Strawberry's a delight in Douglaston – QNS.com

Strawberry’s a delight in Douglaston

Waves of smiles lined the streets of Douglaston, as residents celebrated their community with family and friends on a perfect summer’s day.
New York Mets legend Darryl Strawberry, with the aid of the Douglaston Chamber of Commerce, hosted the first annual Douglaston Community Day on Saturday, August 13 outside his restaurant, Strawberry’s Sports Grill.
“This means a great deal to the whole community,” said Strawberry. “That’s the reason the restaurant is over here, because it’s all about the community. I wanted to make this restaurant a family atmosphere. You can come here, and bring your family, and have a great experience.”
Hundreds of people were in attendance for the event, including Mets champions Kevin Mitchell, Bud Harrelson, Barry Lyons and Terry Leach, former New York Giants punter Sean Landeta and N’Sync member Joey Fatone. Huge crowds stood in line for hours to meet, greet, take pictures with and receive autographs from the celebrities, who were more than happy to mingle with fans.
Local businesses reaped the rewards of the added neighborhood traffic, and community leaders hoped the event would stimulate the area’s economy.
“This is another opportunity for us to bring the community together, to get the businesses to give back a little and also to inspire the people who are local to use those businesses,” said Councilmember Dan Halloran. “Strawberry’s is a great hub for this. Him bringing his business here was great for this community. And if you look around you see the hundreds of people who are out here today, it’s a great opportunity for our businesses.”
Along with hosting the festivities, Strawberry’s contributed all the food for the event. Visitors were treated to a menu of delectable barbeque, with ice cream, snow cones, cotton candy and pop corn serving as the dessert options.
Activities included a dunk tank, batting cages, speed pitch, a bounce house, mini-basketball, water wars and a live DJ.
Among the sponsors of community day were the Douglaston Chamber of Commerce, Star Subaru and The Queens Courier.
“We are so excited about the businesses participating and about the people coming here,” said Dorothy Matinale, the president of the Douglaston Chamber of Commerce. “The streets are lively. We need to support the local businesses here.”
All proceeds from the event will support the Darryl Strawberry Foundation “Fight for Autism,” as well as other local community charities.
“This means a great deal to my foundation,” Strawberry said. “We do a lot of things to help children and families affected by autism. That’s the most important thing, and it’s dear to my heart and my wife’s heart. We just love doing what we do for autism.”
Residents in attendance appreciated the effect the community day had on the neighborhood, and hoped the event would become an annual tradition.
“I think this is great, because not only does it raise money for autism, but you also get a nice, beautiful day,” said Mike Sloane, a Douglaston resident. “You get to walk around the neighborhood, kids get to play some games, meet some ex-baseball players and eat some good food. Just enjoy life. I think it’s a great community gathering, and I hope they do it every year.”

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