Honoring the Car Wash Bears

Honoring the Car Wash Bears

(Proxmire, 6/6/2011)

There was some slippery furry fun on Saturday as the Motor City Bears held their annual car wash at Level One Bank on Woodward as part of the Ferndale Pride weekend.  The spirited cleaning of cars in exchange for donations helped raise money for Ruth Ellis Center and Affirmations, and it gave a chance for the guys to get some sun on their big hairy backs.

For those who aren’t familiar with “bears,” they are typically big and cuddly – sometimes gruff – teddy bear types of guys who have cuddled out their place in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community.  The Motor City Bears are a beloved bunch that has been meeting for over ten years to host social and fundraising events.


Bear Vice President Robert Stern and his partner Scott McAllister of Ferndale were among a dozen or so that came out in speedos and holding brightly colored signs to attract drivers into the lot.  “This is a busy weekend for us,” Stern said.  “Last night we had our annual fundraising dinner, and when we’re done here we are headed Downtown [Detroit] for Motor City Pride.  We’re everywhere!”


The dinner, held at Zion Lutheran Church, raised $1,400 for the charities.  Affirmations Community Center provides many services such as a youth program, counseling, an LGBT helpline, and more.  Ruth Ellis is a shelter whose mission is to “provide short-term and long-term residential safe space and support services for runaway, homeless and at-risk gay, lesbian, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning youth in Detroit and Southeastern Michigan.”


“Our members think it’s important to give back to the community,” Stern said.  “We don’t forget where we come from, and we need to make sure everyone has the support they need coming out or feeling accepted.”

The Motor City Bears are also a happy social circle, with frequent get togethers and even camping trips across the state.  Their motto is “fun, fur and friends,” and some of their activities include movie nights, bowling, dinner parties, canoeing, Tiger baseball games, going to the zoo, the Detroit Auto Show, game nights, holiday parties and other outdoor activities.  More information can be found at www.motorcitybears.com.


To read more about Ferndale Pride, go to our LGBT News section.

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