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Ralph Macchio

By Heidi Sutton

The 14th annual Village Cup Regatta, a friendly competition between Mather Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson, set sail on Sept. 9 on the Long Island Sound for two good causes.

The Regatta consists of Yacht Club-skippered sailboat where employees from the Hospital and Village help crew the boats, which race in one of three classes based on boat size.

Presented by the Port Jefferson Yacht Club, the Regatta raises funds for Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program and the Lustgarten Foundation, which funds pancreatic cancer research. This year’s Regatta, which was won by the Mather team, raised $94,000 which was divided equally between the two groups. Mather Hospital’s Executive Director Kevin McGeachy accepted the Village Cup and the check for his team at a celebratory Skipper’s Reception at the Port Jefferson Village Center following the races. Mayor Lauren Sheprow represented the Port Jeff Village team.

Actor, director and local resident Ralph Macchio once again served as Village Cup Regatta Celebrity Ambassador for the event. Macchio has helped to publicize the important work of the two programs funded by the Regatta for the last ten years. His wife, Phyllis, is a nurse practitioner in Mather Hospital’s Palliative Medicine Program.

 

 

The Memorial Parade of Boats can be viewed from Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson. File photo by Bob Savage
View Memorial Parade of Boats at Harborfront Park prior to race

It’s time once again to sail for a cure as the 14th annual Village Cup Regatta, a friendly competition between Mather Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson, returns on Saturday, Sept. 9. 

Presented by the Port Jefferson Yacht Club, the Regatta raises funds for Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program and the Lustgarten Foundation, which funds pancreatic cancer research. Last year’s Regatta raised more than $109,000 — a record sum — which was divided between Mather Hospital and the Lustgarten Foundation. The event has raised almost $860,000 over the past 13 years.

The Regatta consists of Yacht Club-skippered sailboats divided into two teams representing Mather Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson. Employees from the Hospital and Village help crew the boats, which race in one of three classes based on boat size. 

The festivities begin in Harborfront Park, 101 East Broadway in Port Jefferson Village, at 10 a.m, where you can purchase shirts, commemorative hats, nautical bags and mugs. The Memorial Parade of Boats begins at 11 a.m. at the Port Jefferson Village dock. All sailboats participating in the Regatta will pass by the park dressed in banners and nautical flags on their way out to the Long Island Sound for the race which begins at 1 p.m.

Actor, director and local resident Ralph Macchio will once again serve as Village Cup Regatta Celebrity Ambassador for the event. Macchio has helped to publicize the important work of the two programs funded by the Regatta for the last ten years. Macchio’s wife, Phyllis, is a nurse practitioner in Mather Hospital’s Palliative Medicine Program.

Following the Regatta, a celebratory Skipper’s Reception and presentation of the Village Cup will take place  at 3:30 p.m. in a restored 1917 shipyard building that today serves as the Port Jefferson Village Center, just steps away from the Harborfront Park.

To sign up as a crew member for the Mather Hospital team, contact Cindy Court at 631-476-2723 or [email protected]

To sign up as a crew member for the Port Jefferson Village team, contact Sylvia at 631-473-4724, ext. 219 or email [email protected].

For more information and to purchase tickets to the reception ($50 per person includes food, wine, beer and raffles), please visit www.portjeffersonyachtclub.com or www.facebook.com/villagecupregatta.

For further questions, please call 631-512-1068.

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Sanzel

Waxing On, subtitled The Karate Kid and Me (Dutton Books), is a smartly written memoir of the career-making role that raised Ralph Macchio from up-and-coming actor to teen icon. He shares his professional arc in the tightly written chronicle, emphasizing the Karate Kid trilogy and the current Cobra Kai. And while he accepts that Daniel LaRusso may have pigeon-holed him in the industry, he consistently expresses appreciation for the opportunity and the people he met along the way.

Ralph Macchio with a copy of his new book@RALPH_MACCHIO (INSTAGRAM)

Before The Karate Kid (1984), Macchio appeared in a handful of films, most notably Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders, as well as a recurring role on television’s Eight Is Enough (1980-81). He was living on his native Long Island when he landed the audition for The-Karate-Kid. Dubious, given the cartoonish title, he flew back to Los Angeles. He then began the round of auditions, callbacks, and martial arts training before being officially cast in the role (originally surnamed Webber but changed to suit Macchio’s “East Coast” quality). 

Eventually, after reading with possible co-stars, producer Jerry Weintraub contracted Macchio for the original film and potentially two sequels. (Among noteworthy Daniel contenders were Charlie Sheen, Robert Downey Jr., C. Thomas Howell, and Kyle Eastwood.)

