Broadway Bears Raises $127,000 for BC/EFA; Spamalot Bear Is King

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19 Feb 2008

<I>Spamalot</I> bear.
Spamalot bear.

The Spamalot bear — signed by Clay Aiken and David Hyde Pierce — raised the most money at the annual Broadway Bears fundraiser, which was held Feb. 17 at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill on West 42nd Street.

The Spamalot bear brought in $17,000 for the annual event, which benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Broadway Bears XI — hosted by Bryan Batt — earned a total of $127,000 for the charitable organization.

Other top money-makers were the Lion King Pumba bear ($9,000), the Cyrano de Bergerac bear ($8,000), The Little Mermaid bear ($5,000) and the Wicked bear ($5,000).

The yearly event features a host of teddy bears dressed as famous Broadway characters, many autographed by the original stars who wore the original (human-sized) outfits. Lorna Kelly was the evening's auctioneer.

Since its inception in 1998, Broadway Bears has raised over $1.5 million dollars for BC/EFA. Last year's fundraiser raised $130,878.

Gavin Lee, Linda Balgord, Stephanie J. Bloch, Sebastian Arcelus, Jose Llana, Sarah Gettelfinger, Bill Ryall, Peter Gregus, Jennifer Smith, Christine Pedi and John Tracy Egan were among the Broadway stars who lent their support to the evening.

This year's bears were dressed as characters from Curtains, The Drowsy Chaperone, Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde, The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins, Spamalot, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Spring Awakening, Xanadu, Young Frankenstein, Cats, Gypsy, The Music Man, Nine, Peter Pan, Sunday in the Park with George, Titanic and West Side Story.

For more information about Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, visit the BC/EFA website at www.broadwaycares.org or call (212) 840-0770.