Glo Okon chosen ‘Queen for a Day'

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    WARWICK-Her friends - and that's almost everyone in Warwick - call her Glo. For at least a short time, however, some addressed her as, "Your majesty." On Thursday evening, Aug. 19, during the 10th annual celebration of "Ladies Night Out," Gloria "Glo" Okon, former actress, singer and TV personality and President of the St. Anthony Community Hospital Auxiliary (SACHA) was crowned "Queen for a Day." Each year "Queen for a Day" is an opportunity for a special lady to be recognized by her family or friends for her generous spirit, caring heart and selfless nature. The winner receives a valuable assortment of gift certificates and merchandise from participating Warwick merchants. Nomination applications are available at downtown shops and anyone who believes he or she knows a person who deserves the crown is invited to participate. Members of the Warwick Merchants' Guild review the nominations and select the winner at their last meeting before "Ladies Night Out." One person received more than a few letters of praise. Throughout the years, there was hardly a charitable event that couldn't call on Gloria Okon for a heart and soul contribution as a volunteer, committee member or leader. Whether it was selling books for the Albert Wisner Public Library, coaching students, directing a high school production, selling raffle tickets, driving for Meals on Wheels or hawking ducks for Winslow's Annual Duck Derby, she could always be counted on as an enthusiastic volunteer. And although, as SACHA's longtime president, much of her time was spent directing that organization, she still found hours leftover for projects sponsored by other organizations such as Rotary and the Warwick Community Center. Okon also serves on St. Anthony Community Hospital's Annual Spring Ball and Golf Classic committees and the Warwick Citizens WTC Memorial committee. In her spare time you might find her working for a Church Renew Program or the annual St. Stephen's Bazaar. During the brief ceremony, Tim Mullally, co-chair of "Ladies Night Out," crowned the new queen and Mayor Michael Newhard presented her with a bouquet of flowers contributed by close friends Leo and Gladys Kaytes. Mullally then presented Okon with over $1,000 in merchandise, services and gift certificates donated by participating Warwick merchants. Okon thanked the merchants and urged everyone to support them throughout the year. The ceremony concluded with DJ Sebastian Monte playing the popular song, "Gloria." "Gloria Okon is a pillar of our community," said Mayor Michael Newhard. The Mayor also recalled that he's admired her since he was a small child. "I knew she was the pretty lady who appeared on television and told us about the weather." Okon, who hosted many television shows, became widely known as "The Weather Girl" on New York's WPIX TV Channel 11. She also enjoyed an exclusive contract, during the 1960s and 1970s, as the spokesperson for Arnold Bakery. She was married to the late Ted Okon, a TV producer. Today, Okon, who has three married sons, is a proud grandmother. Locally, however, her main focus is shepherding the St. Anthony Community Hospital Auxiliary through a series of hosptial fundraisers such as the annual June "Under the Tent" Party at Hickory Hill. "In just the past few years," said Terry Gavan, first vice president of SACHA, "we've raised over $200,000 for our community hospital. Everyone in our organization works hard but no one has as much enthusiasm and dedication as Glo. She inspires us al