War on the Shore Hits Avalon This Weekend

Penn Staters raise money for pediatric cancer at annual event. See? They're not all that douchey

Seven years ago, Penn State alum Patrick McNichol and some of his college buddies wanted to get together for a reunion weekend at the Shore. What began with friends meeting up in a bleak, dingy basement bar (reminiscent of the Phyrst in State College) soon morphed into War on the Shore, an annual reunion/blowout/fundraiser for pediatric cancer. This year’s party (from 5 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, the 6th) will be in a much-upgraded location—the Windrift Hotel in Avalon, and they expect close to 500 attendees. I talked to McNichol earlier this week about the event and got his thoughts on alcohol in Ocean City and the PSU douche factor.

So, why Avalon?
There’s a huge Penn State following down in Avalon, and we thought it made sense to use that as a way to get together to raise money for THON [a Penn State student-run philanthropy that raises money for a childhood cancer foundation called the Four Diamonds Fund].

Are you a shoobie?
Oh, definitely. My parents grew up in Ocean City so I spent all of my summers at the Shore. Avalon, Ocean City and other places too.

Care to weigh in on the booze situation in OCNJ?
I think that allowing alcohol [in public] in Ocean City would probably change the dynamic of the town a little too much. Right now, it’s a family-oriented place and I don’t see the need to change anything. But, I’ve spent so much time there, maybe I’m just used to it. I might be in the minority there.

A lot of people consider Penn State to be cultish. Have you heard that?
This event isn’t like that. It certainly has a Penn State aspect to it—we’re raising money for Penn State’s THON and it really started out as a reunion of sorts for a bunch of us [alumni]. But the event is much more inclusive than that. You don’t have to be a part of the Penn State family to come out and enjoy the event.

Speaking of the Penn State family, did you see we were just named the second douchiest college in America?
Really? I don’t see how someone can say that when we’re being named the number-one party school by multiple publications and taking time to raise money for pediatric cancer. If that’s what people are used to when they think of Penn State, this isn’t like that. I guess I can see how people might think we’re assholes—I used to be one of them sometimes—but we shut that off for stuff like this.

So, War on the Shore is a step up, in a way?
If people associate Penn State with that kind of lifestyle, then this event is classier than that. This year it will be at the Windrift‘s rooftop bar, overlooking the ocean. Who doesn’t want to be on a roof overlooking the ocean at sunset? The bar has kind of a laid-back atmosphere—perfect for an acoustic setting so we’ll have Secret Service there. They’ve got a pretty big following down at the Shore. We’ll also have a Four Diamonds family there. This year it’s the Goldens. It’s always nice to be able to include the families.

There’s a $40 donation to attend War on the Shore 2011; all proceeds benefit the Four Diamonds Fund via Penn State’s THON.