Doo Wop Annual Awards 2006

The Doo Wop Preservation League held its annual awards meeting at the Shalimar Motel in Wildwood Crest from 6 pm to 9 pm on Monday, May 22, 2006. Community leaders and business owners who made significant contributions to the league's work and to Doo Wop themed development in the Wildwoods By-the-Sea were recognized.

Lester Katsanis, Maria & Aldo Tenaglia

Chairpersons Mary Fox and Maria Tenaglia invited all Doo Wop Preservation League supporters and their spouses, and all members of the community who support or want to know more about the League's work, to attend the meeting and buffet. In additional to celebrating the League's many successes this year, Shalimar owners Maria and Aldo Tanaglia, hosted a champagne buffet and open house so League members, the media and the community can see the beautifully renovated and expanded Doo Wop style Shalimar Motel.

Awards were presented for expanded and enhanced Doo Wop buildings, new signs, legislative and political contributions, and Doo Wop events. Doo Wop heroes were recognized for services to the community and the growing Doo Wop movement.

A new award, the First Annual Steve Izenour Award was presented this year to the person who best represents the goals and values of that nationally known architect who is credited with being the driving force of Doo Wop. Mr. Izenour gave the community an appreciation for the unique and architecturally significant mid-century Doo Wop properties and the Wildwoods lifestyle while working and visiting the Wildwoods By-the-Sea

Much was accomplished in the past year so the list of 2006 Doo Wop award winners is long.

1st Annual Steve Izenour Award

Richard Stokes & Jack Morey

Doo Wop Preservation League co-founder Jack Morey received the Steve Izenour Award which is presented to the organization or person who "Turned Up The Volume" to bring the unique Doo Wop architecture and Wildwoods By-the-Sea lifestyle to the forefront of American consciousness. The award was presented by Richard Stokes, AIA, the architect who designed notable buildings including the Starlux Hotel and Shalimar Motel. Richard studied and worked with Mr. Izenour while employed by the firm of Venturi Scott Brown, a firm noted for theme based resort design in resorts across the country.

Doo Wop Restoration

The Shalimar Motel and received the Doo Wop Restoration Award for the beautiful restoration and two floor expansion done at the Shalimar Motel in Wildwood Crest. The building is entirely modernized inside with Doo Wop period furnishings. The Shalimar is a model for other Doo Wop properties that want to upgrade and expand while retaining their increasingly famous Doo Wop designs. The award was presented by Lester Katsanis, owner of the beautifully redesigned and rebuilt Pink Cadillac Diner that received the 2005 Doo Wop Restoration Award.

Doo Wop Retro Award

The Doo Wop Retro award went Wildwood's neo-Doo Wop Harley Davidson dealership and owner Joe Macrino. This property has been featured in magazines and newspapers up and down the east coast as an example for new buildings that continue the Doo Wop theme that differentiates the Wildwoods from the look-alike resorts along the east coast. The award was presented by Sheila Brown, owner of 2005 award winning "Summer Nites," the very popular 50s theme bed and breakfast in North Wildwood.

Best New Doo Wop Sign

The Best New Sign Award went to the American Safari Motel and motel owner Adam Pipitone. Riders of the Doo Wop summer trolley comment on the brightly painted property on every tour all summer long and now they have this great new sign to admire also. The award was presented by "Mr. Wildwoods Signs"--Randy Hentges--owner of ABS Signs. ABS designed neon signs have been the subject of recent articles in newspapers and magazines nationwide. Neon, like the plastic palms, is a distinguishing feature for which the Wildwoods By-the-Sea is famous.

Best Doo Wop Sign Restoration

Laura's Fudge received the award for the Best Doo Wop Sign Restoration. The award was presented by "Mr. Wildwoods, Sr."--Bob Hentges. Bob built the original Laura's Fudge signs and many of the other widely admired neon signs acclaimed for color and design in publications like Smithsonian Magazine and American Profile Magazine. The Laura's Fudge sign was the subject of a full color article in Gateway Magazine earlier this year.

Doo Wop Hero Awards

Doo Wop Hero Awards are presented to residents and business owners who make significant contributions to the special Wildwood By-the-Sea heritage celebrated by the Doo Wop movement.

