Bringing pink to Campustown bars

People drink at Paddy’s during the Drink Pink Bar Crawl on Thursday night. Colleges Against Cancer sold pink mugs to attract people’s attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Mary-Kate Burkert

The Drink Pink Bar Crawl held Thursday, Oct. 27, had great success due to Iowa State students, the Ames community and the Colleges Against Cancer chapter on campus. The involvement of the Welch Avenue bars Cy’s Roost, Sips, Paddy’s Irish Pub and Outlaws, as well as Budweiser’s sponsorship, added to Colleges Against Cancer’s accomplishment in raising funds for the American Cancer Society.

The rush of participants for the bar crawl resulted in the large mugs being sold to run out by 8:30 p.m., only an hour into the event.

“We had people waiting in line while we were still setting up booths to sell. The mugs were selling so fast that we had to start limiting one mug per person early on,” said Ashley Yingst, Colleges Against Cancer co-president.

They had to sell mini mugs — “an accidental shipment turned blessing,” according to Jill Wedeking, team recruitment co-chairwoman and senior in dietetics — because of the willingness of people to drink for a cure. Roughly 1,450 mugs were sold, and the 150 mini mugs remaining will be sold at a booth in the Memorial Union sometime in November for $5.

“The small mugs will still be honored on Thursday nights, and drinks are $1 cheaper in them,” Yingst said.

Estimated numbers of profit right now are at more than $4,400, while the expected profit was only $2,352. Sales from T-shirts, bracelets, ribbons and donations have yet to be configured. The support and livelihood of the event, aside from the numbers and statistics of the night, showed students’ enthusiasm to end cancer was uncontainable.

“It was truly an awesome sight to see the bright pink mugs everywhere you looked in the bars and outside walking up and down Welch,” Wedeking said.

Support of the breast cancer awareness event stemmed not only from students of drinking age but also from those unable to participate but still passionate about the cause.

“Several of my friends gave me money to buy mugs for them even though they couldn’t actually participate in the event just to support breast cancer,” said Kelcie Reed, junior in apparel, merchandising and design. “That was pretty neat to see that a lot of people didn’t even care about the ‘going out’ part of the whole event, they really just cared about where the money was going which is awesome.”

The Drink Pink event allowed participants to enter into a drawing for a grand prize consisting of a party for 50+ people from Iowa Tents and Special Events along with gift cards to Fareway, Family Video and Van Wall PowerSports. The lucky winner was Brandon Plaht.

Festivities throughout the evening were high spirited. “Bartenders and managers all commented throughout the night about how packed the bars were. There were lines outside of Cy’s [Roost] and Paddy’s by 10 p.m. because the bars were at capacity. It was amazing. I was so impressed with the turnout. The staff at all four bars was tremendous,” Yingst said.

The bar managers even requested the student organization make this an annual event because of its abundant success in raising awareness in the fight against cancer.

“The smile on my face after we sold out and were forced to sell more mugs should have been illegal. It’s nice to see everyone coming together for an amazing cause all while having fun at the same time!” Yingst added.

The true meaning behind the bar crawl was evident and honored.

“People came up to me throughout the night thanking me for the event, telling me their stories about how they know people affected by cancer, and how much they appreciated the hard work Colleges Against Cancer is doing this year,” Yingst said. “It made all the late nights working on CAC events, planning and fundraising even more worth it. When I spoke at the bars, I told people that we were doing this for them, for everyone.”