By Bob Levine
Diane Romano and Joan Van Ness enjoyed a combined birthday party held at Diane’s beautiful home Heaven ‘N Earth. About 200 people were in attendance. You could not get a better setting, the weather was perfect, and the catering by Freddy was wonderful. Two birthday cakes, one chocolate and one vanilla with delicious butter cream icing, were served at sunset. Friends from the Grove who attended were Alison Amron, Mary Ellen Manning, Gay Nathan, Julie Paradise, Lucille, Mela, Bobbie, Doreen, Dan Clancy, Charlie Isola, Mel, Don, Tim Terico, Kelly Gunn, Toni, Jane, Jack Quinn, Jan, Edrie, Michael McPherson, John Adams, Lucy, Diane, Steve, Curt, Eddie Ringel, Diane Di Prima, Joyce Yaeger, Todd Eriksen, Roland, Joe, CeeJay Rosen, Peg Ryan, Gina, Joshua David, Michael Romanelli, and Arthur Cohen. Many friends from the Pines included Richard and Gino, Ronni, Karen, Diane Freidman, Jane Groveman, and Ginger. Of course Joan’s partner, Lorraine, and Diane’s partner, Patricia, were there as well.
Daniel Nardicio hosted a benefit for the Cherry Grove Fire Department at the Ice Palace. “Cherry Grove on Fire” featured Broadway legend Alan Cumming and Vivian Reed. It was a big success.
The third annual Super Hero SOCH (Save Our Community House) party was held at Blueberry Hill, on July 18, raising $75,000. Michael Coffindaffer is the organizer. Since inception, they have raised a total of $336,000. Funds are now available to begin construction of the first floor, scheduled to begin September 2015.
In 2013, the National Register of Historic Places recognized the Community House as being the oldest LGBT theatre in the United States. Frank Borsas has been chairman of the fundraising since this project began. Chris LaCovara and Sam Green were gracious hosts. Thanks to Sue Koerner who supplied the delicious food and that magnificent Super Hero cake. About 160 people attended.
Michele Balan rocked the Community House with her down to earth humor. She appeared on July 11, to a sold out house. She knows how to take a stage and entertain the audience. She is in the league of Joan Rivers, Joy Behar and Jackie Mason.
Gerri MacWhinnie’s daughter, Inez Mac Donald, is fifth generation. She grew up in Cherry Grove. With her husband and their daughter, Claire, she recently moved to New Zealand. Inez and Claire returned for a six-week vacation and had a reunion of her college roommates at Dune Top. Anne McNulty Ammerman, Dawn Devins Zander, and Kate Schrautto were her guest from across the U.S.
The Arts Project bingo had a special guest caller — Bob Michelle from the Pines —with the theme, Golden Age of TV Comedy. Lila Swell won twice, plus the raffle! It was a great Pines night in the Grove. Thanks to Eileen and Chris Alley, who make bingo night so popular. On Sunday, Aug. 2, it’s Que Sera Sera bingo.
The first EMS benefit show was held Saturday, July 18, at the Community House, hosted by Ivanna Cocktail and Bella. The cast included Panzi, Vita Summers, Sharon Coxx, Tisch, and Rose Levine accompanied by John Putnam, as well as the Queen’s Guard: Ann Brown, Jennifer Scott, Dawn Wilson, Angela Smith and Susan Panza. Raffles and 50/50 were part of the evening’s fun. EMS service in the Grove will be on-call through October. Thanks to Ken Osman for organizing this event.
Mike Fisher is creating a documentary entitled “Cherry Grove Stories.” Cameraman Robert Jakubik; Gina Garon, makeup; and Gary Sachs as assistant, were all there helping Mike with his interviews of many Cherry Grove celebrities at the Community House. The list of people who were interviewed is strictly confidential at the moment, and will be released in 2016.
Valerie Perez, who is in charge of the Cherry Grove Chapter of PAWS, wants the community to know that there are many feral cats in Cherry Grove. Through the years more than 3,000 cats were captured. PAWS makes sure the cats are being fixed, receive medical care, and adoption placement when possible. She particularly asks that we don’t feed the cats so they can find the food in the traps that she provides. Unadoptable cats are neutered and returned to the island. All contributions will be greatly appreciated. PAWS is a tax deductible organization.
It was announced that Joshua David, president of the Cherry Grove Property Owners Association for the last three years, shall resign at the end of September 2015. Congratulations to Gerri Losquadro who will be our incoming president. As Joshua explained at the general meeting, we have a very serious problem with our dock. He is doing a fantastic job coordinating the paperwork for reconstruction. This is a major project that we must support.
• Aug. 1 and 2 — The CG 67th Annual Art Show at the Community House features our popular Grove Artists. Hours: Saturday, from 1-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. and Sunday, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Raffle drawing at 2pm.
• Wednesday, Aug. 5 — is the annual the Grovettes vs. the Copettes volleyball game. It is always a great day with entertainment, food and fun.
• Thursday, Aug. 6 — Paul Jablonski, along with Ranger Dave Raymond, will host a walking tour of Cherry Grove, at 10 a.m. Meet at the post office, then head to the Sunken Forest. This is a free event, sponsored by Cherry Grove Garden Club and Fire Island National Seashore.
• Saturday, Aug. 8 — There will be a book signing for “The Invasion of the Pines: 40 years of Fun, Frolic, and Fantasy 1976-2015” by Lorraine Michels, at Fire Island Goods.
• Saturday, Aug. 15 — Superstar Debbie Reynolds will appear in Cherry Grove at the Community House. Thanks to George McGarvey who arranged this event. We are looking forward to her entertaining us with lots of stories, songs and good old-fashioned gossip of the golden days of Hollywood.
• Saturday, Aug. 22 — Cherry Grove’s 10th Annual Honors Award Dinner will be held at Heaven ‘N Earth. Honorees this year include Troy Files, Brian Clark, Richard Shack, Gina Garon and posthumously Lois McIntosh. Ticket sales are limited.
Don’t forget yoga with Edrie continues every Tuesday, at 10 a.m. and Saturday, at 9 a.m., at the Community House.
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