Winter Bar Crawl for a Cause begins 1 p.m. at Malarky’s Irish Pub and goes to Newport Beach Brewing Company, Woody’s Wharf, Baja Sharkeez (Newport Beach) and ends at The Blue Beet with a charity raffle and a live performance by The Droppers. Many bars are donating a portion of drink sales to CFF OC and all bars have drink specials and/or free food for participants only.
The idea for the crawl was conceived last year by Melissa Kandel, Balboa Peninsula resident and CFF OC volunteer, who lost her mother to cystic fibrosis several years ago. “I think a bar crawl is a great way to bring awareness and raise money,” she said. “The Peninsula is such a vibrant, lively place and I wanted to tap into that energy with an event that not only benefits the cause but is also really fun for its participants.”
In October, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation published a tribute Kandel wrote about the loss of her mother; it struck a chord with supporters around the country, as well as business owners in Newport Beach. “It’s been amazing to see the receptiveness of local restaurants, bars and shops to donate or sponsor part of the event; almost every business I reached out to offered up a very generous contribution without hesitating at all.”
This year, prize donations came from several Orange County establishments, including: Curl Fitness, O.C. Boat Rentals, Sushi Roku Newport Beach, We Believe Wines, Chronic Tacos, Paddle Board Newport, O.C. Nutrition Coaching, LeisureLetics, Balboa Lily’s, Costa Mesa Country Club and the newly opened Atomic Creamery in Fashion Island.
Atomic Creamery is sponsoring the “Ice Cream Social,” an interactive way for attendees to share moments and connect during the crawl. Participants are encouraged to post on Instagram using the hashtag #BarCrawlForACause; the photo with the most likes by the end of the event wins free ice cream from Atomic Creamery, once a day for an entire year.
“In total, we’ll probably give out about $3,000 or $4,000 in prizes,” Kandel said, noting that last year, the total money raised from the event was $2,000 but she predicts that figure to be much higher for 2018. “We registered 85 attendees in 2017 and there’s definitely more buzz about it now, so I’m expecting we’ll have a lot more people bar-crawling for a cause this year.”