By Joey Macellaro
The Fire Island Summer Club held its annual summer kickoff party on Tuesday, July 3, at its clubhouse on the bay. A barbecue dinner, hors d’oeuvres, and cocktails were served to several dozen guests, most of them members and friends of the community’s 40 homeowner families.
Cliff Weinstein, one of the nine members of the Summer Club board of managers, became involved in the community after purchasing a home in 2013, and helps to plan its annual dinner. Having joined the board soon after Hurricane Sandy flooded the property around the clubhouse and destroyed or damaged many Summer Club homes, Weinstein had a hand in drafting a survey that was distributed to homeowners to ascertain their primary concerns as the community recovered. The condition of the clubhouse appeared high on the list of popular responses.
“It was not maintained or updated for decades,” said Board Vice President Carey Lyons. “The event space was not used.” Lyons purchased a home in Summer Club in 2007, and has served on the board for nine years. He and the rest of the managers worked with the community to redesign the clubhouse, which reopened after a three-year period of construction prior to the 2017 summer season, and it is now used daily for recreation and special events.
“An eyesore was turned into a gem,” said Weinstein. Improvements include new floors, walls, and outdoor decking; and a redesigned floor plan that features a renovated kitchen, bar, gym, and game room.
“As a board, we created both short-term and long-term goals,” he added. “In the long term, we’re looking to protect the bayfront by building a rock wall to stop erosion, raise sidewalks, provide new furnishings for the clubhouse, and look into the possibility of moving the clubhouse back from the bay. In all our decisions, we always make it a priority to remain as transparent as possible.” Additionally, a dock for homeowners is awaiting DEC and homeowner approval, and a bay swimming area is being considered. Weinstein, a young family man, noted that turnover in the community has remained slow but steady.
On July 1, Ocean Beach Community Fund celebrated the fruits of its own restoration effort many years in the making, with the ribbon cutting at Windswept. Yes, it will remain home to Ocean Beach Youth Group, but also so much more. Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter bestowed a citation to Honorable OBCF Chairman John Schaffner in recognition of this Herculean achievement.
A flag-raising ceremony was held at the Ocean Beach Youth Group building on the morning of July 10, with campers singing the national anthem as others circled in various watercraft on the bay. Each year, campers work together to create a unique flag design to represent the season.
The winners of the Fourth of July house decorating contest were announced by the Ocean Beach Community Fund and Ocean Beach Association: First prize went to the Chenault family on Ocean Road, second went to the Pickard family on Dehnhoff, and third went to the Meyer family on Surf Road. The talk of the town this week is the exhibit that opened on July 14, at the Ocean Beach Historical Society, titled “Thru the Lens,” featuring the photographic work of Joel Silverberg, Zack Stertz, and Jo Ann Wanamaker.
“Your eye is drawn to one of these artists’ work depending on your mood,” said Curator Linna Salamone. “Each photographer’s work is unique.” Silverberg’s pieces are all under 8 inches and vividly colorized; Stertz’ are lush and framed in black; Wanamaker’s prints capture the Fire Island lifestyle and are calm and soothing. The Historical Society is open Thursday through Monday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m.
The annual children’s arts and crafts fair, sponsored by the Ocean Beach Community Fund, will be held on the east end of the village green, on Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a rain date of July 22. An entrance fee of $1 per wagon may be paid at the Ocean Beach Historical Society or at the village office. The winner of the children’s fair will earn a place in the regular art show being held Aug. 11 and 12.
The Community Fund’s annual benefit dinner, a Sunset Tea Dance, will be held this year at Windswept, on Saturday, Aug. 4, at 7:30 p.m., featuring the music of DJ Karin Ward. Tickets may be purchased for $80 at www.oceanbeachcommunityfund. org. The Community Fund also will be hosting a concert on the dock, featuring the band Jet Stream, on Saturday, July 21, at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.
The Free Union Church will be hosting its second family movie night of the season with a showing of “Peter Rabbit,” on July 21, at 7 p.m.
Adult education classes are being held again this summer at the Fire Island School: On Mondays, Tabata from 5-6 p.m.; Tuesdays, bingo from 6 to 8 p.m.; and Wednesdays, yoga from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. Walk-in fee for each class is $15 at the door; must be at least 18 years of age to participate. Call the school at 631-583-5626 for more information.
The Ocean Beach community lost its two eldest residents on July 9 and 11, respectively: Jazz musician and radio host Les Lieber was 106, and talented sculptor Nina Meyer was 105. Longtime resident David Appelson also recently passed away. Our condolences to all the families.
Until next time, whether you find yourself in Robbins Rest, Summer Club, Corneille Estates, or Ocean Beach, I hope to hear from you soon.