The Karate Kid’s screenplay took its inspiration from a newspaper article about a picked-on boy and how martial arts helped him deal with his bullies. The script relied on the twin themes of bullying and mentorship. The universality spoke to a large swathe of the potential audience and helped maintain its unflagging popularity for nearly forty years.

Macchio is a straightforward, entertaining storyteller, open and direct. Whether discussing the casting process that was months in limbo or the hours of physical training, his descriptions are vivid and personal, presented with warmth and gratitude.

He devotes three chapters to each of his co-stars: Noriyuki “Pat” Morita, who played Mr. Miyagi; Elizabeth Shue, his love interest, Ali Mills; and William Zabka, Daniel’s nemesis, Johnny Lawrence. He makes clear his love and admiration for the three individuals as actors, collaborators, and people.

Morita, in particular, is singled out for his contribution. At the time, the actor was best known as a stand-up comedian and for his stint as Arnold on Happy Days. During his audition, Morita introduced the famous hachimaki (headscarf), explaining its significance. Along with the crane, the cloth became one of the film’s most memorable images. Eventually, Morita won the role of the Okinawan sensei, garnering an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Macchio attributes much of the film’s success to Oscar-winning director John G. Alvidsen (Rocky, Save the Tiger, Lean on Me) and writer Robert Mark Kamen (Taps, Gladiator). He generously praises both men’s patience and support of the young actor, often recrafting the role around Macchio’s persona. “As an actor you often want to ‘disappear’ into a role. You feel you can demonstrate your range by losing yourself in the character. In this circumstance, ‘disappearing’ meant not being able to discern where Ralph ended and LaRusso began.”

He acknowledges The Karate Kid as a movie of its time, referencing John Hughes as well as Back to the Future. “There was an innocence, an adolescent openness and vulnerability, that we don’t often see as much in films today. Perhaps it was a simpler time. Perhaps it was a superficial representation, but it certainly had its place.” 

Macchio reflects on the 1984 release at the height of blockbusters. The Karate Kid shared the same summer with Ghostbusters and Gremlins, just on the heels of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. 

The Karate Kid was a “small” movie in comparison. And yet, it landed big due to the approachability of the Daniel LaRusso character. “For whatever reason, I felt far more like a local hero and much less like a movie star. I was treated like the guy who won the high school football game on Friday night. The kid who lived next-door. Not a celebrity you would see on the red carpet or in magazines.” 

For years, Macchio resisted a return to the franchise even though many ideas (some downright bizarre) were proffered. “Without actual material to judge, I wasn’t willing to take a next step and get involved, officially, on any project connected to The Karate Kid. It was always easier (and safer) to say, ‘No, thank you.’” He feared that anything that “missed the mark” would tarnish the legacy. 

He writes candidly about the 2010 remake, the How I Met Your Mother appearances, and the YouTube The Karate Kid: Daniel is the REAL Bully. He acknowledges these and other cultural moments kept the characters alive. 

Writer/creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg changed his mind with the proposal of Cobra Kai. The team’s respect for the source and welcoming involvement of Macchio’s and Zabka’s insights and expertise helped the project progress. In 2018, the excellent series debuted on YouTube Red before finding a home on Netflix, with the fifth season released this past September. 

Much of the latter part of Waxing On focuses on the new incarnation. The experience has been a joyful one: “I can’t express how much fun it is to play the yesterday in the today of these characters.” 

Throughout the memoir, Macchio meditates on a range of topics, including the cavalier dismissal of Shue’s character between the first and second films, his scandal-free life, the impact of the crane kick, career dry spells, and even the filming of the famous fly catching bit. 

As Macchio stated in a recent panel discussion: “When you make a movie that twenty or thirty years later people still obsess and debate about, therefore continuing to keep it relevant and important … it’s awesome!” In Waxing On, Ralph Macchio offers a welcome, often funny, and always engaging glimpse into the world of one of the most enduring family films.

Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me is available at your local Barnes & Noble or online at www.barnesandnoble.com or www.amazon.com.

Boaters wave to the crowd at Harborfront Park during last year's Memorial Parade of Boats. Photo by Julianne Mosher/TBR News Media

It’s time once again to sail for a cure as the 13th annual Village Cup Regatta, a friendly competition between Mather Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson, returns on Saturday, Sept. 10. 

Mayor Margot Garant, pictured with Regatta Ambassador Ralph Macchio, Mather Hospital Executive Director Kevin McGeachy and Stephanie McGeachy, accepted last year’s Village Cup on behalf of the Village of Port Jefferson.

