak recently returned from two weeks in Colorado where they had no snow and she enjoyed the holidays with her son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. Denise Lindsay had dinner with eight of her lady friends on Christmas Day at Gregory’s where they said they had a delightful time. Dot Johnson is looking forward to going to Florida for the winter. Cheryl Kelchner and Angel Smith are co-vice presidents of the club and line up the programs for each month, as well as plan trips for the club. In October, they journeyed to Jalma Farms, known for their beach plum jelly, on Route 9 just outside of Sea Isle City. Their November trip was canceled due to Sandy, however they enjoyed a Christmas luncheon at Smithville Inn.

Dot Turner and I admired Mary Geraghty’s light blue sweater with a hand-painted kitty face on the front. Joanne Romano has enjoyed spending time in Ocean City since ’92, but last June retired here. Joanne was a school district administrator and has just created a website for the Ocean City Garden Club. Joan Ferko, who is heading for Bonita Springs this winter, recently completed the windows at Sea Oats that is now open after completing renovations from storm damage. Kathy Wheatcroft and her husband, Jim, worked for Conrail for 25 years and after retiring three years ago moved from Marlton to Ocean City and couldn’t be happier. Kathy is busy planning the Garden Club’s trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show. Thanks to Jeanne Robinson,who saved a seat for me at her table and made sure I got a piece of cake for dessert. I enjoyed meeting the newest member of the Garden Club, Barbara Welden. Edith Himmelberger and Mary Zuccarini drove over from the Shores at Wesley Manor for the luncheon. Mary is a charter member of the Garden Club since its inception in 1974. Georgi Herninko and Rissa Trofa were in charge of refreshments and set out a sumptuous array of desserts on the table amongst cute snowmen. Georgi, who sported a turquoise flower pin, told me she and her husband purchased a condo at Ocean Reef 15 years ago, but now that they have seven grandchildren have outgrown their retreat and had to find larger accommodations.

Glad to see Joanne Parcels, who is doing great and heading for Florida this winter. Marge Roth spent Christmas in Florida at her daughter’s home and she and husband, Bob, are going back again this winter. Football has a 2-minute warning, but Carolyn Lothian gave a 5-minute warning until the start of the business meeting. Meanwhile, Mary Hughes and her husband, Warren, both avid golfers, are heading for Hilton Head. Anita DeSantis had a wonderful Christmas when all four of her daughters and five grandchildren got together in Pennsylvania for the holidays. Barbara Weber and Joan Shaw arrived too late to get their picture taken, but I enjoyed catching up on the latest with Joan who reports her mom, Hope Shaw, is celebrating her 92nd birthday Feb. 5. Although Colleen Snodgrass, doesn’t want snow she sported great snowflake earrings and matching pin on her sweater. Members of the Garden Club are busy preparing for the annual Garden Show on the Music Pier May 31-June 2, with this year’s theme “Ocean City Flower Show Goes to the Movies.”

Marion and Ned McCaughey opened their spacious party house in the Esperanza development of Upper Township to host the Exchangette installation dinner. When Jim and I passed a car that looked lost a block for the McCaughey’s, we noticed the car followed us to our destination. Frank and Beverly McCall were in the vehicle and thanked Jim for the police escort in his new white Yukon with RED FIN vanity plate. Curt Gronert looked like the butler in his dark suit and tie when he opened the door and gave us a big welcome. The party was in full swing as guests congregated in the large foyer to enjoy the social hour although I spotted Warren Roseland and Dean Adams in comfy seats in front of the television in the living room watching the football game. Alice Wolf was in the kitchen assisting our hosts setting out the covered dishes as they arrived. Joyce Trofa is excited about becoming a great grandmother as grandson, Nick Gabriel and his wife, Katie (Nell) are expecting their first child June 24. Dottie McClain reports her son, Paul Hoster’swedding on Nov. 3at Sea Oaks Golf Club in Little Egg Harbor Township to Ashley Peters was perfect. Of course, there was much angst leading up to this day that was just five days after Hurricane Sandy. It took several rings of the dinner bell to quiet down this group for the installation ceremony. Installing officer, Exchange President Frank McCall invited all Exchange members present to join him as he installed Linda Gronert as the new Exchangette president with Linda’s husband, Curt, holding the family Bible and outgoing President Denise Jessel passing the gavel to Linda.

Shortly after being sworn in as president, Linda had members signed up to host dinner meetings for her entire year while treasurer Dottie McClain collected dues. Suzan LaRosa received rave reviews on her red sweater while Maribeth Neall sported Suzan’s favorite color, turquoise. Peggy Doyle gave me more packing pointers for our upcoming trip to Hawaii and warned me not to take too many clothes. Sue and Don Doll are looking forward to their vacation in Florida while Suzan and John LaRosa are contemplating a cruise on the high seas. Judi and Warren Roseland are off on another cruise with Don Williams and promised to remember their passports this time around. Mary and Bill Woods were excited about their winter retreat at Sky Top in the Poconos with daughter Liz and granddaughter Eva. John Lugo told me the Rainbow Fishing Club had a great time at their dinner Saturday night. Always a fashionista, Carol Heenan wore a red and black wool jacket accented with a black patent leather belt. As guests headed home, Ned McCaughey had all the covered dishes cleaned and lined up on the counter waiting for Marion to distribute to their rightful owners.

Around Our Town with Cathy Finnegan Around Our Town with Cathy Finnegan

Around Our Town with Cathy Finnegan Around Our Town with Cathy Finnegan

Around Our Town with Cathy Finnegan Around Our Town with Cathy Finnegan

Around Our Town with Cathy Finnegan Around Our Town with Cathy Finnegan

Around Our Town with Cathy Finnegan Around Our Town with Cathy Finnegan

Around Our Town with Cathy Finnegan Around Our Town with Cathy Finnegan

Around Our Town with Cathy Finnegan Around Our Town with Cathy Finnegan


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