Despite the snow, Rotary’s Fall Fling finally a go

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Christopher and Lacey Thompson, Debbie and Phil Gieseler and Melissa and Tony Wilson enjoy Rotary Fall Fling. Christopher and Lacey Thompson, Debbie and Phil Gieseler and Melissa and Tony Wilson enjoy Rotary Fall Fling.

When Hurricane Sandy forced the Rotary Club of Ocean City-Upper Township to cancel their 17th annual 2012 Fall Fling, the club rescheduled for Jan. 25, only to have a snowstorm predicted for that night.

Fortunately, it was less than an inch, but the roads were slippery. When Jim and I pulled up to the Greate Bay Country Club, which opened up just for this affair, valet parking was booming as everyone wanted to get out under the portico and let the young valets park their cars. Tom Shaiko greeted us when we arrived and recalled being president when Rotary had their first Fall Fling in 1996. He still remembered the article I wrote about the event. Joan Shaiko is still working at Peebles, although I don’t get to see her since I don’t have to deliver my column and pictures to the Gazette, now that I email everything.

Karen and Tom Heist have become world travelers since they retired last year having been to Greece, a cruise to the British Virgin Islands, Vermont, Arizona and Hawaii, to name a few. Neil Crowley told me he was interviewed by a Russian television station last week in Clementon about supermarkets and stores in the US. Neil and Robin are looking forward to a vacation in Aruba.

Holly and Mike Monihan spend lots of time in Manhattan visiting their daughter, Lindsay, and their grandson, Charles, who will be celebrating his first birthday March 5. With son Chris and his wife living in California, they also fly to Newport Beach to visit them. Mary and Wayne Lamson missed getting in a picture and I am sorry I never caught up to them during dinner.

Barbara and Richard Long and Chris and Mary Lou Garrett Foust had a window table in the lounge to check out the snow scene. Mary Lou and Chris recently moved into their new home in Egg Harbor Township that is just seven minutes from their old home. Barbara and Richard are delighted to be back in their home that was flooded out during Hurricane Sandy. Mary Garrett joined this group when she arrived alone as husband, Bob, was under the weather. Mary wore a black and champagne satin, sleeveless dress and stole from Papillion in Linwood. Jim and I caught up with Melissa and Tony Wilson during the social hour. Melissa was going to the Civic Center Saturday morning to watch daughter Julia’s basketball game while Tony was going to work then attend a meeting at the Community Center. I chatted with Albertine Becker and Charles Coyle as we walked in to the dining room for dinner. Albertine is looking forward to several trips to Florida and a trip to Ireland. After sitting on the lap of John Andrews, district governor of South Jersey Rotary Clubs, to take several pictures, John was happy to take my picture for the column. Assistant District Governor Scott Brown wanted to know if I was still walking, as he hadn’t seen me lately. I enjoyed meeting Kimberly Johnson, who has been a Borgata Babe since the casino opened 10 years ago.

Rotary Club President-elect Todd Bower, who chaired the gala, served as master of ceremonies for the evening and thanked the 170 attendees for coming out on this snowy night. Rotary President Phil Gieseler welcomed members and guests and highlighted Rotary’s charitable projects. Della Ostein’s voice was husky as she was getting over a cold when she told us she and husband, Paul, have played Santa and Mrs. Claus for Rotary’s Christmas party for children for years, and Tom Shaw told her she should invest in a sexy Mrs. Claus outfit. So just for Tom, Della removed her coat to reveal a very provocative short red velvet dress with plunging neckline and trimmed in white fur. Ron Grunstra invited all veterans to join him on the dance floor when the Kenny I Orchestra played “God Bless America,” followed by an emotional invocation by Bob Mohr. The Kenny I Orchestra provided the entertainment for the evening and Kenny Ilg stopped by each table during dinner to play requests on his violin. Jim settled for a “Phantom of the Opera” favorite since Kenny promised to play “Devil Went Down to Georgia” with the entire orchestra. Kenny’s daughter, Marie McMenamy, has joined the group as a singer. Jim and I enjoyed the buffet dinner chatting with Phyllis Amendt and Cheryl Seidel, members of the Upper Township Rotary.

Phil Gieseler, who owns Coastal Construction at 841 Central Ave. in Ocean City, bragged about living across the street from Tony Wilson at 28th and Asbury when they were growing up. Kathleen and Bob Dusz have lived all over the U.S., moving from Vineland to Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Sparta in North Jersey and finally Ocean City. Arden Shaw, Patti Gardener and Brenda Maurer didn’t want their picture taken, however Bill Maurer was sorry he missed getting in the picture with Della. Tom Shaw, Richard Gardener and Cork Ostein said Bill was too tall to be in their picture as it would have been off balance. When Barbara and Rich Deaney’s grandchildren reach the age of 13, they take them on a vacation wherever they want to go. This year they have two turning 13 and both chose Costa Rica where they are headed in July. Eva and Ted Lands created all the fancy gift packages in the Chinese auction where guests were busy dropping their tickets in all night. I spotted Ron Grunstra on the dance floor while his wife, Midge, took it easy following her recent foot surgery. Mary Ann and Bill Duffy showed off their fancy footwork on the dance floor. Janet Bossi traded in her golf clubs for dancing shoes as she hit the dance floor frequently. Joe and Astrid Bachich and Susy and Burt Wilkins were also lively and light on their feet.

Jim and I had to leave the party early to finish packing for our 7 a.m. flight to Hawaii the next day, but I promised Todd Bower I would contact him when we got home to find out who won the raffle.

The winners are: $175 to Barbara and Rich Deaney, Dean and Cherisse Skeels, Pat Crocce and Co.; and Ralph Schiavo and Tony Wilson; $500 to Gary and Marie Jose; $750 to Cheryl and Joe McDonough; $1,000 to Nancy Hannum and Dennis Johnson; and $2,500 to John Groom. And the $10,000 grand prize went to Bruce and Janice Engle who were not in attendance, but were delighted to hear of their good fortune via email.

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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