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All-Stars for a cause, as Mets- great Darryl Strawberry joins friends in fight for Autism

It takes a special kind of event to bring two different worlds, and bring them together for a night. Thursday, November 10, 2011, was that nights as Darryl Strawberry teamed up with his good friends John Luppo and Layla Jafar Lisiewskito present the All-Stars for Charities art Gallery.

Darryl Strawberry and his team of All-Stars fighting Autism. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

Held at the Gun Bar in New York City, the festivities featured nine pieces by Lisiewski, an up-and-coming artist, whose name will be quickly known in the art world. Layla first hit the art scene in 2010. Thanks to her unique style and approach to each of her pieces, fans have been buzzing for an opportunity to see more of her work.

Using number two pencils combined with colored inks, the Connecticut native uses her surroundings to make inspired pieces. Including one surprise piece for Darryl, this was presented to the star during the course of the night.

“I’m very aware of my surroundings,” Layla said of what inspires her work. “ I always thought of myself as a creative person-every creative thought I have stems from everything I see like a color combination I may like and to be able to bring that all together and have it bring something to a room-any room and to see that people like the work as much as I do means a lot.”

Ms. Lisiewski had this to say on what it was like to have her work displayed, “It is nerve-wracking to have a piece of me up here, people always ask how much time it takes to create a piece of art-but a piece of you and your time, effort-blood, sweat and tears are up on that wall and I will not put something up on display unless if it is totally me.”

The rest of the pieces that were in the gallery are for sale with proceeds going to the Darryl Strawberry Foundation’s fight for Autism.  Mr. Strawberry along with good friend John Luppo, who founded the All-Stars for Charities program-along with helping to make the art gallery happen, were on hand to help raise awareness for a great cause.

“Darryl Strawberry does a great job in the fight against Autism,” Layla said about supporting the Foundation. “We have a close family friend who struggles with that every day, so when I was doing my homework on the foundation that was definitely something that drew me to helping out and being here tonight. To be able to team up with him and his team and in the process promote my art work has been a lot of fun.”

Mr. Strawberry had this to say of the evening, “I’m always excited to be able to attend a great event-especially for a great cause. It is very important to give back, tonight is a very special night to be here…to be able to combine supporting John Luppo and Layla and her great art, while also helping out the kids is just amazing.” On the piece made specifically for him, “I love it-I love it, it is very different from anything that I have seen and I’ll be looking forward to seeing it displayed in my house.”

Mr. Luppo, the founder of the All-Stars for Charities cause, has not only been assisting Darryl with the All-Stars for Charities fruit snacks, but also busy building a foundation for a company where other great All-Stars can promote their charity work.

John had this to say of the night, “Being able to put this together has been great. I am a firm believer in bringing these two worlds together for such a great cause and in doing so we are now able to reach out to others and give the message of All-Stars for Charities, and the work we are doing. The art is spectacular and Layla is amazing! Best of all we are helping people who need it, and it is unbelievable to see the results.”

Even though all of these worlds of art, charity and sports seem separate, they all do carry incredible similarities as it takes time, effort and love to be able to create something special. Thursday, November 10th was indeed extraordinary-as those worlds were united in a battle against one cause….Autism.

For anyone interested in checking out, and purchasing the works of Ms. Lisiewski can do so by clicking here:


One can also give a donation to the Darryl Strawberry Foundation through his site seen here:


For those interested in seeing more of the work of the All-Stars for Charities Foundation can do so by clicking here:


Written on November 12, 2011

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