Rose’s View: Making CineFest in May

by Robert Levine

Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association (FIPPOA) will be celebrating their 70th anniversary this year, and the Arts Project of Cherry Grove (APCG) their 75th anniversary. Both have lined up a thrilling season of entertainment to commemorate these important milestones.

First, the APCG Homecoming Queen contest will be on Sunday, May 28, at the Community House in Cherry Grove, and you too can become a member and vote for the new Queen. Kick-off events to celebrate the holiday weekend will include Greg Scarnici and Robin Byrd’s Sky High Tea on the rooftop patio of the Community House, May 26, from 5-8 p.m.

Cherry Grove is buzzing with excitement! Top of the Bay, Cherry Grove Pizza, and the Ice Palace are open. Parker Sargent’s film “Roseland: The Ballad of Bob Levine,” which premiered last summer at the Cherry Grove Archives Collection Film Festival, was screened earlier this month at the New York Cinefest Film Festival in Manhattan, and was well received by an enthusiastic audience. Also congratulations to Matt Freeman, as APCG has invited him to be a new board member.  

Resident celebrity Wanda Sykes will be appearing as Harriet Tubman and Shirley Chisolm in a Mel Brooks film, “History of the World: Part ll.” Phillip Stoehr, aka Philomena, won the 2023 Broadway Cares, Red Bucket Easter Bonnet award. Rose Levine appeared at the Friars Club and performed in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, this past winter – and will appear at Cherry Grove Community House on July 1, in “Rose of Cherry Grove Fame.”

Fire Island Pines resident, Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell, will receive the Isabel Stevenson Award at the 96th annual Tony Awards on June 11. Seth Sikes and Nicolas King performed in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and at 54 Below and Birdland, and will appear at the Ice Palace July 7. Cabaret star Joe Pozza (Joan Rivers) will be joining Seth and Nic on July 7. She will also host the Invasion red carpet on July 4.

Gil Neary kicked off the party season in the Pines, celebrating a big birthday with 200 guests. Skie Ocasio and Ben Haughton celebrated their fifth wedding Anniversary.

Henry Robin conducted a very special opening meeting at Whyte Hall, and Northwell had two interesting sessions on public safety at the Community House.

Celebrate community members we lost at our annual Memorial Service in Cherry Grove, on Monday May 29, at noon – including Richard DePierro, Michael Diodotti, Bruce Michael Gelbert, George (Chic) Hakiel, Bob Kueikowski, Geneieve (Huntie) Neglia, Morty Newbourgh, Stanley Passo, Sal Piro, Dawn Pitkin, Joyce Rodgers, and Joe Trapani. 

Upcoming Events:

• The Lynn Lewis Foundation/Red Door Community Breast Cancer Fundraiser will be hosted by Ginger Snapp and Wanda Sykes, on May 29, at the Community House, from 4-6:30 p.m.

• On June 3, celebrate the 100th anniversary of our Cherry Grove Post Office at noon.

• Also on June 3, the FIPAP season takes off with comedian Sam Morrison. Tickets are available at