This year's award winners include Crest Savings Bank for their continuing support of Doo Wop activities and the community including, most recently, their funding for the Doo Wop summer trolley tours and many other projects sponsored by the League. They were also recognized for including the traditional "By-the-Sea" name in their new Pacific Avenue sign. The award was presented to Crest Savings by Doo Wop Preservation League President Dan MacElrevey who thanked Crest Savings Bank President Jay Ford for supporting so many community activities. "Crest Savings is a great example of community banking at its best," Dan noted while presenting the award.

Mayor Ernie Troiano & Betty Fox

Mrs. Betty Fox received a Doo Wop Hero for providing the land where the new Doo Wop museum will be built. The Surfside Museum is being rebuilt in Fox Park to house the museum as well as the Wildwoods band shell.

Mayor Ernie Troiano expressed the community's appreciation for all the Fox family contributions to the community over the years including this museum site directly across Ocean Avenue from the new Greater Wildwoods Convention Center. While presenting the award, Mayor Troiano said," Wildwood is a special place because of people like the Fox family." Mayor Troiano also presented a Doo Wop Hero award to Lou Ferrara who drove the funding and approvals for the project. When completed, the museum will provide rotating exhibits celebrating the best of the Wildwoods By-the-Sea Doo Wop signs, architecture, furnishings, clothing and lifestyle over the past half century. There will also be an exciting neon sign garden lining the street with many of the famous Wildwoods' signs. Mayor Troiano commented on all the work done by Lou over the past few years to make the Wildwoods a better place to live and work.

Tom Byrne

The Byrne Family and Byrne Fund also received a Doo Wop heroes award from Mayor Troiano for their very significant financial support of the Surfside/Doo Wop Museum and Bandshell. Mayor Troiano told the more than one hundred attendees about the substantial philanthropic support from the Byrne family for so many community activities and projects including the museum, school activities and their latest contribution of a million dollars to the new Wildwood Recreation Center. Tom Byrne received the award for his family and thanked both the mayor and the Doo Wop Preservation for their services to the community.

Coastal Broadcasting station WILW (there is no "D" in Wil'woods" received a Doo Wop Heroes Award for all their support of Doo Wop events and lifestyle as the "Official Voice of the Doo Wop Capital of the World." Coastal Broadcasting publicizes all the community events as a public service and the WILW format publicizes the role of the Wildwoods as the Doo Wop Capital of the World and birthplace of Rock and Roll. League president Dan MacElrevey presented the award to Rick Rock on behalf of WILW and thanked the station for all their support.

Carolyn Travis received a Doo Wop Heroes Award for the celebrated documentary "Wildwood Days" DVD that has won film festival awards all over the east coast. Thanks to Carolyn, PBS viewers in almost every major east coast city have seen the Wildwood story. The documentary sold the most copies in history for a single night when it was introduced on PBS. Carolyn has supported the League's activities by providing copies of the DVD at cost for sale on the Doo Wop Preservation League Website store (www.doowopusa.org) and she is an avid supporter of the resort's tourism community and history based tourism. Like millions of others, Carolyn spent summers in the Wildwoods. She tells everyone her documentary was a "labor of love."

Dan Espy & Kirk Hastings

Dan Espy, producer of the DVD "Doo Wop Motels of the Wildwoods" received a Doo Wop Heroes Award for his fascinating new documentary about the resort's unique motel properties. The DVD was produced with support from Wildwood Crest Historic Society president Kirk Hastings. Kirk is also writing a book on the same subject that will be published as a full color history of these properties in the near future Dan Espy's DVD tells America about the much loved Doo Wop motel area that was recognized this month by the National Trust as one of America's Eleven Most Endangered Sites.

The Borough of Wildwood Crest received a Doo Wop Heroes Award for recent amendments in the borough's land use ordinance to strengthen the M-1 motel district. The ordinance includes provisions for parking, added height, increased room size and other incentives to retain and expand Doo Wop motels in exchange for the owner's commitment to operate as a motel, maintain unique open space view corridors and building footprints, and retain the building's classic Doo Wop design. The Borough is also taking the lead in planning a resort for the 21st century through a joint CRDA, SHPO and Borough study that is developing incentives and legislation protect and encourage motel development and operation. The award was presented to Mayor Carl Groon who is spearheading the motel efforts as well as working with state government to develop special Doo Wop and motel friendly coastal development rules. The award was presented by DWPL president Dan MacElrevey who thanked the mayor for his vision and leadership to develop a growing and unique resort that celebrates the best of its past while building for the future.

