This man has impacted your life whether you know it or not.
He has designed and participated in various efforts which have bettered our health, our accessibility, our political structures, art, fun and our opportunity to find ourselves.
Generations of people have been provided a hands-on opportunity to learn and create understanding between communities that did not know what they had in common. Attendance at that event became personal, enriching and fostered generations to set the bar higher.
He’s been tying people up for 30 years and dressing the rest of us since 1995. Through his business he has provided meeting space, classes and another outlet for education and community gatherings for decades. His support of GLBT and Bear communities has kept the party going. He made room for women when it wasn’t easy, simple, or politically advantageous. He practices what it is to be a good ally.
He has sponsored and supported more events, parties, gatherings, dances, balls, tea dances, banquets, then you or I will most likely attend in a life time.
His charitable concerns and efforts through the years have exceeded in raising 7 figures and benefited political movements, social organizations, and many non-profit organizations.
His contribution to Leather Archives & Museum could not be summed up here and you won’t find it online. He’s not a man to tout his accomplishments—he’s a man who chooses to get the work done, while supporting causes for change much to the improvement and the betterment of others.
He is the longest seated LA&M board member, after Chuck Renslow, at the Leather Archives and Museum. He has spent 18 years, 0 months and 21 days since he was first persuaded by Bill Kostamiris and Tony DeBlase to get on board, so to speak. He was instrumental in creating “Fire in the Belly” that raised $400,000 to burn the mortgage within five years of buying the building.
At the mortgage burning ceremony at LA&M, he said, “The first question we all ask, once we’ve been fed, clothed, sheltered, and been laid, is: “Who am I, how do I fit into this world that I live in, and what makes me special?” And we answer those questions by creating a religious space. We create a holy space. That space preserves our heritage, our stories, our literature, our art, our fiction. And this, my friends, is a holy space to the leather community. . . .”
It is not just at LA&M where you have created holy space. Thank you for creating holy space for people of all walks, for every attendee that walked through the door of Leather University, for the clubs who needed space, and providing vast opportunities to find what is holy in ourselves and look good while doing it from our leathers to our boots!
I’m taking a page from Tony and Bill’s playbook. I believe you’re used to the presence of Jack (place the bottle of Jack Daniels on the podium) when reflecting on the importance of the past. I have brought you Jack Daniels to celebrate a lifetime of creating history on the night you are the recipient of the Jack Stice Memorial Community Service Award that celebrates heroes. Thank you, Randall “Bear Man” Klett for a lifetime of service.
The recipient of the Jack Stick Memorial Service Award received many votes. He is a prominent member of the leather community for more than 20 years.
I want to read some quotes from his nominations:
“His dedication to the community is untiring and never ending. He is always stepping up and volunteering to do "what ever needs to be done."
“He continues to give and give. He often does this going unnoticed and without asking for anything in return. It's rare to see him at an event when he's not up to his ears doing something for someone or the event. He truly is one of a kind. He is someone that you should know. He is the working definition of community service.”
“He has helped raise in excess of $80,000 for charitable concerns. He can always be counted on. I don't travel anywhere in the community that someone doesn't ask me about him.”
“He has such a heart for community. I couldn't imagine a more deserving winner for this award. He never hesitates to jump in and help out fundraisers, contests, or events. Anything that needs to be done, he will do.”
“He has been of selfless service to the greater community. Timmy has raised more money, for countless causes and volunteered his time, all with the grace he can muster and a open heart that is rarely seen.”
“He is a leader without leading, he is the person you can look at and say- he leads by example. He has never asked anything in return and is a wonderful human being.”
“He brings knowledge and experience as well as a healthy dose of down-home, country advice. “
“His laugh and presence are felt immediately when he enters a venue because he is sure to be greeting, hugging, giggling, catching up with all that he sees. He really is an ambassador for the Leather community. He has been known to host events on his own because "somebody has to do it".
“He is one of the most giving men I know. He gives freely of his time, his talent, and his heart. He has poured untold hours into his work in the leather community. He has invested thousands and thousands of hours into raising funds for House of Mercy (HoM), our local HIV and AIDS hospice center. When we visit with the residents at House of Mercy, Tim's heart is at its best. He hugs everyone, he sits and talks with the men and women there, he loves them unconditionally, and it shows.”
This man is an educator, role model and gives when and where it is needed. He does so without asking for recognition or status. He earns the respect of those around him by deed and consistent willingness to step in and do what needs to be done big and small. He helps make the world a better place and shows each of us how we too can be better.
It is a privilege to present the current President of the Tradesman, Tim Smith, with The Jack Stice Memorial Service Award.
Atlanta S/M Solidarity
Tarheel Leather Club
The Atlanta Eagle
We want to thank David Palm for sending us this picture in 2015. His award reflects a year we were paying off old debts and his award was made. Thank you David for valuing the meaning and sharing this piece of history with us.
