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Participants from last year's Mother's Day Bar Crawl gather at Lenny's Cafe, 64 Center St., Wallingford. | Photo courtesy of Ryan Cei

Wallingford Bar crawl to benefit victims of domestic violence

WALLINGFORD — Six years ago, a group of friends organized a downtown bar crawl to raise money for charities. Held the day before Mother’s Day, this year’s event is scheduled for May 10 and will benefit Meriden-Wallingford Chrysalis, an organization that supports victims of domestic violence.

Participants will visit Chris’ Restaurant & Bar, 33 Hall Ave.; Lenny’s Cafe, 64 Center St.; Gaetano’s Tavern on Main, 40 N. Main St.; and Archie Moore’s, 39 N. Main St. Money is raised through the sale of bar crawl T-shirts and donations from local businesses.

The Mother’s Day Bar Crawl was created by the Wallingford friends during college, according to Ryan Cei, one of the founding members.

“We got together and did a little crawl up town,” Cei said. “As we went to places, people said it was great and they would love to join.”

The first year proceeds were given to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer.

In the past few years, Cei said, the group decided to donate to Meriden-Wallingford Chrysalis.

“A few years ago, we had an unfortunate event where one of my friend’s mother was a victim of domestic violence,” Cei said.

Last year, there were 113 participants and the bar crawl raised over $2,000. This year, Cei is hoping to have nearly 200 participants.

The group created shirts, which will be sold at Alyssa’s Cakery, 565 Center St. The shirts cost $25 and will show how many people are united to help victims of domestic violence. To receive drink specials, participants have to wear the shirt.

Sharlene Kerelejza, executive director of Meriden-Wallingford Chrysalis, said when she received the check from Cei and the other members in the past she was “very moved and touched.”

“They’re combining (something) from their college past with a really good cause,” she said. “And yet, it’s because of a tragedy close to them. It’s sad — the ‘why’ of the event.”

Kerelejza said some of the Chrysalis board members will participate in this year’s bar crawl.

“This is something that’s been close to them and that has grown over the years,” she said.

evo@record-journal.com (203) 317-2235 Twitter: @EricVoRJ



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