Luncheon 5.31.14

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May 31, 2014 peace4paws presents our benefit luncheon which will include a sumptuous 4 course meal, live music, speakers, prizes and goody bags at Bibi'z Restaurant and Lounge, Westwood, NJ. Please scroll to down to read the full description of the event see the pictures and bios of the talented performers, and generous sponsors. 

And for the first time we will present our special peace4paws award for excellence in volunteerism to Cathy Schmidt and Michael Roemer for their compassion and dedication to beagles and other animals retired from work in research and related fields, and the proud Mom and Dad to beagle Barney!

Join peace4paws on Saturday, May 31 from 12 to 3 pm for our benefit luncheon of fine food, live music, great prizes, goody bags, and more at Bibi’z Restaurant and Lounge, 284 Center Avenue, Westwood, NJ. with much gratitude to Westwood sponsors Westwood Pets and Lewis Drugs!

Bibi’z is known for it’s global American Cuisine, fine organic wines and fabulous martini’s. The luncheon will offer a delicious four course meal with ingredients derived from local organic farms and sustainable fish markets. The menu includes appetizers of hummus, yogurt-mint dip and Spanish ratatouille and pita, followed by Bibi’z special salad, choice of entrée: grilled tilapia, chef’s quiche, grilled chicken kabob, penne alla vodka, or rosemary-mushroom pizza, and lots of scrumptious home-made desserts. There is a special menu for students under 19 that includes salad, chicken tenders, or penna alla vodka, margarita pizza and dessert. 

The afternoon will begin with the music composer- pianist Fred Messner of Woodcliff Lake, NJ. 

There will be three more musical offerings: and opera set with professional opera singers, a musical theatre set with amazing kids and teens, and a Fleetwood Mac set.  

The opera set will include Westwood natives' soprano, Jennifer Cece and bass, Jim Cagle as well as internationally recognized mezzo soprano, Sara Henry.

Back by popular demand will be the talented James Kelso, of Glen Rock, NJ. A professionally trained 8th grader, Kelso will play exciting and beautiful violin music, some of which he has also performed at Carnegie Weill Hall as the first place recipient of a New York City violin concerto competition.

The opera singers Jennifer Cece, Jim Cagle and Sara Henry and violinist James Kelso will be accompanied by the accomplished Christopher Oldfather.

The next set will open with the talents of the sensational 7 year old musical theatre singers Ava and Cora Patelsky of Woodcliff Lake, singing from Les Miz and Disney.  They will be followed by talented tween Jessica Strassberg of Woodcliff Lake and experienced teen singers Sean O’Rourke and  Sara Bayles of Westwood, NJ. 

Fleetwood Mac fans will love the music of Stevie Nicks brought to life by lead by teen guitar-vocalist Julianne Depardieu of Rivervale, NJ and her band which includes Brianna Musco of Montvale, Sean O'Rourke of Westwood and maybe a few others.

As always there will be lots of raffle prizes, a cash 50/50, a greeting by Ray Sette and our favorite animal advocate from out West Mike Stabler.

Then there will be a short award ceremony for a devoted animal advocates Cathy Schmidt and Michael Roemer, both of Montvale, NJ. They are the proud parents of four beagles, including our beloved Barney (who was adopted through a collaboration with the Kindness Ranch) as well as Freegle Puddy. Cathy and Michael have supported animal rescue generously for decades in a multitude of ways including transporting, fostering, and adopting dogs of all ages and attending animal events. They have saved many animals in other ways, too. This past Fall 2013 they flew to Wyoming and drove back our first adoptable beagles Jed and Barney from the Kindness Ranch. Both dogs have very happy homes now and following their example more dogs will be traveling to the East Coast. This is the same Michael Roemer and Cathy Schmidt who have supported for decades the yearly Terri Roemer Paramus Run Scholarship Fundraising event. 

In addition, at Bibi'z on May 31st, peace4paws will present their first silent auction. They will offer a photographic print taken by the world renown photographer Baron Wolman which was donated by Bergen County Camera and Gallery 270.  A vacation stay at Block Island will also be offered. 

Tickets for this event can be purchased online in advance with brown paper tickets ( ) and at Westwood Pets, Watch Out Jewelers and Lewis Drugs of Westwood, NJ.  

50/50 tickets can be purchased from various peace4paws volunteers or at Westwood Pets, Lewis Drugs and Watch Out Jewelers of Westwood but not online.