Below are the speeches read regarding each recipient.
Tonight it’s my absolute pleasure to give this award. This goes to a particular individual who I love very much. It’s my absolute delight to present this award. She is generous to a fault, she gives of herself unfailingly, shares who she is and she is there and she gets her hands dirty and does the work as she has done for us for years. She’s an integral part of our history and offers us bridges that gap generations. The Jack Stice Memorial Community Service Award goes to Vi Johnson.
The group I have the pleasure to present this award to I think is such a perfect choice. I cannot tell you how many times I hear “tell me about the old guard, what is it about?” We’ve heard it ad infinitum. Here’s the deal, there were many groups of people who once upon a time were kinky, they wanted to know who they were playing with, they wanted to know who you were, and they wanted to know if they could trust you. This group represents not merely the future but they have the threads of the past where people truly reached for one another, had a cohesive understanding, a common goal, and took the time to vet you. I have had the pleasure to be there and watch their evolution, I have seen them grow and become more. I have seen them provide tremendous education for their membership and reach out to the southeast communities around them. They’ve earned this award and I don’t say those words lightly. The Jack Stice Memorial Community Service Award goes to SC LOCK.
Below are the speeches read regarding each recipient.
Ten years ago the Atlanta Eagle held a 'Jail and Bail' fundraising event. One young Atlanta man was jailed and 'tortured' at this event- it was his first experience with SM. After this event, he began to attend classes given by Atlanta S/m Solidarity and found his way to Master Doug Harris for boy training.
To this day this gentleman gives his time to the community just as Jack Stice did. In the late 90's he served as Secretary of Knights Angels, he served on the Board of Southeast Olympus in 2003. He was Vice President for 2 years and is currently serving his 3rd term as Club President of Atlanta S/m Solidarity. His service is not limited to the gay leather community either. He was on the Board of Southeast Olympus in 2003 and is on the current committee as well. The CAP group is highly appreciative to have him as Treasurer and a Board member.
He is, in his own words, 'quite the leather social butterfly' and attends both the Gwinett and DeKalb Munches, Atlanta Regional Munch gathering and as many leather events locally, regionally and nationally as he can afford.
In fact, this will be his 9th year as a guest at SouthEast LeatherFest. I am very happy to present a Jack Stice Memorial Community Service Award to David Nelson for his ongoing and tireless service to the Atlanta community.
The Red Chair - Alabama
In 1997 a group of leatherfolk met in a basement bar in the southside Five Points area of Birmingham, Alabama. For the previous 2 years folks from the Birmingham area had been coming to Atlanta looking for the kinky kindred. They heard, on occasion, of kinky Alabamians from here and there. It was known they existed, but there were no channels of contact, no social networks, no Halloween bashes, Fetish Balls, Kinky Christmases...nothing in the heart of the state.
Twenty-four people walked through the doors that Saturday afternoon in 1997. They ate, drank, talked and made friends. Then, they made plans to meet again. But how would they find each other online, how would they know to meet again, what would the group be called? As one member stood there, looking around the tables where they now stood, he realized that all the chairs in which we'd been sitting were covered in burnt-red cherry leather. The group's name was found: The Red Chair.
After a year of meeting in local restaurants and bars the group found a private meeting place for educational opportunities. In 1999 a Leadership Team was created for the growing group.
In the year 2000 The Red Chair began to host Dungeon Parties along with regular educational presentations at local hotels. A private building was found in early 2001 and in a few short months a small crew of dedicated Red Chair members gutted the facility and renovated it into a 4000 square foot dungeon and meeting space. On April 7, 2001 the first educational presentation and dungeon party was held at the new building.
In August of 2005 the ownership of the building swapped hands and a sizable rent increase led to the demise of the dungeon. On November 5th of this past year The Red Chair closed it's door as a dungeon.
The Red Chair Remains as a strong viable organization even without a facility to call their own. As the oldest BDSM group in Alabama they continue with educational classes, munches and play parties at private locations. The group has strong ties with North Alabama Power Exchange, Central Alabama Power Exchange and many other groups in the southeast. The Red Chair is also a proud supporter of NCSF.
For dedication to the lifestyle and support of the community SouthEast LeatherFest is proud to present a Jack Stice Memorial Community Service Award to The Red Chair.
Aurora of RSVP
Below are the speeches read regarding each recipient.
In the fall of 1999, the kink community in Charlotte, NC was offered in only a few ways. In the late summer of 1999, Mistrezz E sent out an email to create a group that offered parties and education.
A month later by-laws were created that still govern the group today. Pivotal members from a group called TALON drove a hour a day on work nights to help form this new group to meet the unmet needs of the area.
