Going, going, gone are the days when community activities were few and far between in Douglaston.
On Saturday, the and hosted Douglaston Community Day, a street festival celebrating the one-year anniversary of former Mets slugger Darryl Strawberry's eatery. All proceeds will go toward benefitting children with autism.
"Today's just another positive, fun event the Chamber is hosting this year to connect with the community," said the group's treasurer, Jeannette Segal.
But in addition to welcoming swaths of local residents to partake in Saturday's street fair, this year's Douglaston Community Day attracted corporate sponsors both near and far.
"It's really a great way to support the community—perfect weather, great music, incredible food and lots of fun," said Lori Cress of .
Demetra Sirica, co-owner of the recently opened , was one of several local shop owners to provide delectables.
"We were really thrilled to get a chance to contribute to today's festival," Sirica said.
Community residents said they are pleased that the neighborhood has been hosting more events and festivals.
“There’s really an awakening happening here in Douglaston, and it’s really just incredible,” said Terri Mullins of Douglaston.
This was a sentiment echoed by many who attended Saturday’s afternoon party.
“It’s nice seeing the whole neighborhood come together like this, to hang out together and, hopefully, next year even more people show up,” said Louis Calderon, president of the .
But for Strawberry, Saturday afternoon wasn't just about the community coming out for an afternoon of fun and food.
In fact, proceeds from the event will go toward The Darryl Strawberry Foundations Fight Against Autism.
“This is a cause that became very near and dear to my wife’s and my heart after we visited a children's hospital and met kids with autism and were really affected by it,” Strawberry said.
Still, the former Mets and Yankees slugger was quick to point out that much of the credit for Saturday’s success was due to the staff at his restaurant.
“It was a group effort, and all of our Strawberry's Grill family brought ideas to the plate,” he said.