Since our last newsletter a month ago, the Racquet Club on Park Hill has continued its frenetic pace of summer parties, Friday barbecues, in-house tennis tournaments, inter-club tennis competition, and other lively activities.
The PHRC Board has been particularly pleased that nearly every Friday night since late spring, volunteers have been found to organize and host the barbecues – which are always a labor of love.
Sunday round-robins after 4 pm have been a big hit again this summer. And so has the Fun Bowling League. Meanwhile, the beautiful club pool has acted as the usual magnet attracting members and their guests of all ages, who find it especially inviting on the hottest, sultriest days of the year.
UPCOMING CLUB EVENTS
The Friday, August 25th, Barbecue: Grilled bratwurst, hot dogs and hamburgers are on the menu for this Friday’s barbecue, courtesy of Steve Spiegler, Ardie Gashi and Asaria Vemuri. Those coming are asked to coordinate side dishes and desserts with Steve.
The Saturday, August 26th, Tailgate Party: The O’Hanlon and Ardi Gashi/Asaria Vemuri families will on August 26th co-host the club’s first Tailgate Pot-Luck Party in the club parking lot starting at 5 pm. The party will include “cornhole, flip cup and beer pong,” as well as footballs to toss around and “an assortment of fun tailgating traditions.” That will be followed by the 7 pm preseason game between the New York Giants and the New York Jets. For the PHRC Fantasy League, we will have our draft at 7 pm in the lounge. All participants are asked to contribute “a tailgating dish of sorts.”
The Sunday, August 27th, Ladies’ Tennis Doubles Final: The Ladies Tennis Doubles Final will be held this Sunday, August 27th, at 10 am. The match will pit two strong teams against each other: Claire Miko and Wendy Bodner versus Patty Cecere and Laura Berning. Viewers can expect a very spirited contest.
The Tuesday, August 29th, PHRC Mixed-Doubles Tennis Final: The mixed-doubles final will be held on Tuesday, August 29th, at 4:30 pm. The two strong teams will be Wendy Bodner and Bob Gopalan, on one side, and Patty Gamba and Tom Westmoreland, on the other.
The Wednesday, August 30th Outing to the US Open at Flushing Meadow: Members interested in joining the all-day group outing to the US Open on Wednesday, August 30th, should contact Paul Meissner about tickets, which are $60 each. The tickets will get holders onto the grounds for the entire day and will include entrance into the Grandstand and Armstrong Stadiums.
The Saturday, September 16th, Competitive Singles Tennis Tournament: The club will hold its annual competitive men’s and ladies’ singles tournament on this date.
The 2017-2018 Winter Bowling League. The club’s winter bowling league season will again be starting up in mid-October. League president Jon Wallen says he hopes to have 20 bowlers and five teams for the 25-week season. Anyone interested in taking part should contact Jon by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone at 914-476-8674.
The Park Hill Players: On the week end of Friday/Saturday, November 10-11, the Park Hill Players will sponsor “The Last Flapper,” a one-woman show, featuring the versatile actress Tina D’Amato, who, for the past two decades, has been gracing area stages with her robust and colorful portrayals in a wide variety of imaginative roles.
November Karaoke Party: Tom Westmoreland says there is a good chance that the club’s next karaoke party will be in November.
RECENT AND ONGOING CLUB SOCIAL EVENTS
Friday, July 21st: Renee O’Hanlon organized a pizza-and-pasta night for families, in lieu of a barbecue Friday, and the dozens of participants had a very good time eating, drinking and getting reconnected.
Sundays from July 23rd till August 27th: Andre Velasquez returned to again hold her Aquastrength © classes for cross-training fitness in the club pool for six straight Sunday mornings: the last two Sundays in July and the four Sundays in August. Anyone interested in taking part can contact Andrea at this address: email@example.com. Each class is an hour long, with the cost $10 for club members and $15 for non-members.
Friday, July 28th, Barbecue Party: The Kate Waters/Lynette Phillips family and the Gamba and D’Alessio families hosted the Second Annual Kebab Party, with Vinnie D’Alessio manning the grill on the delicious beef, chicken and veggie kebobs, slathered in several tasty sauces.
Saturday, July 29th, Karaoke Party: The summer karaoke party organized by Tom Westmoreland and Patty Gamba had its usual throng of enthusiastic singers and those who enjoy singing along. As usual, Justine Faith, owner of Nightstar D.J. and Karaoke Entertainment, did a fine job of running the program, and even serenaded the crowd with a few songs of her own. As ever, the Miko sisters trio – Annette, Claire and Mary – stole the show with their flamboyant costumes, exuberant songs, and infectious delivery.
Friday, August 4th, Barbecue: Diana and Paul Cassidy generously hosted this barbecue, which featured their very tasty sausage and peppers, sweet and hot, served alongside hamburgers and hot dogs.
Sunday, August 6th, Rock Concert: Members Dave Steck and Taylor Pierce and their band entertained club members and guests with a boisterous afternoon of live popular music aimed at rock-and-roll fans of all ages.
Friday, August 11th, Barbecue: The Savard and Canty families stoked the appetites of members and guests at this barbecue with their delicious beef, chicken and vegetable fajitas, while adding their trusty hot dogs and hamburgers for the younger set.
Wednesday, August 16th, Conclusion of Summer Fun Bowling League: The Summer Fun Bowling League ended with The Pool Siders (Paul Cassidy, Mary Liberatore and Lyrica Leon) on top. Following a “bowl-off” on August 16th between Margaritaville and The Boys of Summer to determine the runner-up team, Paul Cassidy, the leader of the summer league, organized a pizza party for the participants. The League thanks Paul for running the league and Bob Reape for meticulously checking and calculating scores and averages.
