Kira Miller (left) looks on while Katie Drake, Pub Crawl organizer presents a check to Dave Petkovsek, with Gram Lorraine.

by Dave Warner

Despite the fact that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, there are organizations that are still in need of donations, just like any other year. Because of that, Katie Drake felt like the annual Little Falls Pub Crawl should find some way to continue to raise money.

Drake said that normally, the Pub Crawl is really easy to run. “This year was pretty crazy because we obviously couldn’t do a Pub Crawl. There was just no way with the capacity limits that people have. So, I was thinking that we’d skip a year. Amy, one of the bartenders at Ed & Bud’s said, ‘you’ve got to do it. Just make the pins and we’ll sell them.’ So, I did.”

She said that several places participated in the selling of the pins. “This year, Ironrock Brewery joined us for the first time and they would have been one of the stops on the crawl this year. They actually made it a contest for their employees and he (Mike George) was buying lunch or dinner for whoever sold the most.”

Drake said that with that contest, Ironrock alone raised over $500 worth of pins. “That was phenomenal. We were super excited to have them on board. I’m always amazed at people’s generosity, especially when you don’t really get anything in return for your donation.”

Kira Miller said, “That’s the thing about this community. They always come out and help.”

Drake said that people look forward to this event and the way they did it this year, allowed people to participate, and stay safe. “The one thing I’m proud of, besides giving money to a great cause, is that in eleven years, we’ve never had a DUI, or a disturbance, or a fight. It’s such a fun safe event.”

Dave Petkovsek with the Gram Lorraine Children’s Christmas Fund said, “This past year, we spent $11,000 alone on coats for kids in area schools. We bought over 420 coats. Katie’s money is earmarked for children here in Little Falls. For eleven years, now, we’ve been buying coats for children.”

He said that because of COVID, and Remington closing in Ilion, they’ve had an even greater need than normal. “We appreciate greatly any donations that we get. People have been so generous this past year, and we’ve been able to double our donations.”

Drake said that the crawl started out as a family celebration for her brother’s 21st birthday. “He was going to school at Cobleskill at the time and I was working and I couldn’t go down to celebrate with him, so I said when you come home for Thanksgiving, I’ll take you out.”

She said that she and Sue Oliver were sitting at Ann St Cafe and she was talking to her about it and Sue said, “We have to take him here and here, and we should organize this.”

“We ended up staying from breakfast through lunch and we mapped out this route and texted a bunch of friends and started with about 25 people the first year,” Drake stated.

She said, “It’s great because some people don’t normally frequent the bowling alley or the Polish Club, or they’re not a Legion person and they just go to their favorite spot. It’s gotten people to try other locations and helped people at the same time. The bartenders and establishments do really well.”

“It’s just such a fun event, and it was sad not to have it this year, but I’m sure next year we’ll come back twice as strong,” Drake said.