Join us in reclaiming our History. If you are a former member or friend and have details, pictures, etc… about our club history, we want to hear from you. Please contact our Webmaster, email@example.com
The Dallas Bears has seen its fair share of transitions and our community has evolved in so many ways. The toughest transition was seeing multiple generations of Bears and our community at-large lose the battle to HIV/AIDS. Thousands upon thousands of men in Dallas died from the epidemic.
Like many groups, we have lost touch with our beginnings and many members have come and gone, moved away for jobs, family or relationships. In addition, we recognize that the AIDS epidemic stole several generations of good men from our midst and took along with it, our history.
So, the story goes… Dallas Bears began circa 1993. Danny Keller, his partner Chris and David Ellis (aka Miss Ellie) got together to form a social group of guys that wanted to do things outside of the bars. It just happens that they were considered Bears.
Now, here is where the story gets sketchy… the archives of our earlier days were lost at some point and we do not have many members from these early days to remind us how it was. So, we are on an important mission to know, understand and record our history.
Spanke Studer recalls: Dallas Bears started as a group of guys who met regularly on Sundays at the back bar at TMC (Throckmorton Mining Company). Miss Ellie (David Ellis) was the bartender. Initially, the group came together as a way to socialize outside the bars. The first officers were:
President – David Ellis (aka Miss Ellie)
Vice President – Bruce Easley
Secretary – Chris Young
Treasurer – David Marriot
Along with members: Danny Keller, Jeff Blair, Gary Moore, Dale Thirio and James Taylor. Spanke said there could have been more but that was all he and Jeff could remember at the time.
The group envisioned a party celebrating like-minded individuals (bears) and it was heavy on their minds. Out of the vision, they created the first Texas Bear Round-Up (TBRU) event shortly thereafter.
In December 2004 the Dallas Bears was incorporated as Texas Non-Profit Corporation. The ongoing plan was to provide protection to the Board, Membership and work towards being a tax-deductible organization. Bryan Tomes, Wayne Davis and Craig Clark were selected by the board to form the new By-Laws team to create a set of by-laws that would be compliant to the State and the IRS. Wayne Davis was our listed Incorporator and worked with the state in producing our Articles of Corporation and the successful granting of our Certificate of Incorporation from the State of Texas. Wayne Davis also wrote our mission statement which details the path we always look towards.
In March 2011 the Dallas Bears were granted 501(c)(3) tax-deductible status by the IRS. This fulfilled a long-term goal of the membership and several individuals. The entire Board embarked on making this a reality. The officers were President, Wayne Davis; Vice-President, Patrick Sweeney; Treasurer, Robert Delgado; Secretary, Kevin Steele; Social Chair, Rob Meade; Ambassador, Brandon McGimsey; Technology Chair, Jared Spears and Historian, Norman Ames.
In March 2012 the Dallas Bears produced TBRU 17, Bears Gone Wild: Spring Break Style. This event had over 1,700 registrants and the club was able to give over $58,000 to the charities for the year.
Texas Bear Round-Up (TBRU) quickly became known as one of the best Bear events in the nation. Each year we see a good increase in registrants. Quickly TBRU became a community fundraiser for local charities. From under 100 registrants at TBRU 1 to now over 1,700 registrants each year – this event is a huge event for the world-wide Bear Community.
Today, the Dallas Bears continue with their mission of Community Service, Fellowship, Fun and Lasting Friendships. You can be part of the future starting today… the story of your journey is ready to be recorded here.
The Dallas Bears has had a very eclectic and diverse membership over the years. From its humble beginnings of under 10 members to growing in the late 1990’s and the turn of the century of 100+ members.
To contribute to our early history please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org