Peace4paws, is a Northern New Jersey based 501 c 3 animal advocacy charity that focuses on raising awareness and funds for the animals retired from work in research and related fields. All proceeds go to support the peace4paws foster-adoption program for the many sweet and wonderful beagles and other dogs peace4paws will be fostering, nurturing, training and rehoming this year.

Peace4paws is very grateful to our sponsors Lewis Drugs, Westwood Pets and Peter Rabcevics Multimedia. 

Classical Performers - 12:30 to 1:15 pm

Jennifer Cece Bellon

Jennifer Cece Bellon, lyric colatura soprano, recently performed Musetta in La Boheme, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro at Grace Episcopal Nyack and Westwood, NJ with the Palisades Opera. In NYC she performed Blonchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito,  Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the New York Opera Forum, New York, New York and in a concert reading Cleopatra in Julius Caesare .  Later this year she will perform Semiramide in Semiramide also with the New York Opera Forum. Also, of note are performances in the Mostly Mozart Festival Lincoln Center with Pro-Arte Chorale , in Rapunzel as Rapunzel at the Paper Mill Playhouse, and regular solo performances with Rockland Symphony Orchestra, North Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey. Jennifer is a teacher of Somatic Voicework™ in Westwood, NJ, Her students Sean O'Rourke, Sara Bayles, and Julianne Depardieu will also be performing at the Benefit Luncheon. Member NYSTA and NATS.

Sarah Henry

Hailed by the Jerusalem Post as "A Magnificent Dramatic Voice" versatile mezzo-soprano Sara Henry has sung leading and supporting roles in more than 30 operas, and has been seen in concert throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. Ms. Henry began her formal vocal studies at La Scuola di Musico di Sesto in Florence, Italy, and later went on to graduate from Sarah Lawrence College, where she made her debut as the alto soloist in Bach's Weinachts Oratorio, under the baton of Grammy winning composer, George Tsontakis. Highlights of her career have included the roles of Semiramide (Semiramide), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Diana (La Calisto), Adalgisa (Norma), Giovanna Seymour (Anna Bolena), Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) Xerxes (Xerxes) and the title role in Carmen, as well as a trio of Handelian heroes: Ariodante (Ariodante), Ruggiero (Alcina), and Arsamene (Serse). Ms. Henry also had the honor of portraying the dual roles of Azelia and Claire in the Canadian premiere of William Grant Still's seldom performed opera, Troubled Island.

Jim Cagle 

Bass-baritone Jim Cagle is a resident of Westwood as well as a native Oklahoman. Jim has performed several roles with Palisades Opera including Benoit and Alcindoro in La Boheme, Masetto in Don Giovanni and Bartolo in Le nozze de Figaro. Earlier this year Jim performed in Andrea Chenier and, this summer, will be performing the role of Osmin in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail with the New York Opera Forum in NYC. 

James Kelso, violinist

James Kelso began studying the violin at age 6 at Thurnauer School of Music. He has performed throughout the East Coast including Bryant Park, Central Park, Bergen PAC, the Jewish History Museum, Waterville Valley, and Disney World.  Benefit concerts include “Sending Our Love to Haiti” which raised over $100,000 for earthquake relief, and “Vana Ve Afrika” to benefit orphaned children in Swaziland.  James has won several NYC concerto competitions performing as a soloist at Carnegie Weill Hall three times. Kelso also performs with the Glen Rock Middle School Strings Group, and the Glen Rock High School Chamber Group.  He currently studies privately with Ahyoung Julia Choi, assistant faculty, The Juilliard School of Music Pre-College.

Christopher Oldfather

One of New York’s most gifted, trusted, respected, often-requested, and well-liked pianists, Christopher Oldfather has devoted himself to the performance of twentieth-century music for more than thirty years.He has been a member of Boston’s Collage New Music since 1979, New York City’s Parnassus since 1997, appears regularly in Chicago, and as a collaborator has joined singers and instrumentalists of all kinds in recitals throughout the United States. His work has taken him as far afield as Moscow and Tokyo, and he has worked on every sort of keyboard ever made, including, of all things, the Chromelodeon. He is widely known for his expertise on the harpsichord, and is one of the leading interpreters of twentieth century works for that instrument. As a soloist he has appeared with the MET Chamber Players, the San Francisco Symphony, and Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt, Germany.  His recording of Elliott Carter's violin-piano Duo with Robert Mann was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 1990. Recently he has collaborated with the conductor Robert Craft, and can be heard on several of his recordings.


