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Northwest Bears' Spring Thaw gives back to community
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Northwest Bears' Spring Thaw gives back to community

by James Whitely - SGN Staff Writer

Spring Thaw
April 15-18
Various venues


The weekend of April 15-18 marked the sweet 16th anniversary of the Spring Thaw event. Bears from around the country came out of hibernation in droves and migrated to Seattle for a four-day nonstop bear social that went to support Lambert House, one of the single most essential local LGBT charities. Spring Thaw raised over $6,000 for Lambert House.

"Spring Thaw is basically an annual bear gathering for bear and bear admirers. & It's always been focused on gathering bear and bear admirers from around the world," said Jim Fotter, co-chair of Northwest Bears. "The other focus has always been to find a local charity, to give back to the community.

Events included a pizza buffet at Piecora's Pizza, "beareoke," a winery tour and wine tasting at Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia wineries, an underwear party at the Seattle Eagle, and a lunch cruise on Argosy Cruises.

The highlight of the weekend, however, was the Furnace Dance Party at the Cuff. With DJ Mattstands and DJ Funky Bear - who are both formidable spinners in their own right - dueling on the decks, Furnace made for one of the most impressive and fun nights in recent Seattle memory.

The weekend was funded primarily by Steamworks and Northwest Bears. All funds raised went directly to Lambert House. Northwest Bears is organized as a Gay men's social and service organization. Its purpose is to provide a focal point within the Gay community for bears and bear admirers. Northwest Bears, founded in the fall of 1990, is one of the first organized bear clubs. The kickoff event was a potluck, which took place at a local bar and attracted over 100 men.

For more information on Northwest Bears, visit them online at www.nwbears.com. Northwest Bears will be celebrating their 20th anniversary this October.

Lambert House is a center for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning youth that encourages empowerment through the development of leadership, social, and life skills. In 2009, the Lambert House served 547 youth, who received about 17,000 hours of direct service through more than 20 different programs. For more information on the Lambert House or to make a donation, visit www.lamberthouse.org.

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