The year-long Straub Brewery "Celebrating the SUDS" 2011 Charity Pub Crawl is set to launch on Thursday, Feb. 17, with an event taking place each month until December.
The Pub Crawl is described as a "unique and celebratory partnership" between the brewery and 10 popular area bars to benefit four local charities: the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, Crystal Fire Department, Rotary Club of St. Marys and the Elk County Humane Society.
"These groups make a big commitment to St. Marys and continue to do so. They make St. Marys a better place to live by having these services and organizations out there," said Bill Brock, president of Straub Brewery. "Hopefully we're creating some awareness that may not already be there."
All Pub Crawl events are free to attend; the participating bars have agreed to waive cover charges. Each establishment will offer some form of live entertainment, such as a band or DJ, as well as a unique activity, with proceeds benefiting the charities.
Days of the week for each event vary from Thursdays to Saturdays, but each pub crawl takes place during the third week of each month.
The kickoff event is taking place at the Diamond View Restaurant and Lounge, formerly the St. Marys Country Club, on Feb. 17. JB Unplugged will begin performing between 8 and 8:30 p.m.
While a majority of the events are slated on Friday and Saturday evenings from 9 to 11 p.m., some Thursday events may start earlier at 7 p.m., such as the Diamond View gathering.
Additional events are scheduled for March 18 at Holeshot, April 16 at the Elk Casino, May 19 at The Station Inn, June 17 at Dino's Place, July 14 at the Hootinanny, August 18 at the Silver Wing, September 17 at the Green Lite, October 22 at The Hills, November 19 at Merlin's, and the grand finale on December 16 at Straub Brewery's Eternal Tap.
In order to participate in the Pub Crawl, area bars were required to pay an initial fee which will be donated directly to the charities. Additionally, 100 percent of proceeds from sales of the official Pub Crawl T-shirts will also go to the four organizations.
The black T-shirts are available at the brewery gift shop at a cost of $10 and will also be sold at each event and through the various charities. The "concert-style" T-shirts feature a Straub Brewery logo on the front left chest, as well as a list of the hosting bars, emblems of each charity and the Straub Bavarian man logo on the back.
The event was created and organized by the brewery's charitable arm, Team Straub, whose four co-directors are John Schlimm, Cathy Lenze, Mary Anderson and Gene Williams.
"The Pub Crawl evolved out of our desire at Team Straub to, number one, throw the ultimate yearlong party while helping out local charities, and, two, to form a partnership between some of the town's favorite bars, local charities, and Straub Brewery, which would benefit all involved and bring the community together like never before," explained Schlimm. "At its simplest, the Pub Crawl is eleven parties with no cover charge where everyone is invited to come on out to drink, laugh, and live life to the absolute fullest for a few hours every month, and all to benefit four terrific local charities!"
Lenze added that organizers hope to build the momentum of the event, gaining more and more participants each month.
"Team Straub is becoming more involved with the community and hopefully this is just the beginning," explained Brock.