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Rise 'n Shine benefits from Northwest Bears' Spring Thaw
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Rise 'n Shine benefits from Northwest Bears' Spring Thaw

On June 25, 2009, Jim Fotter, on behalf of Northwest Bears, presented $6,390 to Terry March, program director of Rise 'n Shine. The money was raised primarily during Northwest Bears' 15th Annual Spring Thaw weekend, held this year during April 16-19, through activities such as the Beard, Belly and Buns contest whereby contestants solicited dollar votes, the one with the most money being the "winner." Money was also raised by the silent auction of items contributed by local businesses and by various members of Northwest Bears. Additional money was raised by some bar activities, such as Jell-o shots and the club-operated coat check service at The Cuff Complex.

Rise 'n Shine is an organization which provides emotional support programs, stability, advocacy, and AIDS education for children and teens affected by HIV and AIDS. This includes children and teens who have been orphaned by the disease, children and teens who live with a parent or other close family member with HIV or AIDS, and those who are infected themselves. The funds raised by Northwest Bears will help to send some Rise 'n Shine children to their annual two-week summer camp, where they can be with others similarly affected, and where they can give each other support.

Jim Fotter was the co-chairman of the 15th Annual Spring Thaw and is also a volunteer mentor to a Rise 'n Shine child. Mentors provide the children with one of their most stable relationships and their interactions are very valuable especially during these major life situations and transitions.

Northwest Bears have also sponsored a needy Rise 'n Shine family at Christmas time, as well as raising money by participating in the Rise 'n Shine's "Big Jail Bail Out."

Northwest Bears thanks the LGBT community and the business community for their support.

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