Bears of South Florida to Host Pool Party and Holiday Event

The Bears of South Florida hosted a pool party at The Ed Lugo Resort. Photo via Facebook.

In South Florida, bears don’t hibernate in winter, they party. Bears of South Florida (BOSFL) are out and about having fun and helping the community.

They’re celebrating 20 years of South Florida philanthropy. Last weekend they held their annual Teddy Bear Toy Drive at Hunters Nightclub. BOSFL President Will Haas said they collected five industrial trash bags full of bears and $2,500 in donations to buy more. The stuffed gifts will be given to kids at Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital at Broward Health.

Up next is their holiday pool party on Dec. 2, at Solstice at Wilton. Tickets are $35 and includes admission, access to the cash bar, and a chance to enter the 50/50 raffle.

The following event is just six days later. BOSFL’s annual holiday party goes down at the Pride Center on Dec. 8, and it will mark the culmination of a 20th year that blew expectations out of the water.

“Our goal for the BOSFL's 20th Anniversary was $20,000,” Haas said.

In the end, they raised twice that amount.

“Prior to this the most money that was given away was $16,000.”

Grants will be bestowed during the party.

Recipients include Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida, Island City Stage, SunServe, PRISM, and more.

“We’re very grateful. BOSFL is about body positivity and making sure everyone feels welcome. That aligns with our mission,” PRISM founder Maxx Fenning said. “We will use this money to fight for all young people in the state.”

It’s a sentiment Haas echoes.

“I feel the BOSFL is redefining what a bear is! It's becoming more of a state of mind than a body type. Yes, some of our members are big burly gents, the rest of the Bears are all shapes, sizes, ages, some are furry, some are not. What we all have in common is we are warm welcoming friendly gay men with a wonderful sense of humor, supporting body positivity, and an appreciation for giving back to our community."

Year 20 has been a big one beyond fundraising. This year, a trans man attended one of their pool parties, marking a first for the organization. BOSFL also was given the Harvey Milk Diversity Award.

They’ll wrap up their holiday outings on Dec. 13 at the Seminole Hard Rock for the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida (GMCSF) Holiday Concert. GMCSF was also their partner during the Teddy Bear collection.

As their 20th year ends, their 21st year will bring even more bear-filled goodness. Haas says the 2024 social calendar will include pool parties, movie nights, wine dinners, and more.


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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