Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: charity

2020: A year of loss — Fundraising and fursuiting for charity in the midst of a global pandemic — by Joe G. Bear

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Joe Goria (Joe G. Bear) last wrote about the 2019 ALS Walk.

Furries have done annual fundraising for ALS patients and families in honor of Dogbomb, raising several hundred thousand so far.

Charity events canceled: “What A Difference A Year Makes…”

That statement couldn’t have been more truer than THIS year. I don’t believe any of us would have predicted that 2020 would plunge us into a global pandemic not seen in over 100 years, and that our way of life – our ‘normal’ would change so remarkably in a short period of time. To be honest, this year has brought me closer to my own mortality, so I’m grateful to be safe and healthy (so far…)

As the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the United States in early March, affecting all major in-person events from concerts, sporting events and for many of us in “The Fandom,” furmeets and furry conventions – the most devastating casualty of this pandemic have been to people’s jobs and their own livelihoods. We all know someone or an entire family who has suffered greatly these last few months, and it’s heartbreaking. We should also mention those who are employed in our healthcare system, especially furries who have worked under extremely difficult circumstances in hospitals across our nation. “Thank You” for your dedication and service.

Even with the promise of important vaccines being rolled out this month and well into 2021, the after-effects of 2020 will still be with us for some time – especially for one major aspect of our society that can never take a backseat. Charities and Non-Profit organizations like March of Dimes & The ALS Association have been hit particularly hard as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the cancellations of in-person donor drives and events like “The March for Babies” in Los Angeles and “The Walk to End ALS” in Orange County, CA.

Hardships inspire a personal commitment to help.

The “2019 Walk to End ALS” was Joe Bear’s first major charitable event. The success of Furries coming together to remember and support one of our own, Tony ‘Dogbomb’ Barrett was the light that brought a purpose to fursuiting beyond a weekend convention – an ‘enlightening’ that gave me determination to continue the cause. It would be supporting the amazing folks at The ALS Association, and the upcoming 20th Anniversary “Walk to End ALS” in November, 2020. Plans were being finalized for the event when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in mid-March.

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Protests in Poland “a premonition for what will happen” if LGBT rights are lost in the USA — Q&A with furry artist Jeanwoof who does charity for rights in Poland.

by Patch O'Furr

The 2020 U.S. election is in progress, the future is at stake, and a tipper sent me this story. “It may be a premonition of what will happen here if abortion and LGBTQ rights are suspended by the supreme court.”

Maybe you’re sick of relentless gushing doom about politics. Sorry I can’t make it stop with the fabulous power of furry news reporting. But I can make a story for furries in and out of the U.S., and help you think about protecting rights everywhere. This won’t just tell you to vote, it’s about using fandom power!

Soatok Dhole explains why it matters.

Politics? In My Fandom? 

Soatok says “The furry fandom – which you can think of as the largely queer sector of geek culture – has a problem with negative peace”; and it’s hurt by the Trump administration’s effort to overturn marriage equality plus 33 more steps to push anti-LGBT hate worldwide.

The problem is not just about Trump — it’s about ultraconservative attacks on rights everywhere. You can’t get peace from it by turning off the news, so to make better news, let’s meet a furry who does art charity to advance people’s rights in Poland.

Hi Jeanwoof, can you give a brief bio about yourself?

Hi, I’m a 26 year old woman living in Northern Poland. I’m very active in the fandom — drawing furry art for 6 years, and for 3 years I’ve been doing a small furry convention (Kungfur) with friends. I attend local conventions and sometimes you can see me at Eurofurence in the Dealers Den or Artist Alley. I’m a fursuiter too, but I don’t wear my suit as often as I want to.

by Jeanwoof

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When Fursuiting and Charity Radiates Positive Difference – Dogbomb, Furry Weekend Atlanta & The 2019 ALS Walk

by Dogpatch Press Staff

GUEST POST BY JOE GORIA (JOE G. BEAR)

Joe Bear in suit

As a young kid growing up in 1970’s Los Angeles, I was always fascinated by seeing costumed performers at events like circuses, or Disneyland and the now defunct Hanna-Barbera’s Marineland in Palos Verdes, CA. To see tall cartoon characters come to life as Baloo, Yogi Bear, and Scooby Doo let me escape into a virtual fantasy life of myself living in a world alongside Anthropomorphic Animals.

Though I grew up and went to college, graduated and attended grad school — and recently celebrated 19 years employed for a major telecommunications company with a Pension and 401k — I’m still that kid that refused to grow up. The ‘Hooman’ in me was not enough. I wanted to be my own ‘Bear.’ It led to my amazement that there’s a fan base just for this.

