Participating venues drew a crowd by opening their doors with live music and specialty prices.
The nine-hour event, organized by 2009 Auburn graduate Walter Ager, included 11 bands and eight bars. Of the participating bands, 10 were local and played at no cost.
Wristbands to participate in the bar crawl were $25 and guaranteed access to all the participating bands and businesses.
Ager also had T-shirts made to raise awareness about the cause.
“All the proceeds are going straight to the nonprofits,” Ager said.
Stephanie Ryan, communications officer at the Community Foundation of South Alabama, said she has been working with Ager since early August.
“I was immediately impressed by Walter’s compassion for others and his desire to take action to help those in need,” Ryan said. “He also shared with me his goal to reach out to other SEC schools to continue the fundraiser in other towns. We hope Alabama will accept Walter’s challenge to raise more than Auburn.”
The Disaster Relief Fund will support programs in Baldwin and Mobile counties that address the unmet basic needs of fishermen and individuals working in the seafood industry who are struggling as a result of the Gulf Coast oil spill, Ryan said.
The Community Foundation of South Alabama, Greater New Orleans Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Greater Escambia Community Foundation are four of the nonprofit community foundations that Ager is working with to guarantee that the proceeds reach families in regions affected by the oil spill.
Auburn students participating in the Crawl were pleased to see Auburn spearheading a charitable event.
“I thought it was a great way to get recognition for local artists and local restaurants while raising money for a great cause, especially because another oil rig just broke,” said Mary Baker Maund, senior in marketing.
“It brought a good crowd and good business and publicity for the bar,” said Tommy Boardman, senior in business and 1716 employee. “We felt good about the proceeds going to such a good cause. I think it was great for Auburn, and other schools should join in.”
Mr. Jr. was the local band playing at 1716.
“Ager really knows how to throw an event,” said Ross Wall, junior in biosystems engineering, Mr. Jr. band member and close friend of Ager.
Ager hopes that the large turnout, marked by the sellout of Big Gigantic at Bourbon Street, will encourage other schools to host Crawl for the Coast events.
“We have a bunch of extra T-shirts, so we’re going to go to other schools and just put them on and see what we can do,” Ager said. “We’re thinking whatever away games we have will probably be the best way to time it.”
Ager said future events at other schools could be slightly different than Auburn’s.
Details about future events will be posted on the event’s Facebook page, “Crawl for the Coast.”