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Nude Calendars are Becoming Popular Fundraisers December 26, 2006

Posted by Dan in Main, News, Politics, Sex, Snipets.
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Nude Calendars are becoming increasingly popular methods of raising money for fundraisers. This blog recently commented on Miss Nevada as she was fired for appearing in racy photographs. But, when the profits go towards a good cause, the ends begin to justify the means. Interesting philosophical question…. is charity a good thing no matter what the cost? Or, is there some line we can cross where its no longer worth it?

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (AP) — Miss December is wearing nothing but a Santa hat and a smile. Oh, and holding one strategically placed cat.

Chandra Gates, 39, decided the Humane Society of Jefferson County was a worthy enough cause for the 39-year-old to bare nearly all for a nude-calendar fundraiser.

“I’m shy about the picture but definitely proud of the cause,” said Gates, an animal caregiver there.

The Humane Society in the city of Jefferson is one of countless nonprofit organizations around the world selling tastefully nude 2007 calendars.

A group of women aged from mid 50s to early 70s in Yorkshire, England, pioneered the idea in 2000 when they sold a calendar of discreet nude photographs of themselves to raise money for cancer research.

The women, whose story inspired the 2003 movie “Calendar Girls,” raised $2.55 million through sales of 800,000 calendars as well as book and film royalties.

The women have released a 2007 calendar, the group’s third, that has a photo of the women — clothed — with Prince Charles.

In Gates’ black-and-white photo in the Humane Society calendar, she is pictured from the waist up, holding a cat against her bare chest as she stands in a snowy yard.

Humane Society executive director Lisa Patefield said the calendar’s other pictures are equally artistic and were inspired by the “Calendar Girls” idea. Her group expects to raise $30,000 through the sale of 1,500 calendars.

“For non-profits, it’s getting tough to raise money,” Patefield said. “In order to be competitive in fundraising, you have to come up with something new, something exciting.”

Linda Bayens only plans to use nude calendars as a fundraiser once. The real estate agent from Louisville, Kentucky, and her husband created a calendar of nude chefs to help cover nearly $30,000 of out-of-pocket medical expenses after their daughter had successful cystic fibrosis surgery this summer.

Bayens, 50, sold about 1,300 of the 2,000 calendars printed, raising some $19,000 after expenses. She said local businesses stocked the calendars but larger bookstore chains refused.

“I’m not sure why sales stagnated. I don’t know if we were lacking exposure, no pun intended,” she said.

Some groups, including the Jefferson County Humane Society, said they don’t plan to make calendars in subsequent years because the originality factor is gone.

But the Calendar Girls in England are still getting strong demand for their third run of calendars, said Clare Lipscombe, press manager for Leukemia Research in London, the fundraiser’s beneficiary.

“It might be difficult for other groups but we haven’t found people losing interest,” Lipscombe said. “Maybe because these girls were the original ones who started it all.”

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

‘Tis the season to bare (almost) all for charity – CNN.com

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