Ocean City played host to the Mr. Mature America Pageant on March 22, and the first-time event raised $2,000 for charity.
Event organizers donated $1,000 apiece to the Ocean City Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard and to the Philippine Reconstruction Fund in a check-passing ceremony on Tuesday (May 6).
Deputy Consul Zaldy Patron from the Philippine Consul General’s Office in New York accepted the check on behalf of the Philippines, which were devastated by a 2013 typhoon.
In a show of international good will and shared marketing, Ocean City and San Jose Occidental Mindoro became “sister cities” five years ago. The partnership includes an annual Philippine Trade Exhibition every summer.
Dottie Cianci accepted the donation on behalf of the local Food Cupboard.
The Mr. Mature America Pageant is a tribute to the “accomplishments, talents and relevance of men 60 and over,” in the words of Ocean City’s 81-year-old public relations director, Mark Soifer, who was the mastermind of an event billed as the first of its kind in the world.
With a paid attendance of more than 300 and generous sponsors (including the Flanders Hotel, Dietz & Watson, Schoppy Trophy, the Ocean City Tourism Development Commission, Boardwalk and Downtown Merchants and others), the event was able to cover costs and donate the rest to the two charities.
On Tuesday, Soifer thanked the team that helped put the show together — particularly his assistant, Ray Esterlund, and Maribeth Neall and Kristie Fenton, who put the production together.
The event is expected to return for its second year in March. Read more and see video on the first pageant: New Mr. Mature America Pageant a Hit and a Hoot in Ocean City.