Graduates of Big Ten schools in the Chicago area are in for a treat on Saturday, August 25, 2012. Alumni of all twelve Big Ten schools are invited to participate in a bar crawl to kick off the 2012 Football Season. The event, officially titled the “ChicagoTEN Alumni Bar Crawl”, will start at 11 a.m. and will cover 12 bars in Chicago’s River North. The best part about this event is that it will be a great time for an even greater cause!
The annual bar crawl is put on by ChicagoTen, a Big Ten alumni club, and will benefit APS (Alumni for Public Schools). APS is a not-for-profit that works to connect university alumni associations with public schools in Chicago to “enhance student learning and increase students’ awareness of and readiness for post-secondary options. “
In past years, the event has attracted crowds of over 2000 alumni. Paul Rudzinski, a University of Michigan grad, attended last year’s festivities. Rudzinski, 25, says of the event, “ During the crawl, many of the Big 10 schools had football games on and there was friendly ribbing between crawlers.”
That “ribbing” is sure to intensify as the event will include contests where schools compete against each other for prizes. While Big Ten alumni are no stranger to rivalry among schools, this event emphasizes another favorite Big Ten pastime: celebrating football season with a brew or two. Bar crawlers will be treated to drink specials at some of Chicago’s favorite River North bars. Interested alumni (and fans of any Big Ten school) should purchase the $15 ticket online (100% of proceeds go to the charity).
The ChicagoTen alumni club aims to raise over $50,000 that will go to Chicago public schools. With the Big Ten alumni’s affinity for a good time and over 300,000 cumulative alumni in the Chicago area, event organizers hope to surpass that goal. Participants from University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Penn State University, Purdue and University of Wisconsin are challenged to give back with the motto “Twelve Schools. Twelve Bars. One Mission.”
Personally, I am confident in Purdue’s talented alumni that we will pull through as the champions of the Bar Crawl. Cameron Croft, founder of ChicagoTEN and program manager with APS, is not so quick to favor Purdue. Croft is an Illinois alum. He’s been working on the Big Ten bar crawl since its inception three years ago. Croft says of Big Ten alumni: “Everyone is very proud of their school’s traditions and take their rivalries with other schools seriously, which makes this one day so fun as everyone has a certain swagger in their schools colors.”
The bar crawl came into being when Cameron “wanted a way for alumni to work on an event together that would benefit a non-profit that was focused on education and getting more kids to attend (or know about) Big Ten colleges as being the best in the nation.”
All proceeds from the bar crawl go to APS. Cameron Croft is passionate about helping the children in the Chicago public school system. “The most rewarding part about (working with) APS .. is when a student tells you that they never thought they could do X, but now they know of other options and X is now not only a possibility, but that they WILL achieve it.”
Big Ten alumni do not just help out with APS for this one day event. Several alumni clubs are involved and have adopted a school. Anyone interested in working with APS beyond the bar crawl should contact their respective alumni group to volunteer.
The bar crawl kicks off at noon at all bars simultaneously. Bars include Rockit, Theory, Public House, Bull & Bear, English, Stout, Fado and a few more to come. Participants are encouraged to wear their alma mater’s colors. Remember to purchase your tickets on chicagoten.org for $15. They can also be purchased on the day of for $20.
Good luck Big Ten bar crawlers! (Boiler up!)
WHEN: Saturday, August 25, 2012 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
TICKETS: $15 online. $20 at the door from 11 a.m. until noon.