Wayne Davis has been a member of the Dallas Bears for so long, he easily remembers when they could hold the annual membership meeting in a small room. And then they moved on to a restaurant. And another restaurant. And now, in a room inside the Crowne Plaza Market Center hotel, the same host hotel for the annual Texas Bear Round Up each spring. That’s an indication of growth.
And a lot of that growth took place under Davis, who first became president of the club in 2009 and was repeatedly re-elected — six times, in fact, until this year, when he finally stepped aside. (Davis will remain on the board, in his former position — treasurer.)
At the dinner last Saturday at the Crowne Plaza, at which approximately 100 bears attended, Davis voiced his emotional farewells, bestowed a few awards, gave away money, introduced the new board and— perhaps most predictably — teared up.
The Dallas Bears’ new president Ray Farias, took to the podium to share a few thoughts. the new vice president, Gauge Xavier, stood on the dais twice — once as a board member, and once when accepting the top award of the night: Bear of the Year.
The Dallas Bears have always been a nonprofit charitable group, and this year they gave away a record amount of money — a hair shy of $82,000, including donations to Resource Center ($37,000), the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, AIDS Outreach Center of Fort Worth ($18,500 each) and AIDS Services of Dallas.
This was the 20th annual Dallas Bears celebration; next year, its 21st TBRU event will have the theme Mardi Gras.
Here are some more photos from the event.