(photo Brett Patelsky) 

Cora and Ava Patelsky
Ava and Cora Patelsky, 7 year old twins, of Woodcliff Lake, NJ, are very excited to be singing at the peace4paws benefit!  As students of Jennifer Cece, they performed their first vocal recital in June 2013 and have been singing non-stop ever since. In addition, they performed in two Anita Ehrler’s Dance Extensions Hip-Hop recitals and as Level 3 Stars Gymnasts at Aeon Gymnastics Club, they participated in three year-end shows.  Previously, they completed Ready, Set, ACT! and Broadway Junior acting/singing courses at New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts.  They also have appeared in several short films.  They will be singing The Star Spangled Banner at the Cooperstown All Star Village Baseball Tournament in June 14th and performing at the Westwood Sidewalk Sale, June 28th, as well.  When they are not entertaining they enjoy soccer, basketball, softball and playing with their friends.  The girls also love cheering for their big brother Luke at his baseball and basketball games, spending time with their family and cuddling with their miniature Yorkshire Terrier dog, Cozmo. 

Photo: Rachel Katic

 Julianne Depardieu 

Julianne Depardieu, seventeen, is a senior at Northern Valley Old Tappan High school.  She has been studying voice with Jennifer Cece for three years and guitar with Vinnie Musco for four years. She has performed in several voice recitals and talent shows. Currently, she is a singer and guitar player for the high school band Scarlet 201, whose members include Sean O’Rourke, Brianna Musco, Tommy Readie, Shreenath Bhanderi, and Chris Murphy. Her greatest musical influence has always been Stevie Nicks, whom she admires for her songwriting, vocal sound, and charisma. In the fall, Julianne will pursue an engineering management degree at Stevens Institute of Technology with an intended minor in music.

Fred Messner, pianist

Fred Messner is a professional pianist, piano teacher and composer.  Fred has performed on piano at nearby venues throughout Bergen and Rockland counties and also at other venues as far-flung as the Eqinox, a classy New England inn in Manchester Vermont…and Stompen, a jazz club in Stockholm, Sweden. Fred has also had a long, successful career as a piano teacher.  He currently teaches about two-dozen students ranging in age from six to 64. In his composing mode, Fred is both a songwriter and a composer of classical works.  His pop songs have been played on radio and TV.  His classical trio, “Eine Kleine Abendmusik,” was recorded by the flute-clarinet-piano trio Palisades Virtuosi on Albany Records and received glowing reviews.  A recent piece, “More of Less Merengue,” was performed live by the Palisades Virtuosi at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall last November.

Photo: Rachel Katic

Sean O'Rourke, tenor 

Sean O'Rourke is a junior at Westwood Regional JR/SR high school and is so excited to be a part of this performance. In his free time, Sean enjoys acting, singing in his choir and school musical productions, playing guitar, and jamming with his band mates. He would like to thank his parents for being so supportive of his many passions and would also like to thank Jennifer for guiding him every step of the way through his music career. Enjoy everyone!

Sara Bayles, mezzo soprano

Is a sophomore at Westwood High School. She has been in a total of 41 plays and musicals. Her favorite roles include Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and Serena in Legally Blonde. She has been studying with Jennifer Cece since June of last year. And of course, she loves all animals.

Shreenath Bhanderi

Shreenath Bhanderi, seventeen, is a senior at Northern Valley Old Tappan High school. He has been studying guitar with Jason DeGeorge at Westwood Music Studios for four years.  Currently, he is guitar player for the high school band Peanut Butter and the Reeboks and a bass player for the highschool band Scarlet 201, whose members include Sean O’Rourke, Brianna Musco, Tommy Readie, Shreenath Bhanderi, and Chris Murphy. In the fall, Shreenath will pursue a Computer Science Degree at Tufts University.

Brianna Musco

Brianna Musco, eighteen, is a senior at Pascack Hills High school. She has been studying voice with Jennifer Cece for a few weeks and guitar with Vinnie Musco since she was 7 years old. She has performed in several guitar recitals and talent shows. Currently, she is a singer and guitar player for the high school band Scarlet 201, whose members include Sean O’Rourke, Brianna Musco, Tommy Readie, Shreenath Bhanderi, and Chris Murphy. Her greatest musical influence has always been Stevie Nicks, whom she admires for her songwriting, vocal sound, and charisma. In the fall, Brianna will pursue music at Monmouth University.

And the people we are honoring that evening will be Cathy and Michael Schmidt. Pictured below was taken during thier trip to the Kindness Ranch where they brought back Jed and Barney. 

Hope to see you there!