I discovered ‘The Furry Fandom’ in late 2013 by another Furry who had a German Shepherd fursuit stored in the trunk of his ol’ jalopy. His name was ‘Kaz,’ and he was picking me up at San Diego’s Santa Fe train station. When he popped open his trunk to put my bags in, I noticed his fursuit and asked him “is that a dog costume?”  I thought he was working at an amusement park or something. Instead he was a Furry, and I got my 15 minute crash course in ‘The Fandom’.

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The impact of Dogbomb on the furry fandom and charity to cure ALS.

by Patch O'Furr

Coming soon: inspired by Dogbomb, ALS advocates will join furries in the San Francisco Pride parade.

Ask any furry fan to name a fandom saint. Dogbomb (Tony Barrett) didn’t carry a cask of brandy on his collar, but you can picture him with a halo and a beer.

On this site, the Dogbomb tag is probably the most positive representation of the fandom. He raised awareness about Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and his impact with outsiders got a look with the latest story in May 2019: Dogbomb: praise for a furry hero – from the ALS Association, Orange County Chapter.

Fundraising in his honor includes walks, art and pins for sale. Grubbs Grizzly’s Good Furry Award just went to Dogbomb with a $1000 prize donated to charity. The energy keeps going with an art book in the works. According to his wishes, his likeness is free to use as long as proceeds are donated.

The amount of donations will likely be a sizeable chunk of ALL furry charity done this year, but who knows how high it is? Ask Dogbomb’s inner circle of friends who were entrusted to carry on his legacy. Last month I spoke to Trip E. Collie, who knows a lot about the total impact.

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Dogbomb: praise for a furry hero – from the ALS Association, Orange County Chapter.

by Patch O'Furr

ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a fatal disease that needs a cure. In a call with the Executive Director of the ALS Association of Orange County (California), I asked if they would like to join furries in the San Francisco Pride parade in June to represent their cause. Plans are in progress, but so far the answer was an enthusiastic “count us in!” This is the ongoing legacy of one inspiring man.

Dogbomb (Tony Barrett) was the reason for our call. He was a furry fan who some called “Mister Rogers with a beer,” and an ALS patient represented by the ALSAOCC. Thousands of fandom members united for his cause, bringing six figures in charity donations — (another story for another article this week.)

After Dogbomb passed away, Furry Twitter was filled with profile pics gone black with a rainbow lei to represent him. Hashtags, toasts, memories and plans were shared in his honor. There was hardly anywhere in the fandom where his presence wasn’t felt. But because his work directed this positive energy far outside of the group, here’s a story about effects that may not have been seen, as told by ALS patient advocates.

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The Goodest Boy – Dogbomb’s victory lap against ALS

by Rune AngelDragon

Rune’s Furry Blog showcases “people within the Furry Community… their characters, life, thoughts, and beliefs”. Check out her tag for more. – Patch

Vet tech, runner, fursuiter, grease monkey, motorcycle hysteric and full time nutjob. ALS can kiss my fuzzy butt. I ain’t scared! – DogBomb

Words on a profile aren’t even a shadow of the figure that Tony “DogBomb” Barrett would create when he was diagnosed with ALS in March of 2018.

Furries, for all of the negative stereotyping they receive from time to time, have often spread light in many ways throughout their communities. Whether that be placing smiles on the faces of adults and children alike, raising money for animal organizations through their conventions, or, in the case of Tony (DogBomb), raising money and awareness for a very serious disease… Furries have always been there to lend their helping paw.

Tony not only shed light on his condition by documenting it as it happened, he also showed how something so devastating did not have to bring a person down. ALS is a very real and serious terminal condition… but Tony never let it stop him from loving and living his life in the only ways he knew how. Wherever he went, he continued spreading positivity and love, while educating the public on why taking action and pursuing research was important and even crucial to find a cure for future generations.

He took a terminal condition in stride as he continued to walk, boat, ride, and sit down with friends, all the while confessing that he shouldn’t be doing such things, but he had a point to prove, even with his doctor’s disapproval. Through laughter and moments of honesty, and even a few moments of vulnerability- DogBomb had nothing to hide from the community he loved so much. All he ever asked is that we pay it forward, and keep shining that light after he had gone.

