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Pub crawl down Bell Blvd. to benefit victims of Sandy

Participants join organizers Deidre Baker (second l.) and Kimberly Smith (r.) at the first stop - Bourbon Street. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Eager to help their neighbors while still having a fun Saturday, Baysiders participated in a pub crawl at several bars on Bell Boulevard and 41st Avenue and raised $1,000 to help victims of Superstorm Sandy.

“Everyone on Bell likes to drink, so we figured we were doing it for a good cause,” said co-organizer Deidre Baker.

Baker and co-organizer Kimberly Smith work as a waitress and as a hostess at the Bourbon Street Cafe, at 40-12 Bell Blvd. The bar had previously held another fund-raiser for those displaced by Superstorm Sandy, and both Baker and Smith as well as Bourbon Street owner Mark Boccaica wanted to hold another event to assist those in the Rockaways who are still struggling.

The crawl ended up raising $1,000, Smith said.

Baker and Smith came up with a pub crawl two weeks ago and many fellow Bayside bar owners were eager to join in.

“Everyone wanted to help out,” Baker said.

The pub crawl began at Bourbon Street at 1:30 p.m. and participants stopped at multiple bars throughout the afternoon and into the evening. These included Pour House, at 213-11 41st Ave.; C.J. Sullivan’s, at 213-10 41st Ave.; Safari Beach Club, at 40-09 Bell Blvd.; Dempsy’s, at 39-31 Bell Blvd.; and Local, at 39-24 Bell Blvd.

To participate, those on the crawl needed to buy a T-shirt for $25 with information about the event. When they wore the T-shirt at the various pubs, they would be entitled to drink specials at the establishment.

“A lot of people who also don’t want to come on it or can’t make it, they’re still donating,” Smith said.

Funds are going to Graybeards, a group of community volunteers in Breezy Point.

Baker said she expected the event to draw about 50 participants throughout the day.

“Then we’ll just guilt people into joining the crawl,” she said.

Baker said her aunt lived in Breezy Point and has been staying with her family in Bayside since the storm, but Smith said a lot of Rockaways residents visited Bourbon Street Cafe after the storm.

Smith said one customer said their family had lost five houses in total.

“It’s in Queens,” Baker said of why they wanted to help the Rockaways. “A lot of us go down in the summer.”

A pub crawl was held in Astoria to help Sandy victims Nov. 17. The “Drink Up to Dry Up!” crawl ended up raising $6,000 for Sandy relief.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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