Another Great Holiday Season at the Club!
Decoration of the Hall. Yonkers’ venerable Racquet Club on Park Hill never looked more beautiful this past holiday season, thanks to the usual hard work of the club Decorating Committee led by Kathryn Buckley, Patty Gamba and Claire Miko. As usual, the lounge, hall and entranceways had a magical glow. The Holiday Decorating Week End took place on November 22nd-24th, the week end before Thanksgiving. Recognition also goes to the team of members who worked hard in bringing down the many big boxes and bags of decorations stored in the loft and in moving the bulky furniture around from room to room. Claire, Kathryn and Patty were joined in beautifying the hall by many other members: Kirsten Barbera, Paul Cecere, Patty Cecere, Gabriella Cinquemani, Adrienne D’Alessio, Todd Geremia, Chrissy Gervais, Katherine Haas, Joe Harbeson, Justine Henry, Vic Mason, Greg Nolen, Tami and Nicholas Vu, and Tom Westmoreland. Special thanks to Steve Savard and Ed Schmid once again for volunteering to select, transport and set up the magnificent tree in the ballroom.
Wreath Decorating Party.
The club’s first holiday event of the season – the Wreath Decorating Party – was held on Sunday, December 1st. A fundraiser, the party was co-sponsored by the Park Hill Racquet Club, the Park Hill Residents’ Association, and the Luther Burbank Garden Club. The event is organized so that participants can make their own holiday wreaths, while making donations to help the Luther Burbank Garden Club in its fundraising activities.
The Neighborhood Tree Lighting
On Wednesday, December 4th, the Neighborhood Tree Lighting took place on Rumsey Road at 7 pm. That was followed by the After-Party at the Racquet Club at 7:30 pm. Everyone was welcome to take part in the party in the club lounge, at no extra charge. Members came together at the club to sing carols, have snacks and see the fabulous Ukrainian dance troupe.
“Krampus” the Movie and the Cultural Phenomenon.
On Friday evening, December 6th, Chrissy and Matt Gervais hosted a German dinner, followed by the showing of the cult film, “Krampus.” Prior to the movie, the occasion had some of the younger set truly on edge, especially when a fiendishly real-life Krampus – according to central European folklore, the anti-St. Nicholas and a creature half-goat and half-demon, who warns naughty children not to misbehave, on pain of being hauled away in his red bag and taken to his lair – showed up in the great hall with his frightening “face.” Some of the little ones were at first so terrified that they fled the hall, running down into the lounge, returning only when they had been reassured that “Krampus” was only the kindly Matt Gervais decked out in the scary Krampus mask and costume.
The Annual Holiday Cocktail Party.
Nearly 60 members and guests gathered in the gorgeous hall for the Holiday Cocktail Party organized by Steve Savard. Members supplied the food – the starters, the main dishes and the desserts – that all enjoyed. Kate Savard worked the coat room and Kate and Vivian waited on tables and in the kitchen. Recorded music provided the background for the evening. The intrepid bartending team of Kristen and Steve were kept busy supplying holiday-special drinks to members and guests.
As usual, members who wished wrote checks to contribute to the club’s Holiday Fund, which was distributed to the lifeguards and bartenders who worked at the club in 2019, as well as to the houseman, Rogelio (Roger) Herrera. Members wrote the checks to the club, and Club Treasurer Matt Krawiec then distributed the cash to the employees prior to Christmas.
The Bar Committee organized pre-holiday bonfire parties ahead of both Thanksgiving (on Wednesday, November 27th) and on Friday, December 20th. Members and guests gathered for each occasion to roast marshmallows and to share drinks, snacks and convivial conversation around the fire, in a festive holiday atmosphere on both evenings.
Breakfast With Santa. The Social Committee, under Justine Henry, reported an excellent turnout of young children of club members for the Breakfast With Santa brunch on Sunday, December 15th. Matt Gervais’s father, Roger, made an outstanding roly-poly Santa, and all present reported having had a super time (see photos).
New Year’s Day Brunch.
Board Directors Justine Henry and Patty Gamba organized the club’s annual New Year’s Day brunch on Wednesday, January 1st. They reported a good time, as usual, was had by all, who attended.
“The Undecorating Party.” Many of the same members who helped decorate the club for the holidays took part in “The Undecorating Party” on Sunday, January 5th. Participants included Justine, Patty Gamba, Claire, Kathryn, Jennifer and Paul, Vic, Matt and Chrissy, Mary Kay, and Todd, Tami and Nicholas.
PHRC Annual General Meeting
The club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Wednesday, February 12th, at 7:30 pm, in the ballroom. The agenda and additional information will be sent out to all members by the end of this month. We look forward to seeing everyone there.
Update on the Winter “Serious” Bowling League
The Winter Bowling League has been in full swing since the end of October. As of the first week of the new year, Jose Alvarado’s Hurricanes continued to hold their slim lead in the standings, with 33 points, over the runners-up, Paul Meissner’s SPDs with 32. Following closely in third place are Bill Dennison’s Commodores with 30 points, followed by Jon Wallen’s Brownies with 24 and Robert Klein’s surging Mason Jars with 21.
As of the first week of the new year, individual high bowling averages were as follow: Bill Dennison, 165; Paul Meissner, 161; Jose Alvarado, 158; Jon Wallen, 156; Ed Schmid, 153; Dean Prouty, 150; Bill Coffey, 148; Robert Klein, 145; and Pat O’Hanlon, 143. Individual high games were: Bill Dennison, 221; Jon Wallen, 217; Jose Alvarado, 212; Ed Schmid, 207; John Twomey and Vic Mason, 205; Paul Meissner, 203; Paul Cassidy, 201; Deane Prouty, 188; Pat O’Hanlon and Karen Lorence, 184; John Maggiotto, 182; Paul Cecere and Steve Savard, 180; Bill Coffey and Jennifer Ringstad, 179; Robert Klein, 175; and Annemarie Ennis, 170.
