Tag Archives: toy donation

Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars makes $10K donation to local charities, groups after holiday pub crawl

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars

Less than a week after the Santas came to Sunnyside, the first wave of toys was donated to local charities and groups.

Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars, a collective of 10 bars and restaurants on and around Queens Boulevard, held their Second Annual Sunnyside Santathon pub crawl for charity on December 7 where they raised $10,000 in monetary and toy donations.

The participating bars were Bar 43, The Courtyard Ale House, Maggie Mae’s, The Gaslight, Arriba Arriba, Sidetracks, Molly Blooms, PJ Horgan’s, McGuinness Pub and Bliss Street Station.

The collective made their first donation Thursday at the United Forties Civic Association Holiday Party at St. Teresa’s Church in Woodside where they were joined by representatives from the church, St. Raphael’s Church, 108th Precinct Captain Brian Hennessy and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. The group also donated money to the food pantries at both churches.

“It just feels fantastic to be able to give back to the community,” said Liz Taylor, manager of Bliss Street Station. “The little kids will wake up Christmas morning and have something to play with.”

The organizations receiving toys include St. Teresa’s and St. Raphael’s Church, the 108th Precinct Toy Drive, MercyFirst Angel Guardian Orphanage in Brooklyn and Metro Homeless Shelter.

This year’s donations doubled from the inaugural Santathon last year. All who took part this year were dressed in their best Santa attire, and some even came as Santa’s little helpers.

“It was great to get together,” said Patrick Burke, owner of The Courtyard Ale House. “It shows the hard work we did really paid off. It was tremendous, we exceeded our expectation.”

Monetary and new, unwrapped toy donations are still being accepted at the 10 bars of Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars up until Christmas.



Courier brings early Christmas to SQBGC

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan and Billy Rennison

Their eyes glistened like Christmas lights as they saw the dozens upon dozens of wrapped gifts that were laid out before them.

And soon, their booming chants of “Santa! Santa! Santa!” would summon St. Nick.

Or at least “Santa Steve,” but still a jolly man in red who came bumbling in with the promise of presents.

On Thursday, December 15, Courier reporters — playing Santa and his Christmas elves — distributed hundreds of toys to the underprivileged youngsters of the South Queens Boys & Girls Club (SQBGC).

“I think that’s the earliest Santa has ever come [to the Boys & Girls club]. It was a really nice surprise for them,” said Denis Dwyer, the club’s program director. “They had no clue. It really made their day.”

Thanks to generous donations from the All American Car Club in Ozone Park, constituents of Assemblymember Ed Braunstein and Courier staff, advertisers and readers, The Courier was able to donate hundreds of toys to the Boys & Girls Club — with sacks of presents left over for the remaining club members at their holiday party.

The first 30 kids — out of a group of more than 50 — to receive gifts were chosen and rewarded based on the high points they accumulated doing their homework at the club, Dwyer said.

“We picked kids who have been hitting the books hard,” he said, adding that most of them were in kindergarten through second grade.

And the excitement of the young group helped to douse any doubts other kids might have had about the real St. Nick.

“They really believed Santa was there,” Dwyer said.

After all the gifts were distributed, each eager child gripped his own as they counted down from three with Santa Steve.

And then off flew the wrapping paper — unveiling Barbie dolls, race cars, board games and more.

“There was a nice buzz about that the whole day, and we had a lot of kids running to their parents at the end of the day to tell them and show them their new toys,” Dwyer said.

Founded in 1957, SQBGC strives to help young people improve their lives by building self-esteem and developing values and skills during critical periods of growth. The group’s mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from at-risk and disadvantaged circumstances.