The 2021 OktoBEARfest Fun Run & Festival was a huge success!  Look for an event recap to appear very soon, plus information about next year's event (set for October 23, 2022).

past events

OktoBEARfest Virtual 5K Fun Run

October 18 - 31, 2020


The third annual OktoBEARfest 5K Fun Run became a virtual event with 365 participants from around the world, including Canada and the UK!  Despite the challenges of the pandemic, almost $24,000 was raised for Bears Who Care!  

OktoBEARfest 5K Fun Run & Festival

October 20, 2019


The second annual OktoBEARfest 5K Fun Run brought the community together and raised over $23,000 for Bears Who Care!  466 participants experienced the event, which featured a kid's race, a beer garden, an authentic German band, raffles and more! 

OktoBEARfest 5K Fun Run & Festival

October 20, 2018


The first annual OktoBEARfest 5K Fun Run was a major success and raised over $21,000 for Bears Who Care!  300 participants enjoyed a morning of fun activities, including a Scholastic Book Fair, silent auction, food stands, raffles and games. 

Kari's 50th "BEARthday" Celebration 

November 5, 2016


In honor of the 50th birthday of co-founder, Kari Schmitz, a golden celebration was held with special appearances by award-winning actor Eric Martsolf ("Days of of Lives") and the Orlando Ballet dancers.  Over $25,000 was earned for Bears Who Care and a portion of the proceeds was given to PULSE Orlando victims. 

Gary's Let's Dance! II:

Under the Sea

November 8, 2014


At Gary's Let's Dance II: Under the Sea, over $50,000 was raised for Bears Who Care and the dancers of the Orlando Ballet.  As a result, Bears Who Care donated over 2,500 teddy bears and books to children in Central Florida.  Thanks to everyone who supported the event! 

Gary's Let's Dance!

November 16, 2013


To celebrate Gary Lambert's 60th year, he generously made Bears Who Care (and the Orlando Youth Alliance) beneficiaries of his amazing fundraising celebration!  More than $35,000 was raised to help diadvantaged children and GLBTA youth.