Presented by the Port Jefferson Yacht Club, the Regatta raises funds for Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program and the Lustgarten Foundation, which funds pancreatic cancer research. Last year’s Regatta raised more than $104,000 — a record sum — which was divided between Mather Hospital and the Lustgarten Foundation. The event has raised more than $750,000 over the past 12 years.

The Regatta consists of Yacht Club-skippered sailboats divided into two teams representing Mather Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson. Employees from the Hospital and Village help crew the boats, which race in one of three classes based on boat size.

The festivities begin in Harborfront Park, 101 East Broadway in Port Jefferson Village, at 10 a.m, where you can purchase shirts, commemorative hats, nautical bags and mugs. The Memorial Parade of Boats begins at 11 a.m. at the Port Jefferson Village dock. All sailboats participating in the Regatta will pass by the park dressed in banners and nautical flags on their way out to the Long Island Sound for the race which begins at 1 p.m.

Actor, director and local resident Ralph Macchio will once again serve as Village Cup Regatta Celebrity Ambassador for the event. Macchio has helped to publicize the important work of the two programs funded by the Regatta for the last ten years. Macchio’s wife, Phyllis, is a nurse practitioner in Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program.

Following the Regatta, a celebratory Skipper’s Reception and presentation of the Village Cup will take place  at 3:30 p.m. in a restored 1917 shipyard building that today serves as the Port Jefferson Village Center.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the reception ($50 per person includes food, wine, beer and raffles), please visit www.portjeffersonyachtclub.com or www.facebook.com/villagecupregatta. For further questions, call 631-512-1068.

 

View the Memorial Parade of Boats before race. Photo by Bob Savage

The 12th annual Village Cup Regatta, a friendly competition between Mather Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson, will sail with full crews this Saturday, September 11. 

Join Ralph Macchio in supporting a most worthy cause. File photo by Bob Savage

Presented by the Port Jefferson Yacht Club, the Regatta raises funds for Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program and the Lustgarten Foundation, which funds pancreatic cancer research. The event has raised almost $640,500 for the two organizations. Last year’s event was held without crew members due to the pandemic. The event raised $40,000, which was divided between Mather and Lustgarten.

Actor/director and local resident Ralph Macchio will again act as community ambassador for the event. This is the ninth year Macchio has helped to publicize the important work of the two programs funded by the Regatta. Macchio’s wife, Phyllis, is a nurse practitioner in Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program.

The Regatta consists of Yacht Club-skippered sailboats divided into two teams representing Mather Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson. Employees from the Hospital and Village help crew the boats, which race in one of three classes based on boat size. 

The festivities will begin at Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson Village at 10 a.m., where you can purchase t-shirts signed by Ralph Macchio, along with the event’s commemorative hats, nautical bags and mugs. The Memorial Parade of Boats begins at 11 a.m. at the Port Jefferson Village dock. All sailboats participating in the Regatta will pass by the park dressed in banners and nautical flags on their way out to the racecourse on Long Island Sound.

Following the race, a celebratory Skipper’s Reception and presentation of the Village Cup will take place in a restored 1917 shipyard building that now serves as the Port Jefferson Village Center.

Businesses, organizations and individuals can support the Regatta and the programs it funds by making a donation or purchasing tickets to attend the Skipper’s Reception or view the event on a spectator boat.. Sponsorships also are available. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit http://portjeffersonyachtclub.com/community/village-cup/ or www.facebook.com/villagecupregatta

View Memorial Parade of Boats before race

Colorful sailboats of all sizes will descend on Port Jefferson harbor for the eighth annual Village Cup Regatta on Saturday, Sept. 9. A fundraiser cleverly disguised as a sporting event, the regatta is designed to combine the fun and excitement of sporting achievement while raising money for pancreatic cancer research.

The boat race was initiated by the Port Jefferson Yacht Club (formerly Setauket Yacht Club) primarily to call attention to and to support efforts to combat pancreatic cancer, which has claimed the lives of two of its members in recent years. The event also promotes a closer relationship between the club and the village in the wonderful maritime setting they share.

Join actor Ralph Macchio on Sept. 9 in supporting a most worthy cause. File photo by Bob Savage

 

Actor and local resident Ralph Macchio will once again act as a community ambassador for the friendly competition between John T. Mather Memorial Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson, which raises funds for Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program and the Lustgarten Foundation. Over the past seven years, the annual event has raised more than $377,000 for the two organizations.

Macchio’s role as ambassador for the regatta for the fifth year is to help publicize the important work of the two programs it funds. Macchio’s wife, Phyllis, is a nurse practitioner in Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program.

