Presidents Corner 2016

Happy New Year NW Bears!!

For those of you who do not know me, my name is T.J. Elston, (tbear or tjdabear in most circles) and I am the newly elected President of the Northwest Bears. I am sure most of you DO know me, or have met me in my almost 30 years in Seattle, and 10 + years as a member of the NW Bears. Please look for me at the many events we have scheduled this year.

Northwest Bears was founded in the fall of 1990 following a Bear Meet at a local bar which attracted over 100 men. Since then, Northwest Bears has become a major organization within Seattle's Gay community. The Club is organized as a social and service organization that provides a focal point for Bears and men who have an affinity for Bears. We foster a social environment that promotes loyalty, friendship, and respect, as well as a congenial and friendly atmosphere for social interaction.   The clubs’ home bar is The Cuff, 1533 13th, on Capitol Hill, Seattle.

Please read thru this letter to see what’s going on in your club. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or any Board member at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


2017 Board Of Directors

President:  TJ Elston

Vice President:  [open]

Treasurer:  James Ludwig

Administrative SecretaryPeter Caliandro

Recording SecretaryPeter Caliandro

Let us not to forget to thank your 2015 NW Bears Leadership for the multiple hours Service & Events that they provided all year, all voluntary.

Outgoing Board of Directors                         Committee Chairs

Mo Moore - President                                Steve Dearing- Kamp Kodiak

Aaron Butcher -Treasurer                         Jonathan Jones- Spring Thaw

Kenny Schoenhofen                                  Byron Sanborn-Website/Communication

Tim Shay                                                      

                                                                     Mr. NW Bear 2015 – Scott Lindauer


Standing Committee Positions:

Webmaster/Communications Chair:  Peter Caliandro

Bylaws Chair:  [open]

Parade & Pride Chairman Chair:  TJ Elston

Holiday Charitable Gift Drive Chair:  James Ludwig


Get Involved:

We are currently seeking volunteers and committee members to fill some of the vacant positions of leadership. Northwest Bears relies entirely on its Board & members to plan and provide club activities.  All Board and Committee positions are held by uncompensated volunteers and your help is needed!  It is your club and it is up to you to help make it a great club!  Do your part by participating on a committee that interests you.  Even if you are not on a particular committee, your opinion is important!  If you have a suggestion, comment or idea...let the Chair of the appropriate committee know.

Quartermaster:  [open]

Merchandising & Marketing:  [open]

Potluck Events:  [open

Mr. NW Bear                         more info to follow

Mr. NW Cub                          more info to follow

Nominations/Elections                Chair: TBD

Spring Thaw 2017                        Chair TBD
(No Spring Thaw Event for 2016)                                                       


Parade & Pride: TJ Elston


Board Meetings:

Board meetings are open to all club members.  They are held on the 1st Saturday of most months @ The Cuff, 1533 13th, Seattle, followed by our Monthly Bear Potluck Dinner.


Check the calendar on the club website for updates, changes, and other information.  Reminder notices will also be announced by email through the NWBears Yahoo! Group. & our member-only and public Facebook pages..


Annual Events:     


Spring Thaw has been held since 1994.  Bears, Cubs and Admirers from other parts of the world join us in an extended weekend of fun, frolic, and fur.  This highly successful event solidifies our connection to Bears and Clubs at the local, regional, national and worldwide levels.  The notorious Beard, Belly, and Buns Contest, held at this event, allows the Northwest Bears to raise moneys for local charitable organizations. 

Kamp Kodiak:  Every summer the Northwest Bears take over the entire Miller River Campground in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest for five days of fur, frolic and friends.

Gay Pride 2016:  Contact TJ Elston

Holiday Charitable Toy/Gift Drive: Contact James Ludwig

Weekly Events:

No cover charge Friday Nights at The Cuff with current membership card.  Also no cover charge for Northwest Bears special events held at The Cuff.


Monthly Potlucks:

Our Monthly Potlucks are held on the first Saturday of every month starting at 6:00 PM.  The potlucks are held at our home bar The Cuff.  In March, June, September, and December a General Membership meeting immediately follows the potluck- See schedule above.


The Summer  Picnic is held in July in place of the potluck. The club provides hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, condiments, and non-alcoholic beverages.  You bring a salad, side dish or dessert to share.  Watch the Yahoo! emails, website and newsletter for details.  These dates are subject to change.


Extra Events:

The Extra Events Chairperson organizes smaller activities that don't appear on the NW Bears regular schedule, such as daytrips to local areas of interest, Gay Bingo, Wild Waves, Invasions to Portland and Vancouver B.C. bear events and our popular Snow Bear winter trip to Snoqualmie Pass for sledding and tubing.  Extra Events add variety to the activities the club organizes. 

