By Bradlee White
Wowee! The first Kismet Day on July 21 was a phenomenal success. It was a well-planned and organized large event that brimmed with community support. Overall planners Dana DeRuvo and Wendy Schou captained an army of dedicated committee chairs and volunteers. The bay area was awash in bright yellow and vermilion T-shirts. There were six venues, many going on simultaneously. Vendors included Rotary, a jewelry seller and artists such as Morgan Mooney with elaborately painted shoes and longtime renter Bob Burns’ Trash to Treasure, items made from recycled wood pallets. My favorite – a clock face labeled “there’s always another ferry.” The Chiros sold their trademark backpacks, the Fire Island National Seashore sent an informative representative, and the Coast Guard offered tours of their boat. There was even someone selling and demonstrating a recumbent bicycle for older folks and/or showoffs. Two women from Canine Companions for Independence brought their beautiful golden retrievers trained to respond to sign language and other specific noises, including sirens. When ours sounded in the wake of an overturned sailboat on the bay, the dogs continuously nudged their people, earning lots of thank you treats, while the Kismet Fire Department Water Rescue truck raced to the edge of the bay. It was not needed as the Coast Guard had repurposed their boat for a rescue mission.
A dunking booth was a major attraction that at two balls for $10 tempted a lot of takers to aim for the bright red circle that triggered the dump. First into the water was Casey Licari. It looked fun so soon young Elizabeth Bertucci was on Casey’s lap for several plunges. Other dunkees included Tyler Sawyer, Joe McKeehan, Chief Dom Bertucci and a very reluctant Tom Licari. Later, Casey donned her shark costume and, with pal Grace and a megaphone, trolled the “midway” drawing the crowd to the tank and other activities.
Raffles were the game of the day: 50-50, Chinese, silent, scratch-off and the Grand Special – five special prizes donated by the residents of each of Kismet’s Walks. A trio of loudly enthusiastic men, Neal Mandel, Barry and Eddie Schwartz – hawked the 50-50 tickets, selling every ticket they had – a record success. Near them, Dawn and Gary Leone, Cheryl Licari and Mary Packwood sold Kismet Medallions, limited to 250, for the Grand Special prizes. Tickets for a board of 100 scratch-offs were sold down by the Market. Volunteers at the Firehouse sold tickets for the 38 Chinese Auction items and 11 silent auction items on display.
There was a Kids Carnival and Game Section on the tennis courts. The Butler clan – Ginnie, Kevin, Summer with Maya, cousins Tess and Victoria, even 1-year-old Dante – were in charge of temporary tattoos and face painting in a tented area between the two tennis courts. On one court Kim and Sharon Sitone oversaw several simple games for the youngest. On the other court, Casey Cole showed the more adventuresome how to toss a missile through the flaming ring (a KFD tool for improving rookie aims).
Facing a strong wind and threat of rain, the Dirty Vice Band began playing from the roof of LaFamiglia at 2 p.m. Finally, the raffles were drawn amidst great suspense. Kim Sitone won the wagon and beach accessories from West Lighthouse; the flashy bike and gift certificates from Seabay went to Jack Ewald; Emmy Ryan won the Samsung TV from East Lighthouse; Pine Walk’s offering – a Weber Grill – went to LeAnn while Tara Cuccio won the Kismet Basket of gift certificates donated by Oak Walk. The 50-50 raffle was drawn, leaving longtime resident of “Camelot” Lynn Gioiello with winnings of $1,235. She plans to donate $1,000 back to the Fire Department. The scratch-off board was won by Bob Negron of Blue Vu Terrance. Volunteers flashed a board listing the 38 winners of the Chinese auction – Kathy Henry, Brittany Metcalf, Myrna (twice), Rudy and Tom Licari, just to name a few. Some Silent Auction winners were: Mike Herman for the mirror donated by Linda Knopf, Patty Lyon for a Silent DJ party with Brian Kelley and Dawn Leone for the private Wine and Cheese party for six at Jake’s Tap. A number of articles were donated by Clare Rose including the Heineken men’s bike won by Jimmy Shugrue and a beach umbrella won by Rose Liotta.
Aug. 4: Catch a view of the fireworks, courtesy of our neighbors in Saltaire.