On Oct. 27, 1999 an interim board was formed. The interim board consisted of Mistrezz E, Michael, Beth, Erika and Gary.
The first official meeting was held on January 22, 2000 at a local hotel. The goal was and still is to provide a discrete, friendly, and safe environment for the education and support. The group was open to all people over 21, of all sexual orientations and kink interests, couples and singles and BDSM families. The group proudly identified as a non-profit pansexual BDSM group for the south central Piedmont area of North Carolina.
By the fall of 2000, this group out grew their play party venues of using someone’s home and began having play parties in Hotels. Crews would show up and breakdown the room furniture and set up play stations through a maze of adjoining rooms and suites. These parties had everything from DM’s, to buffet tables of food, and a lot of play. They began to bring in national presenters and truly provided the best education for their contributors possible and they never forgot to have fun.
In the last 7 years, they have held parties that had hundreds of people in attendance. Some of these parties were themed and elaborate productions from a Luau to a military camp.
This leader in the Southern Piedmont rewards their volunteers with volunteer of the month, quarter and year awards, they have a lending library to membership, and close to a dozen Special Interest Groups to make sure they are meeting the needs of their contributors.
A handful of people wanted to create a new group in the Charlotte area. Many kink-minded people have passed through their doors. Some have excelled and become a name in the kink community throughout the Southeast. Others have found their soul-mate, their owner, their submissive and life long friends. This group has 175 members and 566 members on their open list at present.
They have bridged a gap between Greenville, SC and Greensboro, NC bringing together local participants and neighboring cities. They have shared their resources and strengthened the Carolina’s and drawn participants from all the surrounding states.
They are dedicated to education and providing a safe place for like-minded people to meet, exchange ideas and possibly connect. Before I go further, I must credit Krissie McGee for providing a wonderful history.
Tonight I have the privilege of awarding The Jack Stice Memorial Community Service Award on behalf of SELF in acknowledgment of Charlotte Area Power Exchange’s (CAPEX) unfailing leadership and steadfast commitment to create opportunity through community support and service. Your dedication, determination, and efforts exemplify the best of who we are and will serve to inspire generations to come.
Aurora of RSVP
In the past year a southeastern club has been brought back from smoldering ashes by one lady’s determination. The club was barely making the rent month to month, attendance had fallen off greatly and there was no interest by new persons. One woman decided to change this.
In the past year the membership of the club has doubled. Munches are now held bi-monthly. Instead of 10 people at a party—they have 30 to 70. She has put herself out there for the next generation, encouraging them, educating them and providing an open door. Membership has increased not only from the local city but from surrounding areas. Her out reach has extended a warm welcome to all.
In the last year, she started an education fund that allows this club to bring in educators from coast to coast. From sending announcements, updating memberships, to FUNdraisers, and I do mean fun, to redecorating this clubs dungeon, this lady has put all of herself into providing more than was imagined.
I want to read directly from two of the nominations we received:
“With her leadership, the club has gone from one that almost ceased to exist to one that people are happy to call their second home. She has become a role model for many and she is someone that I admire greatly for all that she has done. To sum it all up, I firmly believe that if it were not for her selfless offering, her willingness to give of herself, and her grit and determination, there would no longer be a club or place in my city for people living this lifestyle to gather. “
“She’s a single mother working two jobs. Her commitment and selflessness has provided not only a great looking, fully functional dungeon, but a safe haven where all feel welcomed and embraced. Our scene would not have survived without her determined commitment. Now not only does it exist it thrives like never before. “
From an email our honoree wrote, “You are the future! You have enthusiasm, spirit, curiosity, & creativity!”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Tonight I have the privilege of awarding The Jack Stice Memorial Community Service Award on behalf of SELF in acknowledgment of Aurora’s unfailing leadershipand steadfast commitment to create opportunity through community support and service. Your dedication, determination, and efforts exemplify the best of who we are and will serve to inspire generations to come.
Mr. Ray Castro
Below are the speeches read regarding each recipient.
Our next recipient has been in the community for over 20 years. He has presented classes for our communities in NC, SC, TN, and VA.
The numerous emails we received spoke eloquently to his contributions both personal and social. A few of them said:
“He is a counselor and mentor to many in the community and conducts Himself with great honor and integrity.”
“He has shown amazing desire to reach out to others to teach and instruct them in safety and developing quality relationships within the community.”
“Respect is something that is earned over time. It comes from how you present yourself and how others perceive you and does not or should not come from self promotion. He is humble and always makes sure others get credit for hard work. I have been in the lifestyle for many years but it has only been the last 3 that I have come to understand submission and all that goes along with it. That growth is a direct result from his efforts. “
"He has been instrumental in the development and continuation of CAPEX since its second year. CAPEX has benefited from his hard work, leadership, direction and purpose. He has held various positions and his contribution has been invaluable to their organization through thick and thin and their SIGs."
