In Marine Park, it’s probably safe to say that many folks really like ice cream, and that many folks really like the “Ice Cream Lady.”
Anastasia D’Amato has become famous locally as the “Ice Cream Lady,” who manages Sundaes by the Park, a neighborhood institution on Avenue S in Marine Park. But as it turns out, she serves the community in more ways than just scooping up sweet treats. She’s skilled at crunching numbers while providing bookkeeping services to several companies, and as a personal trainer, shes encourages clients to perform crunches.
In all three roles, she does what pleases her most — helping others.
“As the Ice Cream Lady, it’s the families and the kids that give me the greatest joy,” D’Amato says. “I have seen families grow, kids grow up, celebrate birthdays, celebrate the little ones stepping up to the next grade and going to the ‘big school,’ graduate elementary, middle and high school. Seen kids off to college. It’s like they’re my own kids, they are family.”
Sundaes by the Park is ground zero for the Ice Cream Lady’s community service efforts. She organizes fund-raisers there for such groups as Autism Speaks; Hendrick I. Lott House; several schools in the Marine Park neighborhood, including PS 222 and IS 278; the Gerritsen Beach Library; Operation Birthday Party; Tiny Tots Express and Boy Scouts of America. Often, the entertainment featured at these events is local, such as the O’Malley Irish Dancers, InPerformance Music Workshop, and IS 278’s marching band.
D’Amato credits her penchant for hard work to her mother, who she says “worked her butt off to support me, and raised me to be an independent woman, not a dependent woman.”
Her son, Joseph Junior, understands what it’s like to look up to one’s mom.
“She’s not only the best mom, but a great friend who I can talk to about everything,” he says. “She’s caring, nice, smart, beautiful, and the best mom any son could ask for.”
D’Amato grew up on Ocean Parkway and Avenue Z, and spent most of her childhood in Coney Island, a place that to this day remains her favorite in Brooklyn.
“There are so many things that I love about Brooklyn, but my all-time favorite is the Coney Island Mermaid Parade,” she says. “Those who know me know I march in the parade every year.”
This Woman of Distinction is passionate — about life, work, charity, and her old stomping grounds. And people are passionate about her.
“We met last September when doing a drive for Operation Birthday Party,” says friend Nancy Falco, whom D’Amato helped provide Halloween costumes for homeless children. “Anastasia hosted a drive in her ice cream store and really rallied to get us costumes that we needed. She is always supporting the public schools and Catholic schools in our neighborhood. She donates a percentage of sales and also out of her pocket. And she really helps get the word out and rally people on social media. I’ve never met anybody so caring about our neighborhood.”
NEIGHBORHOOD: Marine Park.
OCCUPATION: Bookkeeper and “Ice Cream Lady.”
COMPANY: Sundaes by the Park.
CLAIM TO FAME: Being the “Ice Cream Lady” in my community.
FAVORITE BROOKLYN PLACE: Coney Island.
WOMAN I ADMIRE: My mom.
MOTTO: I don’t work to be a supermodel; I work to be a role model.
©2017 Community News Group