“No one should be broken up over my passing. Sadness or anger at ALS is appropriate, but there is nothing to grieve about when you consider the ride that I was afforded. Wag every day, please. Hug your dogs and your friends. Smile when you think of me. No regrets.” – DogBomb

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Representing furries in 2018 with 10,000 at Midwest Furfest, Dogbomb’s magic, and more (Part 2)

by Patch O'Furr

Being fluffy is its own reward. Fun and creativity don’t need representing. What is this, a religion? But if a spotlight happens, it could be for hard work to help others, a lucky chance, or having the right dance moves at the right time.  Chasing attention might not be necessary, but it’s nice to show how cool this group is because that helps make it cooler. So here’s why the fandom is great in 2018.

Part 1 had good media: CNN’s This Is Life with Lisa Ling, Sonicfox at The Game Awards in Los Angeles, and Bucktown Tiger on Jeopardy. For Part 2 here’s conventions, charity, art, celebrities, awards, spending, and more.

Conventions and charity:

 

Midwest FurFest got the first five-figure furry con attendance! It took 29 years since ConFurence 0 to match the biggest WorldCon (started in 1939, that’s perhaps one of the longest running nerd events, where they hand out fancy awards like the Hugos). Now we’re giving Science Fiction fandom a run for its money. It’s not on Comic Con level and may never be (…good?) but that’s millions of dollars of support to build and share the wealth. And furry is still grassroots with little outside investment and high DIY power.

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Furries invited to a charity livestream for the It’s Your Haven Foundation, December 8-9

by Patch O'Furr

@HavenFusky of @HavenCon has a 24+ hour livestream for his charitable foundation. Check out the schedule, and here’s @KalTorathen to tell you more, with hope to see our community come together to support a Very Good Boy! 

Have you ever wondered where the money to host and support a convention comes from? In particular, how do smaller or startup cons get funded?

One might argue that larger, long-running cons can gather money for next year’s convention during this year’s convention. But that isn’t true for smaller and younger cons. They depend on generous individuals that donate their time, money, and expertise to make them a reality.

That’s a good reason to support HavenCon (www.havencontx.com) and the associated It’s Your Haven Foundation (www.itsyourhaven.org).

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My Fursuit Is Killing People – Guest post by Akhetnu.

by Patch O'Furr

Guest post by Akhetnu/Angriff.  Enjoy his previous post, Cultural Appropriation In Fandom, which brought spirited comments.

This fursuit set a record high $11,575 auction price.

This fursuit set a record high $11,575 auction price.

Imagine you are walking by yourself and see someone drowning.  You could easily save the person, but your shoes will be ruined and you would have to buy another pair.  Would you rescue the drowning individual anyway despite the monetary cost of new shoes? 

Most furries, I’d wager, would reply in the affirmative.  So if you would sacrifice $50 or $100 (depending on your taste in footwear) to save someone’s life, why spend $2000 on a full fursuit if that same $2000 could prevent the needless deaths of even more people in need somewhere in the world?

This is the dilemma that Peter Singer poses to us.  Singer is an influential modern ethicist in the utilitarian tradition, both well known and rather infamous for his various viewpoints on euthanasia, veganism, zoophilia, and economic equality (none of which are the subjects of this article).

One of his central conclusions, based on the thought experiment just provided, is that everyone in the developed world can and should live on a basic subsistence level, with all their surplus money being given to the poor around the world.  These could take the form of donations to various NGOs and charities, governmental foreign aid, or self-funded projects. (Assume the programs in question are the kind that have measurable results and where most of the money goes directly to those in need; Charity Navigator is a valuable tool for this). 

In his utilitarian calculus (which prioritizes the results of actions and emphasizes the ‘greatest good for the greatest number’ and overall human happiness and freedom from suffering), any spending on luxuries while others are starving is immoral.

This means my fursuit is killing people. Since rather than donate the thousand or so dollars spent on head, tail, hands and feet (not to mention the reproduction 19th century Prussian uniform) to needy third world people, I instead spent it on something novel that I don’t really *need*…at least not like needy people need food, clothing, and medicine.

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Furry fan struggling for life after Taiwan explosion that injured 500. (Update)

by Patch O'Furr

Art by Alex

Art by Alex

Here’s an update to the tragic story from 6/29/15, that comes with a GoFundMe appeal for help.

Alex H. is known to furry friends as a fandom artist. To everyone else, he was the only American caught in a special effects accident at a festival in Taiwan. 500 were injured, over 200 in critical condition, and at least two have since died from burns. Hospitals and the community in Taiwan are working hard to care for the overload of victims.

Alex suffered burns to 90% of his body. His family has appealed to the public for medical funding help, receiving a large amount of the original $75,000 request in a short time. But the difficult challenge of accessing care among all the other victims have caused them to raise an urgent request for $200,000, so they can fly him back for local care in the USA.

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