One of the quotes we found most moving was: “He has been the model Dom that all could try to aspire to be. His kindness, and open heart have helped many not only in CAPEX but also in life. He has truly changed the lives of all in our community for the better and W/we all owe Him a great thanks.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. We’re proud to present the Jack Stice Memorial Community Service Award to NC Master.
Four years ago, when the Middle Tennessee leather community was in need of new avenues for growth, a small group of dedicated individuals formed a 501c7 non-profit corporation with the express purpose of establishing a pansexual, world-class dungeon in Middle Tennessee. After many setbacks, a lot of persistence and tons of elbow grease, this dungeon opened in September 2005. Within six months, the facility was operating in the black and now continues to provide a facility for the local community that is open every Friday and Saturday evening throughout the year with the exception of the weekend closest to Christmas.
Their opening event was a fundraiser for the victims of the tragic Hurricane Katrina that had recently stuck. That night all proceeds were donated to the American Red Cross' Katrina relief efforts. The community raised more than $800 that became $1600 when donated through a members employer who matched the funds.
Each December, they host a fund-raising event for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. To date, these events, featuring a silent auction, have raised in excess of $2,000 for NCSF. They have supported Nashville Pride, SELF, and have plans to support future events including Frolicon.
In late 2006, the local lifestyle educational organization ceased operations. By early 2007, they began offering monthly educational seminars featuring a mix of local and nationally known individuals speaking on a wide variety of topics of interest to the local community. These educational events, held on the first Saturday of every month, are open to anyone who is interested, whether or not they are a member of the organization. Their membership has grown to almost 250 members since opening and they have fostered a belief in the concept of an extended shepherding Leather Family with the safety, protection, and learning that goes along with that. They have grown to serve all aspects of the community with socials, mixers, balls, galas, munches, and classes as well as various out-reach programs.
They have a solid reputation for cleanliness, openness, inreach and outreach in their region. Consequently, visitors regularly travel from across the region and across the U.S. to experience all they have to offer.
One of the nominations received stated, “When I first came with a friend to this dungeon I was really shy. I didn’t say a lot to people and pretty much had always felt like a complete outsider. I had so many people welcome me and become a part of my life. Everything is different now and I’m not shy anymore. I do all sorts of things I never thought I would do. They changed my life so much.”
Because of the successes in community building, outreach, education and charitable activities, we’re proud to award the Jack Stice Memorial Community Service Award to The Mark of Nashville, TN.
Mr. Ray Castro
Our next recipient has been a member of the community for almost 15 years. His contributions to various communities span gender and sexual preference have been felt from coast to coast.
He served—for a year each—as co-producer for Florida Leather Sir/boy and as producer for N. Florida Drummer to support and continue the traditions and ideals behind these titles. He was Florida Drummer in 1995 and Mr. Suncoast Eagle in 2002. He was also the recipient of Pantheon's Florida Regional Award in 2006. He has generously used his artistic talent to support those in financial need such as: Master Doug Harris of the Sanctuary in the form of a rendering of his Master’s Cap, Ms. Khiki and slave samantha during their International Master/slave title year by creating a greeting card version of their portrait, and Ms. Karen McGhee during her Ms. World Leather title year by creating a greeting card version of her portrait to assist her in raising funds for HIV-infected homeless people to name a few.In his capacity as portrait artist for five contests including ImSL, Ms. World Leather, International Leather Sir/boy, International Master/slave and Mr. Toronto Leather), he has created portraits that have captured the essence of these titleholders who have so faithfully served our community, gifting them with a tangible memory and symbol of their title year. He has also donated several of his preliminary drawings of these titleholders to the Leather Archives and Museum.He hosted and facilitated BDSM education and support classes at River City Dungeon in Jacksonville from 2003-2005 and has hosted and facilitated MaST meetings in Jacksonville, Fl. For the past three years.He established the Castro Street Arts Foundation to support art/erotic artists in the BDSM community. While his efforts to give to various communities has brought awareness, needed funds and lasting contributions, he has personally given of himself as well.In the letters received, this is what some shared:
“He is a tremendous force and role model here in Jacksonville.”
“He is a man of his word, leads by example and holds himself to the same high standards that he expects from those around him. He has nurtured and mentored many in the community over the last 15 years. “
“He has given time, energy and attention to mentor and encourage many in his local community, helping them to grow and blossom so that they, in turn, could contribute their enthusiasm, talent and energy to the betterment of their communities. His straight-forward character, grace, integrity and devotion to the leather lifestyle are reflected not just in what he says, but in his actions. In these ways, Ray carries on the spirit and high standards Jack exhibited throughout his life.”
For his personal and professional contributions to the southeast and beyond, we’re proud to award the Jack Stice Memorial Community Service Award to Mr. Ray Castro.