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People On The Move - Donna Stefano
06/27/2010 - By Tobi D. Tesoriero

People On The Move - Donna Stefano


In her role as Mrs. Monmouth, Donna Stefano represents Colts Neck and most of the other 236 towns in Monmouth County. A lot for a busy mother of three to cover! But Donna seems indefatigable.

She wears the mommy hat in regards to her three daughters that range in age from 33 to 14. Her eldest, Jamie Esposito, was recently married. Laura, her middle daughter, is 17 and Cheyenne at age 14 is her youngest. Add to that her dual careers as both  a realtor and an interior designer. Donna not only does home staging and plans out projects but she actually rolls up her sleeves and gets on the scaffolds and does custom and faux painting! She and her husband are also involved in construction renovation projects.

n the midst of all this she also is trying to raise awareness for her organization, called PICK (Parents in Connection for Kids). This cause is what prompted her to re-enter the world of pageants. As the say, if you want something done give it to a busy  person. Donna is one of those people getting things done!

When one thinks of pageants, glitter, glamor and high heels come to mind. But Donna says that pageants are much more than that. Pageants are a wonderful vehicle for getting the word out for someone’s cause. In 1992 Donna was also in the Mrs. New  Jersey pageant. It was then that she realized that involvement in high profile activities gives an individual great exposure. Thus Donna is now is taking the opportunity to increase awareness of PICK.

The main focus of PICK is about substance abuse awareness. Donna chose to call it PICK because those who get involved in changing choose or “pick” that option for working towards a healthier life. She hopes to bring help and hope for families  through education and awareness. She wants parents to be aware of behavioral changes in their children and who they are spending time with. She wants people to be informed on the resources and options available. PICK means you have a choice with  alcohol and drug abuse.

She has seen people scramble around and feel helpless because of drugs and alcohol. She uses the name of her group as a vehicle to empower others – they PICK.

While not being specific, Donna shared she was touched personally by the trauma of substance abuse and watched the horrors of addiction. She saw how people scramble and try to get the answers. She said there are so many issues to deal with.

For instance, some insurance companies only cover rehab for five days! Then there are disreputable pawnshops. Many do not follow the rules. They are supposed to log in items, wait three days and they do not always do this. Also, if they see the  same person bringing in goods over and over again it should signal that something is wrong and they should react.

Donna continued, illustrating the magnitude of the problem by saying that underage drinking alone translates into 58 billion dollars in costs. Those range from rehab to jail to injuries. She noted that 40% of teens that drink at 13 develop an alcohol  dependency later in life. A lot of teens say they got it in friends’ homes. It doesn’t matter if you are poor or rich - this problem touches all.

PICK is in its beginning stages. Donna has a page on Facebook - “Parents Connecting for their Kids” - where she already has over 300 members. On the page there are a lot of resources posted. All the members of the virtual community share  information.

On a lighter note, Donna discussed the fun of the pageant. She said there is no talent segment as the organization feels being a mother, working, and volunteering is talent enough! There is an evening gown competition, swimsuit competition, interview,  and beauty and poise portion. For entertainment, all contestants perform a dance routine together. The winner of Mrs. New Jersey then goes on to compete in Mrs. America and the winner of that goes to compete in Mrs. World.

If anyone is interested in learning more about PICK please visit its Facebook page and for more information, including how to enter, on the Mrs. New Jersey pageant visit their website at www.mrsnewjerseyamerica.com.


Due Amici, Brielle

The Rolling Stones

“Gone with the Wind”

I can’t stand hanging messy looking wires’ for instance behind a flat screen TV or draped and tangled on the floor. They need to be tucked away!

Donald Trump, Mick Jagger, and my mom, who passed away from cancer last year.


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