#SiobhanStrong – A Christmas Success!


Two Rockaway elves decided to use their guest bartending debut for a great cause this past Saturday, December 14. Rockaway activist and native, Joanne Smith, and Mary E. Ehrhart were behind the stick at RBQ from 4 to 7 p.m. They were “Making Merry” under the direction of veteran bartender, George Ferguson, while enjoying the music of Gerald Bair, all on behalf of a special little girl.

The pair raised over $500 for #SiobhanStrong, a fundraising effort for Siobhan O’Sullivan, a fifth grader, who has been battling leukemia and is now looking forward to returning to school at St. Francis de Sales this coming January. O’Sullivan brought holiday cheer to many last week as she joined in the tree lighting ceremony held in the SFDS Prayer Garden last week. This money is part of an ongoing effort in the community, which began earlier in the year, with orange bracelets that fellow SFDS students and parents sold for Siobhan. These $10 bracelets, that promote leukemia awareness, can be seen on the wrists of many students at SFDS, as well as many parishioners around Rockaway.

The bartending duo learned about #SiobhanStrong via Facebook and decided they wanted to help. They approached RBQ proprietor, John Moroney, and he and the RBQ staff were extremely receptive to the idea. Saturday’s activities were non-stop fun with free hourly raffles, reindeer games in ugly Christmas sweaters, and several group sing-a-longs. Bair’s version of “Jingle Bells” kept the crowd engaged for what may have been the longest rendition in Rockaway history. At one point, Wine with Sue’s drummer and vocalist, Don Sautner, joined Bair on stage in a duet, for a real show stopper.  

Not only were Smith and Ehrhart busy making drinks, they were also collecting Toys for Tots. They made sure all who donated got an extra cherry on top of their martini.

RBQ will continue to accept toy donations until December 22. So, the community is encouraged to drop one off, spread some Christmas cheer, and perhaps enjoy a cocktail off their seasonal menu.

“Lots of fun, lots of laughs, and more importantly, lots of love and good wishes for Siobhan,” Smith said when reflecting on the day’s events. They were able to raise $534 at the event. The money will go to the local Graybeards organization to give to O’Sullivan’s family.

Also in attendance was Siobhan’s uncle and godfather, Chris O’Sullivan. He was celebrating his birthday while showing his love and support for his niece. O’Sullivan says the family is looking forward to the new year and is so appreciative of the continuous support from the Rockaway community.