Good luck in the upcoming Mr. Louisiana Leather
Contest in New Orleans Labor Day Weekend!
Mobilian Wins 21st Mr Gulf Coast Bear at Mobile Bleather Weekend 2016
(Aug. 6, 2016 Mobile, AL.)
A Mobilian became the 21st man to capture the title of Mr. Gulf Coast Bear during the 8th Annual Mobile Bleather Weekend August 5 and 6th.
Rickey Slayton emerged from a field of six candidate from three states to capture the title, this year taking on the excitement in Rio with the theme "Bear Games". Slayton, who recently became part of B-Bob's bar staff, joined with his co-contestants and last year's winner to raise more than $1000 in less than two hours to benefit South Alabama AIDS.
A standing room only crowd stood slack-jawed as emcee A.J. McKay drilled the contestants in a series of physical challenges- from an opening "drag-in-a-bag" ceremony, to the side splitting "floor routine", capped by a beach-combing effort that would have left the sands of Rio sparkling clean (and contestants feeling a little dirty.) Mr. Gulf Coast Bear 2015, Kyle Robins of New Orleans, assisted A.J. on stage, when he wasn't cringing from the antics.
Slayton will now turn his efforts to competing in a more serious vein in the 2017 Mr Louisiana Leather Contest, set for New Orleans Labor Day Weekend. The event also serves as a fund raiser for St. Anna Food Pantry in New Orleans. Slayton says the fund raising efforts of these competitions are a major reason he gets involved.
"Anytime you help someone out it's a good feeling," says Slayton. "But when you are able to help someone within your own community...well that is a blessing. Being a LGBT person has its own stress, so anything that can be done to relieve the additional stress of HIV/AIDS should be done. That's why it is important for our community to have benefits like Mobile Bleather Weekend." Slayton goes on to say Aids Alabama South takes money and food donations all year long. "So if you were not able to contribute this time, " he says, "then there are other opportunities."
Joel Wimbley of Pensacola earned first runner-up and New Orleans' John Breaux placed as second runner-up. Completing the field of six were: Richard McCoy, Mr. Roundup Pensacola 2016, Michael Adcock of Pensacola and Robert Mayfield of Tallahassee, FL.
Mobile Bleather Weekend, in its 8th year, is an annual summer event for the bear/leather/levi community along the Gulf Coast. It's made possible because of a unified effort among bars and organizations in Mobile.
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An amazing crowd and contestant line up for Mr. Gulf Coast Bear 2016! A huge "thank you" to our contestants and judges who made this year's Mr. GCB a success! With your help, in just a couple of hours, we raised more than $1000 for AIDS ALABAMA SOUTH!
2016 Mr. Gulf Coast Bear Contestants Bring Much Needed Funds to AIDS Alabama South
More That $1000 dollars were raised in just a couple of hours, as contestants in the 2016 Mr. Gulf Coast Bear contest hit up the crowd for cash. The contestant who collects the most get's contest bonus points, but it quickly became clear the real reason for the effort was not to win, but to help the agency with its mission... assisting those in the 8 county region who are living with HIV or AIDS.
"We ❤️ Bears!", said Kim McKeand, representing the agency as it received a check from the Gulf Coast Bears and B-Bob's in Downtown Mobile. "Thank you Bears for your $1,030.75 donation! We're extremely grateful!"
McKeand went on to break down the benefits from this year's donation. "According to our calculations, your donation will feed over 80 people AND provide direct transportation services (2,934 miles) to necessary medical appointments," she said. "Way to go guys!!!"
During Saturday night's Mr. Gulf Coast Bear Contest, with the help of Mr GCB 2015 Kyle Robin, and YOUR generosity, we raised more than $1000 of AIDS Alabama South! This is a pic of AAS's Kim McKeand delivering refreshments to the hotel pool. Good people doing good things!
Rickey Slayton, Mr. GCB 2016 with Lanita Kharel, Executive Director of AIDS Alabama South. Rickey plans to assist the agency raise funds throughout the coming year in their mission to help people affected with AID & HIV in 8 counties of Southwest Alabama.