Voting for The Good Furry Award has commenced!
by Patch O'Furr
Nominations for the premier Good Furry Award are finalized, and voting has commenced at the Ask Papabear website (www.askpapabear.com/vote-now).
What is The Good Furry Award? It is a prize given to furries who have demonstrated exemplary behavior within the fandom by giving back to the community and by serving as a fine example of what furries are supposed to be about: fun, playfulness, imagination, creativity, and, above all, community.
The Good Furry Award was created by Grubbs Grizzly (Kevin Hile), who runs the Ask Papabear website, which is an advice column for furries and the furry curious. Grubbs (53) began the column in 2012 as a reaction to all the emails he had already been getting from younger furries asking about the fandom and seeking advice. He also runs the Greymuzzle, Outcast Furries, and Bear Furries groups on Facebook. In addition, he is still working on a guidebook called The Furry Book: The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of the Furry Fandom. For those of you who have heard of this project, yes, it has been delayed a long time due to several setbacks in Grubbs’ life, including the unexpected death of his husband and recent death of his mother, but he hopes to finish it soon. The Furry Book will also launch his new publishing venture, Uncle Bear Publishing, which will offer nonfiction titles specializing in the furry community (Grubbs has 30 years of experience in reference publishing and is currently a freelance managing editor).
The winner of the 2019 Good Furry Award will receive $1,000 and a shiny in the form of a handsome trophy. Three runners-up will receive honorable mention certificates, as well. The current nominees are: Aleshka Alejandra, LeighAnn Baca, Troj Bruegel, Damien Coquelle (Timduru), Dai Cymru, Tony Barret (Dogbomb), Courtney Dunn (Dr. Wildlife), Jeff Edwards (Ramseys the Bull), Kat the Leopardess, Shelly McCaw, Courtney Plante, Murphy Slaugh, Rodney O’Riley, Tycho Aussie, Matt VanNest, Noelle White (Wyld), Andrew Willis, and Zorrore.
Please visit the website to learn more and to vote – and here’s the full list of nominees.
- Dogbomb (Note: Dogbomb recently passed away; should he get the most votes, the prize money will be donated to ALS research) has been the best of humans and furries alike. He has touched many of us with stories of his experiences in fursuit, his friendliness and gentle approach to living. I think he has inspired many furries to be kinder, even if they’ve never met him. Recently he was diagnosed with a terminal, degenerative disease, and even in the face of death his humor, kindness and courage are unwavering. Instead of asking for things for himself, which he could easily do- he has participated in rallies and fundraising to help others. He has been a great face for the community, and is definitely one of the finer humans on the planet.
- LeighAnn Baca: Waffles does lots of volunteer work for the Dumb Friends league which is a local animal shelter. She is always posting pictures of animals who need a good home on her social media in effort to help find these critters a good new forever home. When she isn’t helping out the homeless pets, she volunteers to take pictures of her furry friends. Though she is a paid photographer she will often help a fur out by taking pictures of their art, and creations to help boost their websites. She’s often seen at local furry meets taking pictures of fursuiters, and furries in general, all for free, posting her pictures up on social media for everyone to enjoy. She also, when called upon (and more often not) will step up with charity projects to make scarfs and blankets for the homeless, create props, and generally shows up with random awesomeness that always delights whoever is on the receiving end of her generosity.
- Matt VanNest: Ryvis is an amazing suiter who I’ve lived with for the past 2 years. He is a service dog owner who helps train other future service dogs, free of charge. On top of it, he always checks on his friends who aren’t doing well mentally or physically. He’s helped people leave abusive relationships a few times now and provided them a safe space until they could find a new home. He’s an all around good guy who puts everyone before himself and he needs to come first for a change.
- Shelly McCaw: A mainstay of the West Australia fandom for many years. Large, bubbly and until recently a fantastic event host for everyfur. (Has had to make private events now due to a popufur in the local fandom running a smear and hate campaign due to them being banned from attending her events for behavioural issues.) Fursona name is Saber Frostfang… but everyone knows her as Mama Wookie as she is seen as a mother figure to everyone from the preteens in the fandom to those my age and older. Half the time she hasn’t got the money for fuel in her car, but always manages to find some for sausages for a furry beach BBQ. Current Head of Events and games for FurOutWest the local convention, and the only all age convention in Australia, dedicating many hours to the cause to make sure there is content for those from the youngest to the oldest.
- Andrew Willis: It’s sad, but I am actually not all that interested in the fandom anymore [says nominating furry of Willis]. But this guy, this guy is the one who jumped me in. They go by the fursona of Okamibito. They started out just like every other furry, 14 years old and looking for friendship on the internet. Much like me, he was a child of divorce. But unlike mine, his mother decided to re-marry, and as you might expect, his relationship with his step-father was less than ideal. So you can see how the furry fandom might have been a place of comfort to him. But now, at age 27, he has taken back his power and seeks to empower others. He’s started quite a few groups in our local area. Utilizing Telegram, at first, he has orchestrated many meet-ups. He does his best to keep the local free community thriving, and is actually an artist himself. No, he is not a furry artist, as in he does not do anthropomorphic art, but he makes patches and sells them on Etsy (he did/does do the Disney paw print). After he lost his apartment, he moved back in with his grandparents to take care of them. He is also finishing up his education at a local university. Unfortunately, Etsy is not enough for all of his expenses so he’s is looking for work. But he still makes time to manage the groups and socialize with everyone. He has hosted meetings where everyone has met in person. And he encourages all the creators in the group to pursue their passion. Everyone trusts him, everyone knows him, and even if he doesn’t get this award… I hope you get the chance to know him too. I don’t know if we would even have a community in Middle Georgia. We’re not for him. He’s not just an unsung hero, he’s my hero.
- Troj Bruegel: Troj is a doctor of psychology. She’s a smart little ovaraptor (bird eating dinosaur) who, without fail, will always stop and have a listen to anyone she meets. She has a slight issue with walking, but that doesn’t slow her down. She takes extra time to reach out to differently abled folks and always encouraging those who feel they shouldn’t be in the furry community. She runs her own meet (when she can) called front street fuzzies.
- Aleshka Alejandra: While they may attend cons, they are one of the most kind and understanding person. She would do anything to meet your needs, she works so hard. Even in hardships she works through it. I nominate her, as I believe she deserves it. She Is a very hard worker. She is mindful of all and doesn’t show anytime of rude behavior towards anyone. She is very kind, and caring, loving if I can say. She has been through some tough times and she doesn’t let it stop her from doing anything.
- Jeff Edwards (Ramseys the Bull): Jeff Edwards aka Ramseys the Bull has been a cornerstone of strength and support in the furry community for many years now. Giving his own free time voluntarily and lending both his many years experience in lighting and sound equipment that has been used at Morphicon/AnthrOhio fur convention since it’s inception. He is also always shown himself to be the possessor of perhaps the greatest loving heart I have ever seen in a man. He has rescued and cared for many dogs and other animals and continues to do so as well as having rescued me as well as supporting other artists in their careers. He opened his heart and home to me in my darkest hour and gave me cause to continue living by showing me and reminding me that there is still so much to live for! So… even if this isn’t enough to qualify him as a nominee of being The Good Furry by anyone else’s standards it won’t matter anyways to me because he’s already The Good Furry to me!
- Kat the Leopardess: Organizes furry fandom in Southern CA by facilitating Meetup.com access, and organizing, keeping, and mailing a list of activities.