KISMET: Across the Bay with MJ

KISMET: Across the Bay with MJBy Marijane VoltzBefore I begin this biweekly article, I would like to amend something from my previous article. My apologies to Ms. Eileen Rafferty, who hosted the Pine Walk block party a few weeks ago. I had mentioned that she offered clams to everyone, when in fact, she gave all of her neighbors crabs. The crabs were a difficult hustle, but she lucked out when she found Two Cousins in Freeport who were very accommodating.On Aug. 1, Rich Mahogany hosted their annual concert in Atlantique. With the ferry packed with excited fans and boat slips filled to their capacity, the show was sure to be a hit. As Greg Rabin, the lead vocalist, sang his repertoire of great popular songs, fans danced away and sang along. This is a great event where old friends reunite for a day of laughter, fun, music and sun.While a number of Kisminites enjoyed the concert in Atlantique, others were off to Ocean Bay Park to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of good friend and past housemate, Eileen Shields. On Jan. 11, Wayne Rottkamp proposed to Eileen atop the Fire Island Lighthouse, while friends waited down below to celebrate with champagne. Congratulations to Eileen and Wayne.Due to all of the festivities that took place on Aug. 1, no one was in Kismet for The Taste of Kismet, causing a cancellation. Many residents were disappointed to hear of the cancellation, but look forward to its return in 2016.Thanks to Saltaire and the generous donator of the fireworks show, the evening of Aug. 1 could not have been more beautiful. As pyrotechnics filled the night’s sky, families gathered along the bays edge to watch as the array of colors filled the air. It’s a treat that everyone looks forward to on the first Saturday of August, never to be taken for granted.Kismet lost another friend and community member, “Brooklyn” Phil Leitz, from “Cartoon Alley.” Phil passed away on Aug. 2, at the age of 78. He is survived by Myrna Ussach, his wife of 23 years. Phil will be missed by his friends and neighbors of Kismet.As the long awaited anticipation of the North Shore LIJ Southside Hospitals Pirate Festival finally came to fruition, adults and children alike watched as Kismet transformed into “Neverland.” With Pirates, wenches and scallywags invading the island, one would almost expect Captain Hook to make an appearance.The festivities started off with a Pirate Costume Parade, which was hosted by the Kismet Inn. As characters gathered to march their way to the town square, Mr. Cole announced the winner of the costume competition. The winner of the wench costume was no other than Kim Voltz from the Bulkhead, while the winner of the pirate costume ended up being a tie between Congressman Phil Boyle, with his life size pirate bobble head and Bryan Brownyard, who was channeling Jack Sparrow. It was a great show of costumes by all participants.After the costume parade, young scallywags moved on to Kismet’s bay beach, where they were in search of hidden treasure. During their search, a sword fight broke out between some of Fire Island’s “real” pirates. This excited the children and gave them a genuine “Pirate Experience.”With face painting, balloon making, a balloon raffle, tennis clinic, yoga classes and so much more, the children had a surplus of activities to keep them busy throughout the day. While the young pirates were having their fun, the older pirates gathered at the Surf’s Out for the Rum Runners competition. As mixologists and bartenders from the Inn, the Out, Southward Ho Country Club, Tellers, Verde and Flynn’s, prepared for competition, judges James Bruno from Albrecht, Bruno and O’Shea Funeral Home; Michael Voltz, Kismet resident and president of VAMI (Voltz Asset Management Inc.); and Chris Cuomo, CNN correspondent, reviewed the rules.One by one, the competitors approached the stage, mixing their concoctions to the live music of the “Soul Junkies.” Amanda Barbara was the MC of the event and she kept the competition moving along. Through three rounds of eliminations, Vinny Ambrosio, a high school journalism teacher and bartender at the Out, was crowned victor.To know that the Pirate Festival is benefitting the medical care that is available to all of us makes every effort worth it. It’s comforting to know that we have a tertiary-level hospital right across the bay that offers world class medicine. With an exceptional open heart surgery program and an award-winning stroke program, North Shore LIJ Southside Hospital is also the first NYS hospital to receive Trauma Center designation. This means that in case of a trauma emergency, a surgeon will be at your bedside within 15 minutes of arrival.With exceptional sponsorships, an extraordinary live auction, children’s activities and raffle prizes, the First Annual Pirate Festival raised more than $120,000. This event would not have been a success if not for the generosity of the Cole family and the Kismet Inn, The Surf’s Out, The Pizza Shack, The Wine and Vine, The Red Wagon Emporium and of course the Mooney family and the Fire Island Ferries.The endless efforts of Kaitlin Brownyard Wajnor and Nora Perry of Southside Hospital were priceless, along with the leader of the pack and chairperson of the committee, Patty Deisu and committee members: Oriana Bohlsen, Jean Cacciabaudo M.D., Susie Imbert, Jane Mooney and Marijane Voltz. This was a group of women who worked well together and got the job done.At the end of the day, the festival committee gathered at the Inn for a champagne toast and dinner. While listening to Tim Mooney and his nameless band, it was the perfect opportunity to reflect on the day’s achievements. Knowing that the festival will take place on Aug. 2 next year, the committee has some time to recuperate and then get back to work!News for MJ can be sent to [email protected].