The third annual Santa Monica Pub Crawl raised more than $17,000 on Saturday, enough money for the Westside Food Bank to supply needy families with a “whopping” 70,000 meals, said Kim Koury, founder of Spin Public Relations who co-created the pub crawl with a girlfriend as a way to support local businesses and the less fortunate during the holidays.

“We are proud to announce that we more than tripled the donations we were able to raise from last year,” she said.

An estimated 4,500 people donned Santa hats and reindeer antlers and visited various bars all across Santa Monica. Tickets were $10 and helped people score food and drink specials, as well as entrance to an after-party and raffle.

“We’re really happy,” Koury said. “Everybody had a blast and there were no problems reported. Many of the bars said it was their most successful night of the year aside from St. Patrick’s Day. They were busy all night.”

It was the first year that an entrance fee was required. In previous years attendees were asked to donate canned goods in exchange for a ticket, Koury said, but that made it difficult for the food bank, which had to transport over 5,000 pounds of canned goods.

Charging a fee “worked out better,” Koury said.

Expect the pub crawl to continue as it is quickly becoming a holiday tradition. To check out photos from the night, go to www.santamonicapubcrawl.com.

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