As the treasurer of a successful gay community group with more than 800 members, I know that a tight control of budgets and realistic spending of membership fees, grants and event takings is not an easy job.

Come to any of our events and you’ll see that the Harbour City Bears like to have pretty parties and lots of BBQs. Our Play Party at Headquarters next weekend, with DJ Chip on the deck, is an example of one of these fun friendly nights.

Being a treasurer also puts me in charge of the raffle and fundraising. Though this sounds dull, it provides a way for the Bears to raise funds for our fabulous Mardi Gras float. In August’s Bear Pride, we raised $3000 from our generous members and kindred  spirits through BBQs, gold coin donations and a raffle. One lucky winner won a trip to New Zealand’s Bear Pride.

At our last two Bear Essentials raffles over Mardi Gras, we raised almost $14,000 for the Inspire Foundation, our chosen charity. Young people’s mental health is one of the biggest challenges of our time. One in four young Australians have a mental health disorder, and suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 24. The Inspire Foundation exists to help young people lead happier lives.

We are humbled that our members helped raise so much money for such a worthy cause. Knowing that our club isn’t just about parties and fun, but also is about helping people, makes all the effort and volunteering put in worth it.

During Bear Essentials 2012 events, look out for another raffle, with great prizes, knowing that every ticket sold is going towards such a great cause. After all, how many of our community have been bullied, depressed or affected as we made our way growing up different from those around us?


By JASON ALAN, Harbour City Bears

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