Mr. Boston Bear’s 2011 Year of Reign

Photo: Glenn Koetzner/TRT

Photo: Glenn Koetzner/TRT

By: Glenn Koetzner/TRT Special–

BOSTON–Mr. Boston Bear, a MASSBEARZ competition started just last year, has done extraordinary work in the community. Created in the fraternal bear spirit, the organization has gone on to contribute to many charitable organizations and community-based initiatives. As Mr. Boston Bear 2011, Stephen Hogan, hands down the title to the new title holder, Mark Butler, Hogan opened up about his year of reign and the important work that MASSBEARZ stands behind.

TRT: As your year as the first ever Mr. Boston Bear comes to a close you must be reflecting on your experience. How would you say that being Mr. Boston Bear for a year has enriched your life? 

Stephen Hogan: It was great to be able to bring the community together, raise almost $6,000 for local charities and increase the presence of MASSBEARZ and the bear community in New England. I go to meet a lot of great people over this past year and travel representing this new and up and coming group. These relationships will last well after my reign is over.
Q. How have you used this opportunity to enrich the lives of others?

A. Within the general community, I was the driving force, creator and lead for coordinating the Teddy Bear Ball Toy Drives in two cities last December, Boston and Providence and helped to raise almost $6,000 in toys and cash for local nonprofits which included Home for Little Wanders and Solutions at Work in Boston, MA and the pediatrics division of AIDS Care Ocean State in Rhode Island.

Q. When you won you must have had some goals for the year to come. Do you feel that you’ve accomplished those goals?

A. Yes, I feel that I did accomplish my goals and I wanted to set the bar high as the first ever Mr. Boston Bear. But I also wanted to do more including another fundraiser in the Spring, before Pride, but time got away from me. There is always this year. Just because my reign is over, doesn’t mean I am going to stop my efforts.

Q. Which Hollywood star do you wish would come out as a Bear?

Right now, I would say Joe Manganiello of True Blood and Magic Mike fame but I have ALWAYS had a place in my heart for Chris Meloni from Law & Order: SVU. Yum!

Q. What are you most proud of that is a direct result of being Mr. Boston Bear?

I would probably say the success of the Teddy Bear Ball toy drives in two cities, Boston and Providence, which raised almost $6,000 for children in need during the holiday season–also, helping to get MASSBearz in the Boston Pride Parade this year after a decade of no Bear Group representing, and appearing in the Providence Nighttime Pride Parade for the first time as well.

Q. Do you hibernate? Is your fur the source of your power?

A. I do hibernate because I LOVE to sleep. I could sleep until at least noon everyday if I could, especially if it is cold, gray or rainy outside. I’m not sure if my fur is my source of power, but it definitely helps. (laughs)

Q. Would you ever consider waxing? For a shot at Olympic gold in swimming? For $200k?

A. I actually did wax my back when I was younger (mid 20’s) and still wasn’t completely comfortable with my body/body image but since I have embraced my fur, I have become even more confident and like it just the way it is. Now, I would not wax for a shot at Olympic Gold in swimming. I don’t think bear’s swim all that fast, do they? But, for $200K, that is definite possibility; as long as I get to grow it back.

Q. Would you consider competing in a North East Mr. Bear competition?

A. Yes, I would definitely consider competing in a North East Mr. Bear competition and someone actually has sparked my interest in possibly going for the Mr. North American Bear competition but I need to look into that a little further before I would commit. I had a great time representing Boston and Mass and would love to do the same for North America!

Q. Who’s a cub we should keep our eye on who might take the title of Mr. Boston Bear in the next couple of years?

A. Probably all the contestants from either Mr. Boston Bear 2011 or Mr. Boston Bear 2012 competition. They [are] all a bunch of great guys and have a lot of potential to do great things in our community.

Q. What will you miss the most when your year as Mr. Boston Bear is over?

A. I’m not sure. Just because my reign is over, doesn’t mean I am going to stop my efforts so I will be just as active as I am now but probably more behind the scenes. [I] plan on continuing with creating awareness, fundraising and social events well into the future.

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