Even the most cynical Scrooge must admit that in times of need, people come together.
Following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy in October, many from the Garden State and beyond rose to the occasion with volunteerism, fundraising and concerts. So many donated clothes, for example, that some programs had to specifically ask people to donate something else.
The cynic can say those were clothes people were not using anyway. The optimist can say, so what ... they're better used now than they were when they were still buried deep in the back of the closet.
The cynic also can say an event like Saturday's Santa Pub Crawl VII—a Morristown bar hop where participants travel from bar to bar, dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus—is just another excuse to drink, in a town with plenty of opportunities.
The optimist, like co-organizer Steve Braybrook, can say, "$5 is not a lot of money for the spirit of Christmas."
He and Peter Williams, both Denville residents who founded the pub crawl seven years ago, thought their annual event could serve as another opportunity for people to give back, while still having fun.
"It just fit right in," Williams said.
"We wanted to work with some charity when Sandy hit—everyone knows someone affected, or were affected themselves," Braybrook said.
To that end, the organizers partnered with the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund and are encouraging participants to donate any amount to the cause, accessible from their website. "You don't have to 'pay-to-play,'" Braybrook said, meaning you don't have to donate in order to participate in the Santa Pub Crawl.
Since the organizers understood the potential logistical nightmare of trying to collect donations from everyone as they herded into one of several participating bars (Williams noted about 1,000 people participated last year, with more expected in 2012), they decided a list of those who donate, to be located outside one of the bars, could serve as motivation.
While the deadline has passed for donations made to be included on the "nice" list, each $5 donation increment will still count toward a chance to win an iPod Touch.
It is, after all, called a "season of giving" for a reason.
"We really want to push the donation portion of this," Braybrook said.
Still, Saturday night isn't just about giving—it's still about having fun, in a way that everyone can be happy about.
"We have always been told we're the most well-behaved [pub crawl event]," Braybrook said. "We ask people only leave Christmas cheer behind."
And, a donation. Those can be made at the Morristown Santa Pub Crawl page here.