Bar crawl + charity = Money for Children’s Memorial Hospital

Jenny Fukumoto

Two words typically perk up most of us young Chicagoans: bar crawl.

Mix in the words “for charity,” serve over ice, and add a tiny umbrella—we’ve just found an excuse to day drink. You’ve just found a money-making fundraiser.

This was my second year attending The Mustache Crawl, a bar crawl in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood benefiting Children’s Memorial Hospital. When I told friends it was $10 to sign up, I threw in a quick “it’s for the children.” That sealed the deal.

With more than 1,000 people signed up this year to crawl, I wondered:

Did the partnership with Children’s Memorial Hospital influence the high attendance numbers?

But I didn’t think too hard about it. I had glitter-encrusted mustaches to make.

That day, my Burt Reynolds and Tom Selleck-inspired friends and I made many a toast to “the children.” Children we didn’t know, and still don’t know, but to whom we knew we were donating money. We (and our livers) felt connected to the cause.

What it brews down to is young people are passionate. We’re also broke—but we’re thirsty. While asking us point blank for a donation will not work, inviting us to an event involving cocktails just might work.

#Cocktails4Causes has caught onto this idea. Each month at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, a beneficiary receives 50 percent of the night’s bar tab. Last month, the group raised nearly $1,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

We (millennials, young’ns, whichever you prefer) care. It may not seem that way when we have a drink in our hand, but at heart we do want to feel like we’ve contributed to a greater cause.

And as for The Mustache Crawl, it turns out my fellow mustache-wearing day drinkers and I raised about $4,000 for Children’s Memorial Hospital. Not bad for a day’s work, eh?

So, would your hospital or health care organization ever partner with a fundraiser involving drinking?

Please note: Drinking responsibly is an obvious requirement at these functions. In my experience, young people are respectful at charitable drinking events.

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