Mary Fox, a driving force for much of what the Doo Wop Preservation League has accomplished, received a Doo Wop Heroes Award. Mary organizes and chairs the Doo Wop Trolley Tour that gives visitors a fuller appreciation of the resort's special properties and history. She also chairs the membership committee, the annual awards meeting and dinner, writes many of the press releases, and acts as commentator and spokesperson for the organization in the media and the promotional material such as the new Doo Wop Motels of the Wildwoods that also received an award this evening. Dan MacElrevey presented the award after telling the group how Mary's energy and dedication to the Doo Wop Preservation League's goals inspires all Doo Wop members working for the organization's goals in the Wildwoods By-the-Sea.

Doo Wop Visionaries

The Doo Wop Visionary Award is presented to the organization or individual who has best communicates the vision and goals shared by supporters of the Doo Wop Preservation League. Architect Richard Stokes received the 2006 Doo Wop Visionary award in recognition of his many designs including the Starlux Hotel, a model for what can be done to enhance and develop a Doo Wop motel as a fine and successful lodging business. Richard also provided designs for the Port Royal Hotel, Shalimar Motel, Royal Canadian and other Doo Wop restorations and expansions. He serves as co-chair of the Doo Wop design review panel for new properties being built in Wildwood By-the-Sea including the planned high rise condotels that will continue the heritage for exciting, fun designs for the resort's lodging properties. League president Dan MacElrevey presented the award. He told the Doo Wop meeting how Richard spends many hours every year contributing his creative talents to the resort. The results of his work are seen all over the island.

The second Doo Wop Visionary Award went to Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts. Many view MAC as a Cape May organization. In fact, this fine organization does contribute to culture, history and the arts throughout Cape May County. MAC founded the Doo Wop trolley tour that has introduced visitors from both Cape May and Wildwood to the Doo Wop motels and lifestyle for more than a decade. MAC also operated the Doo Wop Shoppe on the boardwalk, contributes the organizations skills to many projects including the soon to be completed Doo Wop museum, and most recently opened the very professional and interesting Doo Wop Exhibit in the Carriage House building in the Emlen Physick Estate. MAC board member Jack Morey received the award on behalf of MAC Executive Director Michael Zuckerman and the entire MAC organization from Doo Wop Preservation League founding board member Chuck Schumann. Captain Schumann praised MAC for its vision for the Wildwoods that will develop into an extended season national destination using a theme based on the resort's unique lodging properties, mid-century heritage and its role as the birthplace of rock and roll. Chuck discussed how MAC brought credibility to the Doo Wop movement long before others gained an appreciation for the Wildwood's history and the League's goals.

Doo Wop Event

The Doo Wop Event award went to dedicated Wildwood supporter and entrepreneur Joseph Montello for the Doo Wop block parties begun on Pacific Avenue in 2005. Joe is owner and host of La Piazza Restaurant where he can be heard singing Sinatra tunes, Doo Wop hits and songs of the past forty years every Saturday night. The block parties drew large crowds that lined Pacific Avenue to enjoy well know musical groups who have entertained in the Wildwoods during that last half of the 20th century. The award was received on behalf of Joe Montello by Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano who promised the events will get even larger and better in 2006.

More than one hundred members, guests and spouses agreed the evening was a great success. In addition to enjoying an evening with other Wildwood By-the-Sea devotees, the attendees had an opportunity to tour the Shalimar and see the great things that can be done to expand and enhance the community's nationally famous Doo Wop motels. This is an exciting time in the resort as theme based tourism develops to include the Fab 50s weekend, classic car shows, Doo Wop properties and more. The Doo Wop movement and the resort's Doo Wop properties continue to be the subject of articles in national publications including Smithsonian Magazine, Preservation Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine, Gateways, American Profile, and national newspapers from New York to Florida and west to California. The resort's Doo Wop theme has been the subject of shows on both broadcast and cable networks and travel publications throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Australia and China. The award winning documentary, Wildwood Days, and the new Wildwoods Doo Wop Motels DVD have also taken the Doo Wop story nationwide.

Meeting chairperson Mary Fox thanked everyone for coming and especially thanked her office staff and Doo Wop administrator Ashley Weigle for their support. She also thanked Jim Burlaga, owner of America's only Doo Wop decorated McDonalds for the food and drink; Maria and Aldo Tenaglia who provided food and music and hosted the organization's best meeting ever; Shirley Cruz, her family, and the Shalimar staff and friends who volunteered to serve the 50s style buffet; and Paramount Paper and Chemical Co. for their donation of serving supplies and 50's food service items.