Bocce tourney connects restaurants, community, charity

Jake’s Seafood takes home DRA trophy
Raising the trophy in victory are the team from Jake's Seafood House. They defeated Pizza by Elizabeths in a highly competitive match. Jakes will donate its $1,000 to Special Olympics Delaware. The cup, which at the time of the photo was full of beer, will be proudly displayed in one of Jake's restaurants. Shown are (l-r) Michelle DeGrange, Delaware Restaurant Association CEO Carrie Leishman, Dan Klemkowski, Becca Stoffer and Jake's owner Bill Klemkowski. BY STEVEN BILLUPS
June 18, 2014

The final match-up in the Delaware Restaurant Association’s Bocce Tournament June 9 was a nail-biter; a north-south matchup between the teams from Pizza by Elizabeths in Greenville and Jakes Seafood in Rehoboth Beach. Team Jakes Seafood prevailed, winning bragging rights and the Bocce Cup trophy to proudly display in their restaurant for the year. The DRA will also be donating $1,000 to Delaware Special Olympics, the charity chosen by the winning team.

“Of all the great events hosted by the Delaware Restaurant Association, the Bocce Tournament is our favorite. Lots of thanks to Sam Calagione and the entire Dogfish Team for hosting this gangbusters event, and extra special thanks to Carrie Leishman for all that she does for the restaurant industry in Delaware. It’s always nice to get outside with great people, great beer, BBQ, and competitive fun . . . and even better to take home the title,” said Dan Klemkowski, 2014 bocce champ from Team Jakes Seafood.

Twenty restaurant teams from around the state played in the tournament held at Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, with local legislators participating on teams and joining a crowd of spectators happy to cheer on their favorite restaurant teams. The event featured fine food and drink donated by Dogfish Head Brewery and United Distributors, Abbott’s Grill, Bethany Blues, Kid Shelleen’s, Striper Bites and The University of Delaware Creamery. Live music was performed by Jason Beale and the Dystractions. Prizes provided by Dogfish Head were also awarded to the best-dressed teams, with top honors going to the team from Nage Bistro for the Revenge of the Nerds theme. Second place was awarded to a(MUSE.) for their Rastafarian-themed team costumes, and a tie for third place was Restaurant 55’s Lawn Ornaments and Cool Springs’ Wizard of Oz costumes.

The DRA will donate $1,000 in prize money to the Delaware Special Olympics, a charity chosen by Jakes Seafood. The team at Jakes has a long-standing relationship with the charity, and has hosted many fundraisers for them including this year’s Ride to the Tide event.

“It is exciting to bring together the restaurant community, charities and local elected officials in an evening of casual competition,” said Leishman, DRA president and CEO. “Restaurants are so integral to the success of local communities and give back in so many ways to many different charities and organizations. This is a unique competition that links all of us.”

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