Doo-wop here to stay at Johnston Senior Center


On a beautiful Saturday evening in June last weekend, the Johnston Senior Center hosted another great dance party.

Classic Blend, the very popular ’50s and ’60s doo-wop group, sang their hearts out with all of their classic songs. More than 150 people danced the night away to songs like “In the Still of the Night,” “Earth Angel,” “Pretty Little Angel Eyes,” “Could This Be Magic” and so many more.

Peter Gonaconte, Tom Falcone, Jack Mento, Ron Iacobucci and Maria Russo are the members of Classic Blend.

“If you haven’t had the opportunity to see them perform you are definitely missing out,” Assistant Director Millie Santilli said. The group performs all over the state and also in Florida during the winter months. Director Anthony Zompa introduced the group and the party began from there.

Center coordinator Denise Bell took charge of enticing people to have their pictures taken at the photo booth that was donated by Lorraine DiLorenzo and Cherry Hill Manor Nursing and Rehab Center.

DiLorenzo was also responsible for donating the decoration, the pizza, calzones and all the very creative donut favors that were given out at the end of the night. Linda Giorgio of Golden Crest Nursing & Rehab Center, which is owned by Paul Pezzeli, was also very generous with a donation of 150 sandwiches and a $100 gift basket.

Vanessa Carnevale and Cedar Crest Nursing & Rehab Center, also owned by the Pezzeli family, provided a gift certificate and soda plus a beautiful raffle basket. Briarcliff Nursing & Rehab Center, owned by big supporter Akshay Talwar, was very generous by donating 150 sandwiches to the center.

“A new sponsor to us was Newport Creamery in Greenville,” Santilli said. “They were very generous and gave us all the cups and ice cream for the root beer floats.”

Zompa graciously greeted everyone as they entered the room that was transformed into a rock ‘n’ roll diner. “This was a great time,” he said. “Millie and Denise did a fantastic job, and we look forward to doing this event again in the future. I would also like to thank the staff and volunteers who worked very hard to make this event a success.”

“I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my partner in crime and right arm, center coordinator Denise Bell,” Santilli said. “Denise was right on top of the event from beginning to end.”

Santilli even had a nickname for herself and Bell.

“We like to call ourselves ‘the dynamic duo,’” she said. “And every time we think we have had the best event ever we are surprised by the next one.”

“We received nothing but good reviews,” Zompa said. “As the band sang their last song and old time favorite ‘Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight,’ people were commenting on what a fantastic show and an all-around great night they had.”

The reviews from attendees were strong as well.

“We haven’t had this much fun since the last event,” said Bob and Eileen Coletta, who attend many of the dances at the JSC.

“When is the next event?” They asked Santilli.

“We’re already working on the September pasta dinner and show,” Santilli replied.

“Save me 12 tickets for September’s dinner and show,” said Chuck Coletta, as he said goodnight.

The Johnston Senior Center is located at 1291 Hartford Ave. in Johnston and membership is $10 per person per year.

“Stop by, become a member, join the JSC family and you will stay forever young,” Bell said.


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