St. Mary’s 2023 Big Hearts Walk Honorees

April 26, 2023

On Sunday, May 21st, hundreds of community volunteers will participate in St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children’s annual Big Hearts Walk, a charity walk-a-thon to support New York’s most critically ill and injured children. This year’s event will honor Mark Boccia, Owner of Bourbon Street in Bayside, and Christine Duffy, Project Manager of Strategic Initiatives at St. Mary’s.

Bourbon Street

Mark Boccia

Mark Boccia has been a fixture in the Bayside community for over 30 years, as the Owner of the popular Bayside restaurant Bourbon Street, in addition to several other local restaurants and real estate development projects. Mark is an active and dedicated member of his community through his involvement in the Flushing Rotary Club, Queens Chamber of Commerce, Bayside BID, and Bayside Business Association. Mark has contributed tremendously to St. Mary’s, especially during the pandemic, when he provided restaurant-quality meals to our frontline healthcare professionals and first responders.


Chris Duffy (second from left)

Christine Duffy is a Whitestone resident and long-time employee at St. Mary’s, serving as the organization’s Project Manager of Strategic Initiatives since 2008. Christine has dedicated herself to St. Mary’s mission, vision and values, always going above and beyond for the organization.

“Mark and Chris have both made immeasurable contributions to St. Mary’s over the past several years, helping our organization to continue to provide the highest level of care to our patients and their families,” said Dr. Edwin Simpser, President and CEO of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children. “We are proud to present them both with this special recognition, and we encourage all members of the Bayside community to sign up to participate in this year’s walk today!”

The Big Hearts Walk for St. Mary’s Kids will take place at Crocheron Park in Bayside on Sunday, May 21st, at 10 a.m. Each year, hundreds gather in the park to raise money for critically ill and injured children at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. A variety of family-friendly activities will follow the walk, including music, carnival games, arts and crafts, and more. Adults can register on-site for $25 and children for $5. On-site registration opens at 9 a.m. Participants can also register online beforehand at

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children is New York City’s only post-acute care facility, serving medically fragile children with special healthcare needs. This annual event is an essential fundraiser to ensure St. Mary’s is able to continue to provide high-quality care to children who need it – regardless of a family’s ability to pay. More than 90 percent of the patients at St. Mary’s need a level of care that exceeds what their families can afford and what Medicaid is able to cover.