Big Bear Lake, CA — After 17 years of the Soroptimists’ fun Man About Town campaign, 10 weeks of fundraising and events in this round, and two candidates, David Leach and Gabriel Rojas, $60,508 was raised in the effort to stop teen violence in our community. Traditionally, since Dr. Bob Leiske was crowned Big Bear’s first Man About Town in 1994, the leading fundraiser takes the title though, this year, co-chair Cassy Benson tells KBHR, “It was a tie! Everybody was so happy and excited.” Nineteen former Man About Town candidates joined in the celebration at Northwoods Resort last night and, notes Benson, “It was just a fun, special experience. It was awesome, and included a tribute to our former Men About Town—to the tune of ‘All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,’ though it was ‘all the men we’ve loved before’ for our version, which was fun. Then the guys sang the last verse: ‘to all the gals who love us so, raking in all that dough!’” And all that dough, over $60,000 worth generated by just two candidates since mid-February, will further the effort to eliminate teen violence; efforts by Soroptimist International of Big Bear Valley thus far include Camp Girl Power for middle school-aged girls; funding for Big Bear Middle School program facilitator Lori Smith, who is working on the Peace Builders program with students; and contributions to the new Boys 2 Men mentor program offered through Lutheran Social Services. Of reigning Men About Town Gabriel Rojas and David Leach, Benson adds, “Both men worked so hard, and were so committed to their cause. They are both really nice guys, and it was a pleasure to get to know them.” In anticipation of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Man About Town campaign, in just a few years, the Soroptimists are compiling videos of skits from former candidates, should you have any to contribute.
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