Mission: The Krewe of the Druids (MKD) is committed to the physical and financial support of West Alabama AIDS Outreach (WAAO) and the clients they serve, by helping to insure quality of life and self esteem and by serving as an advocate for access of care by or from appropriate agencies.
Vision: MKD aims to be the premier fund raising supporter for West Alabama AIDS Outreach.
Goal: MKD seeks to increase public awareness, promote compassion and tolerance, and solicit increased public participation and support for WAAO and its clients.
A Brief History of The Mystic Krewe of the Druids
In 1991 several friends decided that something should be done to raise funds for the Emergency Assistance Fund at WAAO, a fund that provided WAAO clients financial assistance for medication, food, and other living expenses.
These friends formed the ‘’Quilting Bee’’, and in the winter of 1992 hosted a Mardi Gras party at Michael’s Lounge on Fat Tuesday. The event was a great success and the following year another party, ‘’Aladdin and the Arabian Nights’’ raised $5,000 for the emergency fund.
Early in 1993 the group reorganized and, in the age-old tradition of Mardi Gras itself, adopted the official name ‘’Mystic Krewe of the Druids’’. The name chosen highlights the group’s support for the Tuscaloosa area by honoring the city’s nickname, the ‘’Druid City’’. The first public event sponsored by the new Krewe was a reception in the fall of 1993 at The University of Alabama. Held in conjunction with the UA’s display of a portion of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the reception raised funds for WAAO and provided a method for friends and family members to officially present to the Quilt new panels for their loved ones.
With great support from the community and friends in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, as well as lots of hard work by the eighteen original Krewe members, MKD hosted the first annual Mardi Gras BAL Masque, or masked ball, at the Bryant Conference Center on January 22, 1994 with the theme “Around the World’’. Guests were able to travel from Brazil to Japan to Germany and back to our own Alabama without the need to leave Tuscaloosa, and with the added benefit of contributing toward the WAAO emergency fund. The following year, ball guests were treated to the Krewe’s own interpretation of various fairy tales in an evening called ‘’Once Upon a Time’’.
In January of 1996, the Bal Masque was moved to the Bama Theatre in downtown Tuscaloosa. Since that time the Bama Theatre has hosted every successive Bal Masque and guests have been on a dig in Egypt, have played Monopoly, dined with the Krewe, celebrated a ten-year anniversary, reminisced in TV Land, and found refuge in the Garden of Good or Evil. All proceeds from ticket money are donated directly to West Alabama AIDS Outreach.
In 2006, the Krewe proudly donated over $21,000, one of the largest amounts in our history to WAAO. With attendance climbing to reach capacity over the past several years, we continue in our tradition to support WAAO. The Krewe is especially proud that the donations to WAAO from the past four bals have all exceeded $40,000 with Bal Masque XXIII setting a record of $45.200. It is a tribute to both the Druids and supporters that the festivities have grown to include a lieutenants party, annual captains party, 2 different after party locations and the ever popular Saturday brunch hosted by MKD emerti members for our friends who head into Tuscaloosa for the weekend. The 24th and 25th edition was indeed “Gold” and "Silver" as the Krewe set another fund-raising mark of $100,000 combined to support the efforts of WAAO.
A special thank you to our Bal Masque XXVI guests and sponsors helping us achieve our highest support of $53,700!!!
In an effort to better serve our cause, MKD is officially a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. AIl contributions to the Krewe are now tax deductible, as we are classified as a public charity, officially listed as The Krewe of the Druids, Inc.
The Mystic Krewe of Druids, Inc.
P.O. Box 1847
Tuscaloosa, Al 35401