Rose’s View: Cherry Grove

By Robert LevineThe 16th annual “Cherry Grove Honors” was a tremendous success on Saturday, Aug. 17. With many people in attendance, this special catered dinner was held at the CG Community House. Recipients included Gerri Losquadro, committee member of the Cherry Grove Property Owners Association; and Eddie Fraser, vice president of community relations at Northwell Health – both live in and are active forces in Cherry Grove. A posthumous award also was bestowed to Jim Fallon, who lived here for many years with his wife, Marie.Gerri, introduced by her partner, Lynne Moyer, was recognized for the work she has tirelessly done with engineers, bulkhead builders and the Town of Brookhaven to build our beautiful new Cherry Grove Dock. Eddie was introduced by Winnie Mack, executive director of Southside Hospital, and recognized for the work he has done to arrange for Northwell to open a medical office in Cherry Grove. Jim was an attorney who helped defend gay men in court who were arrested in Cherry Grove in the 1960s, during a darker era in our history. Many family and friends attended from the mainland and Cherry Grove to celebrate the unique accomplishments of this year’s honorees.The annual LezVolley tournaments were founded in 2011 with 12 teams. This year, 25 teams competed, as this growing event attracts athletes from throughout the tri-state area. Congratulations to tournament winners I’d Hit That, and see page 25 for additional coverage of this special event.Peggy Samson had her long-time friend, a first-timer in the Grove, Margot Davis Sappern, visit her for two days from Vermont. Her husband, Marty Byman, has been traveling from London each weekend. Amy Schreiber and Rhonda Wade had their annual guests return to the Grove from Dallas: Chris Hickman, James Dowd and Christian Tewes, who was celebrating his 50th birthday. James Caldwell was the weekend guest of Michael Moran and Matthew George. Tree Sequoia spent a few days in the Grove. Tree is famous for being at Stonewall Inn 50 years ago during the uprising and was interviewed in this paper earlier in the summer. James Valletti visited “Roseland” with his day guests, Mike and Denise Reiss, from Manhattan. It was their first time to the Grove. For the past 30 years, Mike has been a scriptwriter for “The Simpsons.” And Vanessa Williams (yes, the Vanessa Williams) was recently spotted having a drink in Cherry Grove and guesting with Gregg Giannillo, who is a hairdresser with the “Today” show.Cherry Grove girls Annie Scarpa, Rosie Gracci and Joanne Tavis had their annual Gilda’s Club fundraiser, with a silent auction and entertainment by Donna Piranha. They are very proud to announce that they raised $27,000.Diane Romano and Patricia Goeff hosted a luncheon for young LGBTQ foster children and their chaperones from New York City. Organized by Sandy Dee and Todd Joseph, and held for the first time last summer, this is well on its way to becoming an annual event in the Grove. Thank you to Frank of Cherry Grove Pizza for donating the pies to feed everybody, and to Linda for the ice cream.Greg McMullen and Steven Sandoval hosted a party for Gene Price and Stephen Anderson, who celebrated their 50th anniversary. Jason Versace, who now lives in Florida, returned to the Island for a short visit. We had a welcome home dinner party in his honor at “Roseland,” with Valerie Perez, Evelyn Danko, Joan Van Ness and Lorraine Michels. Marieann Meringolo performed at the Community House on Aug. 22, as part of Arts Project of Cherry Grove’s Thursday Night Cabaret series.She had everyone mesmerized with her selection of songs, and was accompanied by her pianist and musical director of 20 years, Doyle Newmyer, Boots Maleson on bass, and Sipho Kunene on drums. It was a brilliant professional show. Marieann lived in the Grove this summer with her partner, Nancy. Dolye arrived in the Grove with his wife, Robyn. I have known them personally for many years. What a great evening it was.We recently lost Mary “Big Mary” Tangari who moved to Ft. Lauderdale 15 years ago. She loved her “boys” and all the activities in the Grove.This is our last column for this season. Thank you for all the support, and keep your eye out for Rose Levine next spring.Upcoming Events:• APCG presents “Let’s Talk About Sex,” created and directed by Matt Baney, with an all-star Cherry Grove cast, on Aug. 31, at 7 and 10 p.m.• Cherry Grove Garden Club is sponsoring their annual bake sale on Sunday, Sept. 1, at 11 a.m., at the Community House. Donations of home baked goods are welcomed.• On Sept. 7, the 54 Annual Miss Fire Island Pageant will once again be held at the Ice Palace. Hosts are Ariel Sinclair, Porsche and Electra. Doors open at noon.• Roland Michely and Joe Anania will host their annual Toga Tea Party to benefit the Arts Project of Cherry Grove, on Sept. 7, from 4-7 p.m., at Lewis Walk.• “Split Decision,” written and performed by Joe Anania, directed and arranged by Barbara Grecki, will be presented at the Community House on Sept. 7, at 8 p.m. I attended a rehearsal in Manhattan and the show is heartwarming, honest and funny. Make a point to see it.• The 4th Annual Beer Blast will be held at the Ice Palace on Sept. 14, at 2 p.m.• The APCG Year End Ball will be held on Sept. 21, from 7-11 p.m., at Community House. This year’s theme is Stonewall Riot.