Golden Girls of Carson City bare it all to help friend
June 28, 2007
Most people would think twice about baring all for a calendar set to grace the walls of at least 10,000 people’s homes.
Eighteen Carson City women, however, didn’t hesitate.
The women, all over 40 and several of whom are in their 80s, will appear in a 2008 calendar to benefit Danielle Conway, who is terminally ill with cancer. Conway is the daughter of Norma Conway, Ms. June.
The inspiration, Norma Conway explained, was the 2003 British film Calendar Girls.
“It’s one of my favorites,” she said. With her daughter’s medical bills in excess of $1 million, she says she simply hoped to raise enough to alleviate some of the bills. Danielle Conway has two children: Mitchell, 17, and Kyra, 11.
After suggesting the idea to several of her friends, Norma Conway says she was surprised by the amount of support she received.
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“It is absolutely beyond my imagination,” she said.
Eloise Koenig, Ms. January, says that the women jumped at the opportunity because they all know and love Danielle and Norma Conway.
Carolyn Tate, Ms. September, admits when she agreed she thought, “This will never happen.”
Maizie Harris Jesse, Ms. July, did not have such doubts. In fact, she volunteered to be the first photographed.
“It’s been such a hoot,” Jesse said. “We’ve all had a good time doing it.”
Ms. February, Carol Scott, shares her opinion. “It was a lot of fun,” she said, noting all the women attempted to be present for each photo shoot, held at the Bliss Mansion in Carson City.
“Everybody was so supportive,” said Scott.
The women say their husbands and boyfriends were also supportive – some even volunteered to model for a similar calendar next year. In fact, they’ve had many offers from would-be models.
“We actually have a waiting list for people who want to be in it,” said Pat Josten, Ms. October.
With their courage bolstered by a glass or two of wine, the women bared all for a crew of supportive photographers and costume designers. The end result is a series of risqué, often comedic photos that will be released in calendar form in September for $20 each.
But with 10,000 calendars ordered, the project has grown a bit bigger than any expected and promises to grow bigger still. The women are planning future calendars to benefit others with serious illnesses and mounting medical bills.
“There are so many others who are suffering from the same problem,” Koenig said.
On Aug. 25 a calendar signing will be held at 6 p.m. at the Bliss Mansion, with wine tasting, appetizers and a chance to meet the models. Cost of the event is $30.
The calendars will be available at Carson City businesses and online at http://www.carsoncalendargirls.com.
You can help
What: Carson Girls Calendar
Available: September, at Carson City businesses and online at http://www.carsoncalendargirls.com
If you go
What: Calendar signing
When: 6 p.m. Aug. 25
Where: Bliss Mansion, 608 Elizabeth St.
2008 Carson Calendar Girls
Ms. January: Eloise Koenig
Ms. February: Carol Scott
Ms. March: Dorothy Tate
April: Golden Girls – Ginny Delaskie, LaVerne Taylor, Gladys Lanson Vietch, Alyce Dickson, Pat Johnson, Barbara Halvorson-Magee and June McIntyre
Ms. May: Bonnie Ryan
Ms. June: Norma Conway
Ms. July: Maizie Harris-Jesse
Ms. August: Carla Wilson
Ms. September: Carolyn Tate
Ms. October: Pat Josten
Ms. November: Jonni Moon
Ms. December: Liz Mitchell