Sunshine, beers flow for good cause

Saturday afternoon in Marshalltown began with a refreshing burst of sun as temperatures began to rise on the last day of July.

It set a bright backdrop for the Marshalltown Animal Rescue League’s new fundraiser — Draws for Paws.

Set at nine different establishments throughout the town — Legend’s, Rumours, Calvin Rockett, Tannin Wine Bar, The 918, Old Timer Tavern, Wayward Social Gutter Point, Vaughn’s Pub and The Flying Elbow all signed up to participate — the premise of the event was simple — participants would get a punch card (and t-shirt) and then head out for each of the nine locations in a pub crawl. Participants who got all nine punches would be able to enter for a chance to win a prize provided by H&F Distributing. The event started at noon and ended at 6 p.m., with local band Bon Jecci then performing a three-hour set at Wayward Social Gutter Point.

This is the first year of the fundraiser from the ARL, and Executive Director Mikaela Simpson, said early in the day it could already be called a success.

“It’s going really well,” Simpson said. “We’re having a lot more people showing up last-minute than we thought. It’s really exciting how many people are wanting to jump in. I think everyone was pretty willing to jump in and get involved so finding places to get involved wasn’t difficult.”

The idea was created by the ARL’s fundraising committee, and early on in the registration process Simpson said it was a little slow. But in the past week or so, interest grew. The ARL was expecting around 75 registrations, but as of Saturday morning the number was more than 100 people who pre-registered. All proceeds ($30 for a grey shirt and $50 for a blue shirt) went to the ARL.

People were also allowed to register online and donate, though not everyone had a shirt.

Simpson said this experience will help the ARL in future iterations of the event and make things run smoother, including setting registration goals higher.

“It was a lot of fun,” Simpson said. “It’s a big learning curve, there’s little things along the way that we think ‘Oh, next year we’ll do it this way,’ but I think so far things have gone smoothly.”

Many participating locations also gave more incentive to pub-goers to have draft beer – for each draft beer purchased, $1 was donated by the restaurant/pub to the ARL.

For the participating drinkers – members of the ARL who were off-duty, a group of three friends biking the nine-stop crawl and more – there were positive reviews.

“The committee did a really good job putting this together,” said Kristin Lenox, who works as an office manager for the ARL. “It’s really cool that a bunch of people are wanting to come together and support us.

“Some of us are off work today and we were so excited to spend time together, it is so fun.”

The ARL made the assumption that helping dogs and cats and having cold drinks on a warm July afternoon would produce a good return. The early indications are that they were correct.


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