The members of the Northwest Bears are encouraged to propose and organize activities of interest within the Special Interest Group. The activities mobilize the group’s members and the Bear community at large. 

Please be on the look out for these events, Upcoming events include SnowBear Tubing Trip, Weekly Dinner gatherings, and a Mini Bear Campout at Paca Pride alpaca Ranch in May. More details to follow!


Member Events:

Member Events are public or private events organized by a member of the Northwest Bears to which an invitation to attend is extended to the general membership.  These events are not sponsored nor endorsed by the Northwest Bears, but they are still fun.

Bearaoke on Tuesday & Thursday nights at The Cuff, organized by Jonathan Jones

Seattle Movie Bears on Wednesday nights organized by David Thorpe.

Steamworks   Bears Bath and Beyond  has now evolved into Bear Hump -A Weekly Event! Every Wednesday from 1-7pm 1520 Summit Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (206) 388-4818 . Specials for Northwest Bears members vary from month to month so check the club website for details.     

Any of the above information is subject to change without notice.

Bylaws and Policies:

The club by-laws can be found on the Yahoo Group club website at / or by hard copy, upon request.  All members are required to abide by the bylaws and policies of the Northwest Bears as a condition of membership. The bylaws are revised annually by the Bylaws Committee and are voted on by the general membership at the December general membership meeting.

Club policies can be found on the club website at or by hard copy upon
request.  Hard copies of the club bylaws and policies can be requested through the Administrative Secretary 
or any other Board Member at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , in person at club events, via phone or regular mail sent to the club’s mail box NW Bears 1122 E Pike St #802, Seattle WA 98122 .  

Policies are created by the Board of directors as necessary to define or clarify certain aspects of the club not addressed in the bylaws.  Some examples of our current policies are: the Extra Events and Member Events Policy as well as the Yahoo! Group E-mail Policy.

General Membership Meetings:

The club holds a minimum of four General Membership Meetings annually, in March, June, September, and December, where important issues are brought before the membership and voted upon.  These meetings are held at the monthly potluck.

Club Website —


The club website is your best source of information about the Northwest Bears: detailed information about club events and meetings, bylaws, policies, contact information, non-official events sponsored by club members and information about major events sponsored by other bear clubs. The club newsletter and membership applications can also be downloaded from the site.

When meeting or event information changes the membership is notified via email through the Northwest Bears Yahoo! Group & on our Member-only  & Public Facebook pages (explained below). Occasionally email message delivery is delayed for hours or fails altogether. Therefore it is always a good idea to check the website. The information available on the website changes frequently, so visit often.  Always enter the site from the main page at and only bookmark that page.  By doing so, you will not miss out on any late-breaking or important information.

Northwest Bears Yahoo! Group:

The NW Bears Yahoo! Group is a private group, open only to current members of Northwest Bears.  All club email messages and reminders are sent via this group.  New members with a Yahoo! ID can request to join the Yahoo! Group at
. You can send emails to the entire membership by directing the message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Replies to email messages should be directed only to the sender and not the entire group unless it is necessary to share the reply with everyone.  If you have set up a Yahoo! Profile, you can control how email is sent to you by logging into the NW Bears Yahoo! Group and modifying your email preferences.

Northwest Bears Yahoo! Group Email Policy (Approved by the General Membership September 15th, 2001) - “NW Bears club Yahoo! group is subject to moderation by the club Secretary. Postings can contain no foul language, no political agendas, and no unsolicited adult content. First violations will receive a warning. Second violations receive a three month suspension. Third violations will be banned for life.”

Membership Directory is located in the Yahoo! Group under Database (left hand side of the screen when logged in). Only members who opted to be included in the membership directory are listed.

Meeting Minutes from Board and Committee meetings are located under Files (left hand side of the screen when logged in).

Member Discounts:

Northwest Bears members with valid NWB membership card will also save:   

 The Cuff:  1533 13th AV Seattle.  Waves the cover charge on Friday nights for persons displaying a NW Bear or Leather Club Card.

Minter's Earlington Greenhouse:  10% off.  13043 Renton Avenue South, Seattle 98178, (425) 255-7744 when you show your valid NWB membership card prior to purchase. Some restrictions apply, so see the store for details.

*Your new 2016 Board & Membership Team is working on sponsorships with local & out of town vendors and Bear Clubs nationwide to make your NW Bear Membership get more bang for its buck. Stay tuned for those exciting updates. 

I want to personally say to you, my bear brothers, I hope that you will show us patience and support as I, and my current board, committee members, and volunteers move forward from the past and make you proud this year and beyond. We have a lot of things already set in place by your past boards and committees, and we also have a lot of things that need attention as far as setting this club, your club, on a positive, nurturing, furry, fun social club as it was intended back in 1990.

Thank-you for letting me, and your 2016 NW Bear Leadership Team be of service for you.

T.J. Elston
President, NW Bears