Friday, August 18th, Barbecue: Chuck and Beth Schorr-Lesnick hosted the latest Friday night barbecue, grilling London Broil beef along with hot dogs and hamburgers. Chris Gamba and his band “Quickcheck” added live music entertainment for the pleasure of party-goers.
RECENT TENNIS EVENTS AND OTHER TENNIS NEWS
Saturday, July 15th and July 29th, Men’s Doubles Tournament: The club held its rain-delayed men’s doubles tournament on Saturday, July 15th, with 12 teams taking part, and all matches through the semi-finals were completed that day. The final was held on Saturday, July 29th, when Vinnie and Artie Liberatore played a fine match against Todd Geremia and Bob Gopalan, with Todd and Bob prevailing.
Saturday, August 5th, Mixed-Doubles Tournament: Another rain-delayed tennis competition this summer was the club’s mixed-doubles tournament. The 12 teams were able to play through one semi-final on August 5th, with Tom Westmoreland and Patty Gamba defeating Dan O’Connell and Jennifer Ringstad. In the other semi-final, Patty Cecere and Cliff Hackford split two sets with Wendy Bodner and Bob Gopalan, with the final set delayed one week. On Saturday, August 12th, Wendy and Bob prevailed over Patty and Cliff in a hard-fought third and final set. (The final will be held on Tuesday, August 29th, at 4:30 pm.)
Thursday, August 17th, Round-Robin Party Hosted by Ola Roberts: This year’s new tennis coach, Ola Roberts, organized an evening round-robin tennis competition on the four courts, before kindly hosting a margarita-and-pizza party later for the participants.
Thanks to Patty Gamba and Steve Spiegler for Assistance to Tennis Players: Club members, as ever, thank Patty Gamba, Chair of the Tennis Committee, and Steve Spiegler, organizer of week-day morning tennis competition, for all that they do on the Tennis Committee to make tennis operations run so smoothly. In addition to everything else she does, Patty is in touch with our house man, Jacobo, every morning, to let members know whether the courts are in playable condition at the 9 am opening time. Steve is in regular contact with the dozens of players who have the scheduling flexibility to consider playing on week day mornings.
Thanks to Tom Westmoreland and Angela Lee Chen of the Club’s WCTL and MITL Teams: The members of the club’s WCTL and MITL teams express their appreciation to Tom Westmoreland and Angela Lee Chen for their diligent efforts in organizing the respective matches with counterparts at other clubs in the area. Tom says the Park Hill men finished in third place this month in the Senior Circuit (men over 50) and that they took first place in the Open League (for all ages).
Based on that record, Tom adds that Park Hill has the approval of the PHRC Board for its application to the WCTL Board of Directors to have two teams compete in next year’s Open League. The two levels would be in the Smooth and Glossy Divisions, allowing the club to have up to 22 players involved in inter-club competition most week ends, instead of only the 11 players of the past several years. Tom is now awaiting feedback from the WCTL Board on this request.
Angela says that the club’s MITL team and the Over 50 Team both had to struggle with the weather this summer, because it has been an extremely wet year. The members of the combined team held their annual end-of-season celebration on Wednesday, August 16th, first playing a round-robin competition at the club, followed by a catered dinner from Silvio’s. Angela says that since this is her last year in New York (she and Cliff Hackford are moving to South Carolina by year’s end), the ladies’ team will play next year under someone else’s direction, quite possibly Patty Gamba’s. Meanwhile, the club wishes Angela and Cliff good luck when they move to their new environs down south.
Condolences: The club sent sincerest condolences to members Debbie Hernandez and her son Luis over the passing on July 30th of Ann Wasserman, Debbie’s mother and Luis’s grandmother, following a long illness.
The 2017 Yonkers Film Festival: Club members Patty Schumann and Dave Steck are busy preparing for their fifth annual Yonkers Film Festival, which they have dubbed “Yo5Fest.” The week-long festival – which will run from Friday, November 3rd, until Thursday, November 9th – celebrates independent films from both at home and around the world.
On September 7th, Dave and Patty will hold an Announcement Party at the Empire City Casino, where they will reveal the lineup of this year’s films chosen for presentation. Publicity about the menu, music and merriment for the occasion will soon become available. Information about the festival will be regularly updated at the festival web site: www.yofifest.com.
Glimmerglass Opera in 2018. Next summer, the prestigious Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, New York, will present as one of its featured works the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera, “Silent Night,” by PHRC member Kevin Puts (whose wife, Lisa Kim, plays violin for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra) and Kevin’s librettist, Mark Campbell. The opera is about the famous 1914 Christmas truce observed on a Belgian battlefield during World War I by French, German and Scottish troops, who briefly laid down their guns to meet in no man’s land, sing carols and play soccer, before being ordered to resume the war by their commanders. Kevin will make a personal presentation at the festival to introduce his opera.
The New Rochelle Opera. Another PHRC member, Vic Marino (by day, an anesthesiologist), is a singer-performer with the New Rochelle Opera (NRO). This June, Vic sang in the supporting cast role of Baron Bogdonovic in Franz Lehar’s delightful comic operetta, “The Merry Widow.” Last year, Vic performed in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” and next year he will be in the NRO production of Puccini’s “La Boheme.” In recent years, the NRO productions have been staged at the fine auditorium of The Ursuline School in New Rochelle.
One of the club’s newest members, Sophie Worley, wife of Jordan, received applause at those NRO performances of “The Merry Widow” this spring, when she was introduced to audiences as the great grand-niece of Franz Lehar. In fact, Sophie, who works at The Morgan Library and Museum, is named after Lehar’s wife, Sophie.