By Robert Levine
Extra, extra read all about it: Cherry Grove Has a New Homecoming Queen. He or she is a snappy, friendly, young, talented drag female impersonator with lots of vim and vigor. With a name like Ginger Snap, how could she not be? As Emile, he has been working at Cherry’s for at least eight years hosting at the restaurant, and performing a drag show at the Diva’s Dinner on Monday nights. In addition to his Grove gigs, Ginger is a featured entertainer, weekly at Lips in NYC. As Ginger, she has appeared in a few Arts Project shows, and certainly made a wonderful impression with our community members. We will see a lot of Ginger over the summer yet to come!
Other contestants this year included Mother, Mika, Saka Tomi and Lady Long Legs. The cheers were very close for Ginger and Lady Long Legs. As in the past, Bella and Panzi hosted the evening telling jokes, calling off the raffle numbers and keeping the show at a steady pace. 2016 Queen Logan Hardcore performed for her final duty as Queen. In the audience were many of the old Queens including Ariel Sinclair, Philomena, Whore D’oeuvre, Donna Piranha, Demi Tasse, Lola and Urban Sprawl. There was an overwhelming crowd this year to greet and welcome the new Homecoming Queen, which I think made history in Cherry Grove.
Congratulations to Toni Cesta, a Cherry Grove Community Association board member who was given a special award by the Arts Project – The All Star Volunteer Award for Exceptional Service. Toni worked hands-on with the contractors and the architects throughout the entire renovation of our Community House. Peg Ryan celebrated a birthday dinner at Sand Castle with her wife Ceejay Rosen, Beth, Toni and Jane, as well as Joanne and Lois.
Michael Moran aka (Whore D’oeuvre,) and Matthew George (The M & M’s), are loving their new digs on the bay, in the Grove.
Stephen Anderson and his husband Eugene Price returned to the Grove after spending the winter in Princeville, Hawaii, on the island of Kauai.
Brian Logan and his partner Medel Paguirigan recently returned from a 17-day North Sea cruise, visiting Ireland, UK, Denmark and Germany.
Gerri MacWhinnie spent six weeks this past winter in New Zealand, where she visited with her daughter Inez and her family. Gerri is the daughter of Jeanne Skinner and the granddaughter of the Gerrodettes, who were early settlers in the Grove in the 1920s. Inez grew up in Cherry Grove as well.
Gerald Crawford, a key costumer with SNL, is enjoying his time in the Grove. He and Richie Mastascusa were in the European touring company of “42nd Street” in 1994.
Richie Johnston was seen walking in Cherry Grove with his two pet parrots, Marchello and Mr. Magu. He has a total of seven. The five others were at home with his partner Kenny.
Welcome new homeowners in Cherry Grove: Tim Arnold and Gary Cruiz, Tim Tareco, Peter Christianson and Uzi Parnes and Scott Richards.
Northwell has a doctor in residence from now till Labor Day, at the Doctor’s House in the Grove. The policy remains the same as in the past, with a new doctor every week. Northwell is offering free skin cancer screenings to everyone the week of July 4.
The Community House needs a new sound system, which will cost lots of cash. Thanks to the Memorial Fund, which has already donated substantial seed money, but there is more to go. The Arts Project is setting up a separate fund and would appreciate donations.
The community would like to thank Dennis McConkey who so graciously donated a new flagpole, which has been installed at the Community House.
Also thanks to our Postmistress Betty Faraci, who does a great job in our small, but big town.
• The 4th Annual Artist Tour of Cherry Grove, organized by Susan Ann Thornton, will be held the weekend of June 10. See the Fire Island News Community Calendar on page 36 for more information.
• The Gay Pride Parade, founded by Amelia Migliaccio and Paul Jablonski, will be held on Saturday, June 17. Gather in town at noon for food and fun. The parade begins at 2 p.m. Then at 5:30 p.m., there will be a reception to meet and greet Grand Marshal Edie Windsor, at the Community House. The film “History in the Making: The Marriage Equality New York Archives 2007-2015” will also be shown. It was because of Edie that the Supreme Court passed the bill for Gay Marriage Equality. There is a $25 cost to attend the film showing. The Arts Project also will be accepting donations, which are greatly needed to finance the fireworks to be displayed that evening.
• Tickets are available for Rose Levine in “The Best of Times is Now” on July 1, at 8:30 p.m., at the Community House.
• Also on July 1, the Garden Club will host their annual Cherry Grove Garden Tour at noon. A table will be setup at 9:30 a.m. where you can buy tickets, which will also entitle you to attend a cocktail reception to follow.
• Belvedere Hotel will host a party for The Cherry Grove Community Association, Inc. (CGCAI) on July 8, at 7 p.m. The party will have a ‘50s theme to commemorate with the 60th Anniversary of Belvedere. More information to follow next column.
• Also on July 8, Mike Fisher will premier his documentary “Cherry Grove Stories” at the Community House, at 7:30 p.m.
There was not enough room in my last column to talk about the late Lynn Lewis. She was a homeowner in the Grove and a very active board member of the CGCAI. She was a fighter in every sense of the word for all causes including her own life. Condolences to her partner Donna Marie Spilotras and her pet parrot Maui.