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By Robert Levine
Cherry Grove had a grand opening party at the newly renovated Cherry Gove Community House on May 28. The original building was a barn that was floated over to Cherry Grove in 1948, when the Arts Project was founded. The renovation was very extensive. It began last October and was completed in May. They kept the charm of the exterior, while the architects modernized the interior except for the stage, which is exactly the same. There are many people to thank for this big task. Diane Romano, President of the Community Association for her continued shepherding. Toni Cesta for her smarts and tenacity in getting all the permits, as being head of building committee. Joyce Yaeger for her support. Frank Borsas for his fund raising. Carl Luss for securing National Historic status. Let’s have a big round of applause for those who volunteered their time, and donated money toward this effort.
Cherry Grove’s Homecoming Queen, Logan Hardcore was crowned on May 29, with the crown that Billie Ann Miller wore when she was Empress of The Imperial Court Of New York. Logan has been a member of the Grove activities for the past few years. In 2014 she did a show sponsored by The Arts Project. She also works and performs at the Ice Palace. She is not the traditional Homecoming Queen that we have had in the past. She has a bold new look, with lots of energy, excitement and talent. She is definitely over the top. Sonny Shores was runner up, and other entrees were Craven Morehead, Mother, and Jo Jo Gerard (their 14th and 9th years competing respectfully.) Craven was a big surprise to the audience. It was Chris Lacovara’s first time entering this contest. Like they say, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.
As in the past, Panzi, our first Homecoming Queen, and Bella (never a Homecoming Queen) opened the evening with their banter and humor of the Grove. Both dressed in their glamorous attire, they kept the entertainment going for at least two hours. In addition to the contest as usual they had their BIG raffle with many of the community businesses donating wonderful gifts: A Summer Place, Coastal Roots, Sayville Ferry Service, Sue Kravitz, Just Lorraine, Grove Market, Island Breeze, CJ and Marco from Douglas Elliman, and the Arts Project Board of Directors. Demi Tasse, Homecoming Queen of 2015 performed the final duty of her reign. Many of our “old queens” were in the audience fully dressed. Some were just plain Janes. Whore D’Oeuvre, Lola, Beach DeBree, YaNeeda Dunes, Urban Sprawl, Donna Piranha, Coco Love, Margo, Ariel Sinclair, as well as that dynamic duo Good and Plenty. Some were not able to attend were Charity, Cobra, China, Timothea, Mandi, Ivanna Cocktail, Luisa Verdi, Philomena, Gianna, Robin Kradles, Legs Labohn, Shirley Shapiro, Juanita, Scarlet Oh! As you can see the beat goes on.
Sal Piro coordinated the PAWS benefit at The Ice Palace, with the support of the Grove PAWS representative Valerie Perez. Lee Frey, the founder of PAWS, was present. Bella and Demi Tasse hosted the first and second acts. Many of the homecoming queens earlier mentioned also performed. Kevin Kelly won the 50/50 raffle of $530.00. He donated $100 back to PAWS. Sue King won the 50-inch TV.
Cherry Grove Property Owners Association President Gerri Losquadro had her mother visiting from Brooklyn. Gerry has been coming to the Grove for many years. They enjoyed time with Mella and Lucille. Gerri and her Board of Directors of the CGPOA are working very hard to get permits and money to rebuild the Dock in Cherry Grove. Ken Lewis is back with us in the Grove after having a traumatic fall last August. He went through a lot and is on the mend. He looks great and is getting back into the groove of the Grove. Congratulations to Dawn Wilson and Keith Goudeau who were married in Cherry Grove. Some of you may remember Blair Catterton who lived in CG in the 70s and 80s. I recently met his niece Ann Brown, who now lives on Main Walk. We shared many memories from the past.
WEEKEND JUNE 10-12
- Fire Island Bear Weekend will be held at various venues including the Belvedere, Ice Palace and Island Breeze. Featuring Tea Dance, Underwear Party, Scruff “Woof” Party, Pool Party and more. Danny Logan and Tina Burner will host.
- The Third Annual Artist Tour of Cherry Grove is a self-guided walking tour and flyers will be distributed around town for information.
- An Evening of Celebration and Song will be the first major show to appear at the new renovated Community House on June 11. The evening will star Broadway Divas like “Guys & Dolls” Tony winner Faith Prince, Karen Mason who starred in Sunset Boulevard. Presentation courtesy of George McGarvey and the Arts Project with showings at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or www.artsprojectcherrygrove.org. The Arts Project is now selling t-shirts, umbrellas, and hats, available at the theatre.
SATURDAY, JUNE 18
- The Gay Pride Parade will take place in downtown CG at 2 p.m. Lots of floats, fun and excitement.
- The Arts Project will present “Walk Of Fame” at 7 p.m. Hosted by Sybil Bruncheon at the Community House. Some of your favorite CG celebrities will be on the panel.
- Fireworks will begin around 9 p.m.
SUNDAY, JUNE 19
- The Drag Tag Sale: at The Ice Palace.
SATURDAY, JULY 2
- Garden Tour of Cherry Grove: West side of Grove noon-2 p.m., east Side 2-4 p.m. Cocktail reception to follow. Tickets will be sold day of event in center of town.
- Yours Truly, Rose Levine in “Cherry à la Mode” with Kenny Rahtz, Lola, and some other surprise guests at the Community House 8:30 p.m. Directed by John McMahan. Tickets are on sale at www.artsprojectcherrygrove.org.
MONDAY, JULY 4
- The Invasion – Get ready!
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