Written by Cathy Finnegan Sunday, March 02, 2014 01:00 am
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Love was in the air when the Ocean City Exchange Club members arrived at the Tuckahoe Inn with their favorite Valentines. Red was certainly the color of the night as most chose outfits to celebrate a night of love.
Sue and Don Doll were color-coordinated in red, Don in a cable knit crewneck sweater and Sue in a knit dress accented with a knit ruffle and white pearls. Kelly Ann Whalen and Denise Gabriel kept rushing by with dinners for guests on the porch. Stu Sirott chaired the dinner and tended to last minute details while members enjoyed the social hour until Stu rang the loud dinner bell and everyone filed into the dining room.
Jim and I joined Mary and Bill Woods, Andrea and Don Paul, Judi and Warren Roseland and Sue and Ozzie Jordan for dinner. Judi and Warren Roseland were looking forward to spending a month in Florida. They plan to drive to Florida with stops in Virginia to visit Judi’s longtime girlfriend and Marietta, Ga. to visit Warren’s Marine buddy. The trip home should be a breeze on the Auto Train.
Mary and Bill Woods hosted a 9th birthday celebration over the weekend for their granddaughter, Eva McKnight. Andrea and Don Paul have a couple of trips planned to Florida to visit family and celebrate birthdays. While Sue Jordan works a couple of days a week at Talbot’s in Central Square, Ozzie enjoys volunteering at Shore Medical Center. Ozzie told me I must read “The First Phone Call from Heaven,” by Mitch Albom.
Linda and Curt Gronert are also headed south and are taking their favorite canine, Willie, along for the ride. Jane and John Lugo flew down to Florida to help daughter Stephanie get settled in her new condo in Viera (near Melbourne). Suzan LaRosa sported a red sweater, but her husband, John, said he forgot they were celebrating Valentine’s Day at the Exchange Dinner Monday night.
David Powell brought his mom, Joy Powell, to the Valentine’s Day dinner. Ed Sheppard, owner of HomeCare Specialists at 12th and West, enjoyed the dinner with Amy Gatto, deputy mayor of Hamilton Township.
Exchange President Warren Iredell took care of a little business then Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Taylor announced the student of the month was Lauren Sutherland, who couldn’t be at the dinner as she was under the weather. Kathleen highlighted Lauren’s extensive accomplishments at Ocean City High School, stating she has a 4.5 GPA and ranked 10th in her senior class. Lauren plans to continue her studies at the University of Pennsylvania or George Washington University in D.C. Lauren’s father, Jeff Sutherland, a member of the Exchange Club, read a letter written by Lauren thanking members for this honor.
Marie Libby gets a double celebration on Valentine’s Day as she was born on Feb. 14, so husband Joe showers her with lots of gifts on this special day. Marie and Joe, who have four children and 14 grandchildren, will be celebrating their 51st wedding anniversary on April 20. Rich Ellerman got into the act when he told me his birthday was Feb. 8. Lillian Ellerman had some nice words for this columnist noting that writing my column and coordinating the pictures is not as easy as it looks. I joked with Dorothy and Homer Gerken about my conversation with Homer earlier in the day thanking them for joining the Stainton Society to benefit Shore Medical Center again this year.
I thought the seafood crepes and prime rib dinners were delicious, but it was the decadent chocolate dessert that was my favorite. However, I refused to eat my husband’s when he placed it in front of me when I finished mine. The ladies received a box of Rauhauser’s chocolates, however Ozzie Jordan kept hiding mine from me.
After dinner, I caught up with Dick Boccelli. This popular drummer, who is turning 90, is headed to Europe to tour with The Comets. Michael Lloyd, Jim Plousis, John McGuigan and Jerry Kanekshy showed up stag for the dinner, but had a good time anyway. Beverly McCall looked cozy and warm in her maroon fox fur coat, while husband Frank didn’t even wear an overcoat over his suit on this cold winter night. The ladies will be back again for another Exchange Club Ladies Night to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.
There was lots of chatter when I walked into the kitchen at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church where the hospitality committee was holding their group cook. Co-chairwomen Darlene Creager and Judi Johnson arrived early to prep for the 9 a.m. start. Janice DeForest and Helen Miller were mixing meatloaf and filling individual baking pans, and then Kathy Thompson placed them in the oven to bake while Joanne Budnick washed dishes.
I chatted with Robin Lewis, who sported “Chef Bill’s” St. Peter’s apron, while Bill Bateson enjoyed coffee with Tom Thompson in the Stainton Room. Robin divides her time between Pennsburg, Pa. and Ocean City, but in anticipation of retirement she and her husband are renovating the kitchen in their Ocean City home. Amanda Hiltner, a 2011 Rowan University graduate, has a job in Phanavision with the Phillies. Joan Robertson and Eleanor Pratt told me not to worry when I mixed up their names as everybody does it.
With the meatloafs cooking in the oven, the ladies headed downstairs to the Fox room for a meeting as Jeff Turner started rehearsing praise band in the Stainton Room. I passed Terry Lothian on the stairs as he headed to a pre-marriage session with a young couple. I sat next to new member Bonnie Roller, who is a substitute teacher in Upper Township. Bonnie and husband Keith have two children, Keith Jr., a graduate student at Rowan, and Jessica, who attends Atlantic Cape.
Gayle Robbins sported a pink necklace from Sun Seekers, a birthday present from Sandra Roberts. Christine Crist arrived during the business meeting then headed back upstairs to the kitchen with the ladies to make macaroni and cheese.
When I stopped in Spinning Wheel Florist around noon on Valentine’s Day, I found Linda and Mark Videtto and Ellie Hughes up to their elbows in roses and other flowers in the back room creating Valentine’s flower arrangements. Colleen Givens, who is engaged to Mark Jr., a computer programmer with UnitedHealthcare, was stationed at the front desk taking last minute orders from anxious gents ordering Valentine’s Day flowers for their favorite ladies.
Kim Rose, information officer across the street at City Hall, came over on her lunch hour to lend her former co-workers at Spinning Wheel a hand on one of their busiest days of the year. Marvin Morrell swept flower scraps off the floors around the work table before heading back out on the road to deliver flowers as soon as they were ready.
Tony Videtto, an analyst at Vanguard, took a few days off to help his parents with deliveries. Jeff Taccarino and Travis Thompson were also out on the road making deliveries. Mark admitted the rush started as early as Monday this year and peaked Thursday and Friday as he estimates they will make over 600 deliveries along with those who stop by and pick up flowers to take to their special ladies. Thanks to Mark Videtto, who presented this columnist with a bouquet of pink tulips for Valentine’s Day to take home and enjoy.