By Robert Levine
A fundraiser was held at Dr. Ed Schulhafer‘s and Crayton Robey’s bayfront house for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who made her eighth visit to the Pines. She was welcomed into the community as a familiar guest. She spoke about the current atmosphere in the world and how we must continue to go forward. She emphasized that everyone must vote in the next election in November. She introduced Senator Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin who made her maiden voyage to Fire Island. Gillibrand also introduced Rufus Gifford, an up and coming politician who is running for congress in Massachusetts. He was the U.S. Ambassador to Denmark under President Obama’s administration. It was his first time to Fire Island as well, and he was the house guest of Todd Sears.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) of Washington D.C., a group that advocates for LGBTQ equality on the federal level, had their annual pool party at the home of Bill Kapfer, Eric Baker, Keith Headley, Eddie Atwell, Phillip McCarthey, Matthew Simonetti, Adam Henry, and David Yardley. Special guest was JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president for policy and political affairs, HRC. It was a beautiful, hot day and the pool was overflowing with boys. Hal Hayes introduced me to Dylan Santos, a principal dancer for Dance Theatre of Harlem, and his partner, Mitch Michnious.
Simultaneously the Splash party, which was sponsored by Callen-Lorde at the home of Gil Neary and Scott Reidel, was also happening. Donnie Roberts, senior director of development and communications for Callen- Lorde, was a great host. A sultry poolside performance given by Kink Haus was fantastic. (They will appear at La MaMa Experimental Theatre, from Sept. 20-Oct. 6, by the way.) New York State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, New York City Mayor DeBlassio’s Senior Advisor Matthew McMorrow, Judith Kasen-Windsor, Andrew Kurtzman, Jim Pepper, and Elizabeth Stribling-Kivlan were just a few of the guests who I mingled with.
A celebration of life and legacy for the late John Laub, a Pines artist, was held on Beach Hill Walk. It was a benefit for Visual AIDS supporting HIV positive artists.
Diane Friedman and Lynne Kahn lunched at the Canteen with Linda Gottlieb. They are enjoying their time in the Pines after a 10-day cruise on the Star Legend traveling through Alaska. They were only 4 miles from the North Pole. Ward Auerbach and Andy Baker have returned from a vacation in Paris. While they were away Harry Bader, a former Pines homeowner, was house sitting at their beach abode.
Belated birthday wishes to Bill Moore, who is now in Ft. Lauderdale. Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell has a new hit on Broadway. He is the director and choreographer of “Pretty Woman” at the Nederlander Theatre. Many girls attending the show are now wearing red dresses to channel the character of Vivian.
Mark Ostfield made a rare visit to the Pines to be with his partner, Michael Savino. Mark has been with the State Department for 16 years and lives in Washington D.C. when he is not in New York or Fire Island.
We lost our dear friend Tony La Rocco at the age of 74 on Aug. 13. Tony loved the Pines, and he loved life. He lived here since the 1970s with his longtime partner, the late Nick Gioscia. After the death of Nick he met another wonderful man in 2000, by the name of Bill Moore; they wed in 2013. They sold their house in the Pines at the end of last summer. Tony was thrilled to be honored by Pines Conservation Society before he moved in 2017. We will certainly miss him. He was one of the most generous and genuine good-hearted community members. Please read his obituary published on page 49 of this paper.
• “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” directed and choreographed by Joe Borros, will be presented by FIPPAP at Whyte Hall. Dylan Hartwell, who stepped into the roll two weeks ago, will play Rocky. Showings are Friday, Aug. 31, at 8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 1 and 2, at 6 p.m. Tickets at the harbor or at the door.
• The Pines Conservation Society will have their 2nd annual brunch on Sept. 2, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., at Whyte Hall. Henry Mueller and Russell Saray are both being honored. A silent auction will be held. Visit pinesconservationsociety.org.
• “Studio 54: The Documentary,” which opened in Sundance last January, and which will open Nationally on Oct. 5, will have a premier showing at Whyte Hall on Sept. 8, with festivities beginning at 5:30 p.m., with cocktails and screening. Several Pines residents are featured in the film including Hal Rubinstein, Marcia Stern, and Scott Bromley, who of course designed 54 in 1977.
• Congregation B’Nai Olam is celebrating its 45th annual High Holiday Services at Whyte Hall. Rosh Hashanah, Sunday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 10, at 10:30 a.m. Yom Kippur services are Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 10:30 a.m., and 1 and 6:30 p.m. All are welcome.
• Andrew Kurtzman, the proprietor of The Madison, will celebrate the 12th Annual Fire Island Pines Literary and Theatre Weekend on Monday, Oct. 8, at noon. Cast members and creators of “The Band’s Visit” will be the guests along with some other surprises. Christine Pedi will be the MC. Free Admission. For more information email inquiries@ themadisonfi.com.