Oakmont pub crawl raises money to fight multiple sclerosis
Cheers, beers and charitable endeavors are on tap in Oakmont.
The 20th annual MS Pub Crawl fundraising event is set for Saturday .
A pub crawl is when individuals drink in multiple pubs or bars in a single day, or night, or both.
All proceeds benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and organizers say more than $6,200 was raised in 2018.
Founder and participant Robin McCarthy of McCandless created the pub crawl when her husband, Steve, was diagnosed with MS in 1995.
“We immediately got involved with (the Multiple Sclerosis Society),” McCarthy says.
McCarthy estimates the event has raised more than $150,000 for the fight against MS since its inception in 1999.
“Steve died in 2013, and we will continue (fundraising) so, hopefully, they will find a cure for this terrible disease,” says McCarthy.
Doors open at the Elks Club in Oakmont at 11:15 a.m. with lunch served at 11:45 a.m., before the crawl kick-off at 1 p.m.
“It’s organized drinking for a great cause,” McCarthy says, reminding participants they must be at least 21.
McCarthy passed the organizing reins to daughter Katie McCarthy and niece Carolyn Bryson.
“These two weren’t old enough to drink when it started, and they were often the designated drivers. They do an amazing job and grow the pub crawl each year,” McCarthy says.
“I will continue to raise money for the MS Society because this event is so much more than just a fundraiser. It has brought a group of people together for 20 years from all walks of life and I think it gives people a lot of hope,” says Katie McCarthy.
Tickets are $40 each and may be purchased in advance or at the door on April 27.
Raffle baskets, 50-50 and the annual “Basket of Cheer” (a basket with 12 or more top-shelf liquors) will be available for Chinese Auction.
One lucky person will win a door prize — in the form of a gift card for every bar on the crawl roster.
Participating establishments for the crawl include: Hoffstot’s Cafe Monaco, Chelsea Grille, Oakmont Yacht Club, Carnivores, Pub 333, Oakmont Tavern and the Oaks Theater.
Everyone is divided into groups of color-coded teams.
“When you see 25 people dressed in pink walking in Oakmont on April 27, you’ll know they are on the pub crawl,” Robin McCarthy says.
Groups will visit each bar on a rotation to allow for efficient customer service.
“People come from all over Allegheny, Westmoreland and we even have a couple from North Carolina and Ohio, too,” Robin McCarthy says.
Oakmont Tavern on Allegheny River Boulevard never misses a crawl and will have their rooftop deck open for the event.
“This charity is very close to our hearts because we have an employee that has MS, so we wholeheartedly support this, and we really would like to find a cure for this disease,” says co-owner Dave Vivino.
The day will conclude with an evening of dinner and dancing back at the Elks Club.
“We have a Greensburg crowd that has rented a bus that makes a stop in Irwin and then goes on to Oakmont,” Robin McCarthy says. “We typically have about 120 participants. Each year is different, but always successful.”
Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.