Cejka moved to Newburyport from Columbus, Ohio, in 1992, and volunteers with the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society as a foster parent for cats. She supports the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center where she was a past board member and each year participates in their Walk Against Domestic Violence. She currently participates in the Massachusetts Adult Foster Care of the North Shore, taking in adults with special needs.
“Oh I was very surprised, she had to keep telling me over and over again,” Cejka said, recalling the phone call she received from Yankee Homecoming general chairwoman Tammy Jennings.
Like Quinn, Cejka’s appointment as Yankee Homecoming queen has brought some perks.
“They call me ‘Your Majesty.’ I’m enjoying it very much. I think it’s going to be a whole lot of fun,” Cejka said.
Both Quinn and Cejka said they were thrilled to play a part in what has become a cherished summer tradition for many locals. Cejka said she regularly attends the fireworks show, the nightly waterfront concerts and the parade. Living in the downtown area, she said, makes a big difference.
For Quinn, Yankee Homecoming, which is celebrating its 56th year, brings back a flood of happy memories including his younger days in Newburyport schools, when Yankee Homecoming was still new.
“It takes me back to right they first started,” Quinn said.
For more information or to order tickets the Senior King and Queen Coronation at Hope Community Church, 11 Hale St., Newburyport, call May at 978-807-8918. Tickets are also available at the Newburyport Council on Aging, 40 Water St., Newburyport.