VicBears have delivered a massive cash injection for the Melbourne-based Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives, handing a cheque for $10,000 to the organisation at the weekend.
The donation is the result of a year’s fundraising, most of which comes from the annual Southern Hibearnation Festival. VicBears choose a different charity each year to benefit from their fundraising.
“We are very proud to be donating $10,000 to the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives,” VicBears president Rick Cooper told the Star Observer.
“We set ourselves the goal in July last year to raise that amount, and due to the success of this year’s events we’ve managed to achieve it and provide that donation.”
VicBears spoke to a number of charities last year before making the decision to contribute to the conservers of queer history.
“I remember hearing something on JOY about the Archives, and I made contact with them to ask what they could do with our funds if we chose them as our charity.
“Not receiving any government funding as it is, they are always desperate for what they can get.”
Cooper said that with the donation, the Archives would be able to increase storage capacity and obtain a full colour copier/scanner to help with electronic records.
“They preserve everyone’s history in the gay community, and that includes VicBears, which is what makes this an important cause,” he said.
This year’s Southern Hibearnation was one of the most successful VicBears have had, which accounts for the size of the fundraising result.
“I think it helped that we went to our members and asked what they wanted and what they wanted changed this year. Overall individual ticket sales went up immensely and our event packages were as we had hoped. All up, it was a satisfying festival,” Cooper said.