PHOTO: Helen Marchetti celebrates with friends at her 90th birthday party. Photo courtesy Tracey Abby-White.
ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – In her typical fashion and with her usual flair, former Mayor Helen Marchetti threw a party for herself at the Shore Casino Sunday to celebrate her 90th birthday.
“I had to limit the guests to about 200 people,” the highly popular and effervescent former mayor said, “I hated to do it but I had to stop some place.”
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Marchetti, in greeting her guests and thanking them for attending to celebrate her birthday, also told a cheering crowd, “Just so you know, I’ve already started planning for my 95th birthday. And you’re all invited!”
Resplendent in a black shimmery dress, her hair in its usual well-coifed style, was at her peak in greeting the guests, who ranged from four generations of relatives to politicians to friends from the many organizations in which she has been, and is still active in the borough. The former mayor is a member of the Harbor Commission, a volunteer at the local food bank, and an active member of many other organizations, including the Yacht Club, Lions Club and fire department auxiliary.
Born and raised in the borough, and still living in the same house where she and her late brother were raised by their parents, Marchetti paid tribute at her party to both her brother and her late husband, Peter Marchetti, noting they, too, would have ”loved the party and seeing all you people here.” She also thanked Bernie and Kathleen Sweeney, owners of the Shore Casino “for always making every occasion at the Casino something very special.”
Music for dancing and entertainment was provided by Ken and Joe of the former BoKenJo trio that was a popular attraction at the Casino for decades when it was open for a la carte dining and weekend dancing and entertainment, and Barbara King, soloist and keyboard entertainer who also performed at the Shore Casino and continues to be active on the musical circuit.