The regatta consists of yacht club-skippered sailboats divided into two teams representing the hospital and the village. Employees from each organization help crew the boats, which race in one of three classes based on boat size. The festivities begin at Harborfront Park, located at 101 East Broadway in Port Jefferson, at 10 a.m.

File photo by Bob Savage

Regatta T-shirts designed by a local artist and signed by Macchio will be available for purchase along with the event’s commemorative T-shirts, hats and nautical bags. The Memorial Parade of Boats begins at 11 a.m. at the Port Jefferson Village dock. All sailboats participating in the regatta will pass by the park dressed in banners and nautical flags.

Following the regatta, a celebratory Skipper’s Reception and presentation of the Village Cup will take place at the Port Jefferson Village Center, a restored 1917 shipyard building located next to the Harborfront Park.

The cup is currently held by the village, which has earned the cup a total of four times. Mather Hospital has won the cup twice, and weather forced the cancellation of the 2012 race. The event is catered compliments of Schafer’s Port Jefferson restaurant and the Port Jefferson Brewing Company.

Businesses, organizations and individuals can support the regatta and the programs it funds by making a donation or purchasing tickets to attend the Skipper’s Reception or view the regatta on a spectator boat. Sponsorships also are available. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.portjeffersonyachtclub.com.

Port Jefferson Yacht Club hosted its sixth annual Village Cup Regatta on Saturday, raising funds for pancreatic cancer research through the Lustgarten Foundation and for John T. Mather Memorial Hospital’s palliative medicine program.

The regatta pits the hospital and Port Jefferson Village against one another in a friendly competition for the Village Cup, a trophy which the hospital has now won two years in a row following a village reign of three years.

Participants raised about $64,000 for the cause through this year’s race, according to yacht club member Chuck Chiaramonte. The sum will be split between the Lustgarten Foundation and the palliative care program, which is focused on improving patients’ quality of life.

Chiaramonte said over the six years of the regatta, the event has raised more than $300,000.

The yacht club — formerly known as the Setauket Yacht Club — supplied the boats and captains for the event, which included a parade of boats, games and face painting for children at the harborfront park, and a trophy presentation at the adjacent Village Center.

Chiaramonte said the club looks forward to the event every year.

“It was really meant to just be a joyous occasion and share the love of the water and boating with our neighbors,” he said.

A yacht club boat gets ready for the 2014 Village Cup Regatta in Port Jefferson Harbor. File photo by Bill Landon

After almost 40 years on Port Jefferson Harbor, an area yacht club is changing its name.

The Setauket Yacht Club announced on Thursday that it is now called Port Jefferson Yacht Club, paying tribute to the area that has been its home since 1977.

According to a press release from Port Jefferson Village, the yacht club’s members overwhelmingly approved the name change.

The announcement comes about a week ahead of the Village Cup Regatta, an annual boat race between the village and John T. Mather Memorial Hospital — in which the yacht club participates — that raises money for pancreatic cancer research.

“We have been a part of the Port Jeff community for many years and it was time for us to embrace our ties with the local residents, businesses and the wonderful harbor,” yacht club Commodore John Ciarelli said. “We feel a special bond to the village and wanted to reflect that in our name.”

Since moving from Setauket to Port Jefferson, the club, which was founded in 1959, has been based on Surf Avenue Pass Way, behind the Port Jefferson Village Center off East Broadway. It offers a summer sailing program and services such as launches to moorings.

According to the village press release, the renaming also coincides with a new type of membership program for special activities, aimed at people who need a place to store smaller watercraft like kayaks, canoes or paddle boards.

“We want to be the portal for the enjoyment of the harbor for the greater Port Jeff and Brookhaven community,” Ciarelli said. “We provide a broad spectrum of waterfront activities, including being the home of the Stony Brook University sailing and rowing teams.”

The Village Cup Regatta will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12, at Port Jefferson Harbor. Music will start around 10 a.m. at the harborfront park near the Port Jefferson Village Center, and the traditional parade of boats will begin an hour later.

In that memorial parade of boats, the sailboats racing in the regatta will cruise past with special banners and nautical flags. Following the race, the Village Cup will be presented to the winning team in the Village Center.

This year’s race ambassadors are actor Ralph Macchio, known for his roles in “The Karate Kid,” “My Cousin Vinny” and “The Outsiders,” and husband of a Mather Hospital nurse; and Maurice DuBois, a CBS news anchor.

In the four races held in the five years since the regatta was founded, Port Jefferson Village won the first three and Mather won the fourth, making the hospital the current cup holder.