Personal high scratch series are as follow: Bill Dennison, 576; Jon Wallen, 541; Ed Schmid, 540; Jose Alvarado, 532; Vic Mason, 522; Paul Meissner, 520; Pat O’Hanlon, 513; Deane Prouty, 510; Bill Coffey, 494; Paul Cassidy, 477; and Robert Klein, 474.
As ever, special thanks go to League President Jon Wallen for his regular care of the bowling lanes and machines, and to Steve Savard for his weekly calculation of statistics.
Super Bowl Party
The annual club Super Bowl party will be held in the lounge on Sunday, February 2nd. As usual, it will be a pot-luck affair, this year to watch Super Bowl LIV (54) – and one of the opposing teams will not be Tom Brady’s New England Patriots, who were knocked out of the running on their own home field on wild-card week end by the Tennessee Titans. The club’s bar will open at 3 pm that day. The pot-luck tailgating part of the festivities starts at 5 pm. The game itself begins at around 6:30. All members, and their guests, interested in taking part in the pot-luck should notify Patty Gamba at firstname.lastname@example.org, who will coordinate dishes. Meanwhile, this Sunday, January 19th, the NFL Conference Championships take place, with Tennessee playing at Kansas City at 3:05 pm, and Green Bay playing at San Francisco at 6:40 pm. The lounge bar will be open at 1 pm for this big day of football. See you at the club!
Tom Westmoreland and Patty Gamba announce that the club’s next karaoke party will be held on Saturday, February 8th. As usual, Justine Faith of Nightstar DJ will again do the honors, running the karaoke machine and helping to back up singers uncertain of their lines.
Thanks to mild weather most of the fall, the club was able to keep its pretty red-clay courts open for play until the final week of November. So Steve Spiegler thoughtfully continued scheduling morning week-day play for those available right up until the very end.
Tennis Awards Brunch. On Sunday, October 27th, the Tennis Committee hosted the annual Tennis Awards Brunch in the lounge. The awards went to the following winners and runners-up of the club’s “intramural” tennis competitions held between Memorial Day and Labor Day:
Memorial Day Fun Tournament: winners: Patty Coomaraswamy and Paul Meissner; runners-up: Susie Moscou and Kevin Klein
Fourth of July Fun Tournament: winners: Katherine Haas and Matt Krawiec
Men’s Singles Tournament: winner: Todd Geremia; runner-up: Tom Westmoreland
Men’s Doubles Tournament: winners: Ron Weiss and Cameron Weiss; runners-up: Frank Petrilli and Robert Klein
Women’s Doubles Tournament: winners: Claire Miko and Wendy Bodner; runners-up: Lyrica Leon and Jennifer Ringstad
Mixed Doubles Tournament: winners: Patty Gamba and Tom Westmoreland; runners-up: Meredith Prevor-Weiss and Cameron Weiss
Labor Day Fun Tournament: winners: Pat O’Hanlon and Vic Mason; runners-up: Jennifer Ringstad and Kevin Klein
Tennis Pro Marcel Fargier. Our Venezuelan tennis pro, Marcel Fargier, has received a coaching offer in Budapest, Hungary, starting in March. Katherine and Richard Haas, who have kindly hosted Marcel in their home these past two years, have informed the Board that, in fact, Marcel is “very devoted to his clients” in Yonkers and the surrounding community and that he would be very pleased to return to teach at Park Hill again next summer “if the position is open to him.” The Board considers that very good news, and all of the members who have taken coaching lessons from Marcel know what a good teacher he is.
One of the week-end social highlights of the fall was the club’s first-ever “Salsa Night,” which was organized by Zerena Zeron and Phyllis Cavaliere on Saturday, October 19th. The courses of delicious food that Zerena and Phyllis worked very hard preparing were a big hit with the diners. Once the main course was over, the dance floor pulsated to catchy Latin rhythms, enjoyed by partiers of all ages that evening. Then came the equally great desserts. Thanks to Zerena and Phyllis for proposing this great party idea.
Pickleball, a popular winter-time activity at the club in recent years, resumed in early November, under the leadership of Jim Beirne and Lyrica Leon. Play was suspended last month during the holiday decoration of the ballroom. Now that the decorations have come down, pickleball can resume beginning the week end of January 11th-12th.
Park Hill Players
The Park Hill Players are making good progress in their rehearsals of “Rumors,” a delightful farce by Neil Simon written in 1988 and set around that time period. Club member Anne Lawday, who is directing the play, reports that it’s “wonderfully funny” and highly entertaining from start to finish. Ann notes that most of the cast are members of the Racquet Club, including: Jim Beirne, Chris Gallen, April Koerner, Mary Kay Moment, AnnMarie Ricci, Steve Ross and Karin White. Costumes and make-up are by club member Gabriella Cinquemani.
The performances, originally scheduled for mid-January, have been postponed, due to Jim Beirne’s recent back surgery. Jim is making a good recovery and he can’t wait to resume rehearsals – or to get back on the pickleball courts, as soon as he has his doctor’s OK to play.
Last November, the club expressed its condolences to members Claire Miko and Bob Dominicus on the passing of their beloved brother-in-law, Tom Tantillo, a frequent guest at club events. At the same time, the club also expressed its sympathies to Peter and Annmarie Ennis on the passing of Peter’s beloved father, William J. Ennis.
The club also expresses its condolences to Dan O’Connell and Susie Moscou on the passing this week of Dan’s beloved father, Daniel O’Connell, on January 9th.