Manitoba seniors pose topless in fundraising calendar for small town rec centre

A group of seniors from a Manitoba town are getting lots of attention — and raising some much-needed cash — for posing topless in a flirty calendar.

Pilot Mound seniors help raise cash for local community centre with flirty calendar

Doug Collins, 68, posed in his corn field for the calendar. Collins, who is retired, sits on the town's municipal council and sells his sweet corn at roadside stands. (Greg Currie Courtesy Ginger Collins)

A group of seniors from a Manitoba town is getting lots of attention — and raising some much-needed cash — for posing topless in a flirty calendar.

Thirteen men from the small town of Pilot Mound, Man., recently posed topless for a 2016 calendar in a bid to raise money for a local rec centre.

The community, which has about 700 people, started work on the Pilot Mound Millennium Recreation Complex in 1999, and almost immediately, the fundraising committee had an idea for how to raise money: a flirty calendar.

Now, more than 15 years later, the rec centre has a curling rink, skating rink and a daycare, and the community is working together to pay for it.

Ginger Collins, the head of the centre's fundraising committee and the CEO of the local health district, said the idea got new life last year.

"[The idea] mostly revolved around using ladies, and then last spring, someone brought us a calendar from 2005 that they had that involved men," she said. "We looked at it and said, 'We have to do it.'"

The committee asked the community to nominate the calendar's stars, and Ginger's 68-year-old husband Doug was among the top picks.

"It was kind of strange to do it. When you start doing it – I did it in my corn field – but I didn't feel uncomfortable doing it," said Doug, who sits on the town council. "It's just something we do to make our community try to grow."
Arnold Foidart was one of the lucky nominees for the calendars, which sell for $25 a piece. “We wanted to really capture what each of the guys was all about and their careers and interests,” said Ginger Collins, the CEO of the local health district and one of the organizers of the calendar fundraiser. (Greg Currie Courtesy Ginger Collins)

Local photographer Greg Currie snapped all the photos – which include a Zamboni driver wearing only a bowtie and another flying a plane topless.

"We wanted to really capture what each of the guys was all about and their careers and interests," said Ginger. "I think it will probably end up being one of our best [fundraisers] … It's fabulous!"

Doug opted to pose in his cornfield. He's grown sweet corn for years and sells it at roadside stands now that he's retired.

"We just went in the corn patch, because that's the thing I do, and went from there," he said. "You do what you have to do when you're fundraising."

Calendar launched at community fish fry

The committee launched the calendar at a fish fry Thursday night, and the $25 calendars flew off tables.

"They signed autographs for probably a good 45 minutes that night. Everyone wanted a calendar autographed, so it was pretty neat," said Ginger. "People were looking for the calendar – buying five at a time, and it was pretty amazing,"

Doug was on fish-fry duty for most of the night but couldn't avoid the spotlight entirely.

"I was happy to be one of the people working in the kitchen cooking fish, but no, it was good, they paraded us all out there, but we had all our clothes on then of course," he said.

Yes, they take orders from out-of-towners

The calendars sell for $25 a piece or five for $100, and as Ginger points out – they make great gifts.

If you don't live in Pilot Mound, you can call Ginger at home or her friend Yvette with a cheque or credit card, and they'll put one in the mail for you.

"It's really encouraging to see the interest in everybody – phoning to see how they can buy one," said Doug.

He said he would gladly do it again, but Ginger isn't sure what's next for her fundraising committee.

"We're not sure we can top this. It's pretty good. What would we do next?" she said.

Community still paying off debt for rec centre

The money will go to pay down debt owed on the rec centre.

In 1999, the board purchased the frame from another small Manitoba town, and they had volunteers put it up.

"We didn't have a lot of outside support, so in order to finish the building, we borrowed money, and we've been working ever since to pay down that debt," said Ginger.

She said the calendars' success will go a long way to helping them pay for the centre, which is seeing a theatre added later this year.

To buy a calendar, you can call Ginger Collins at 204-825-2110 or Yvette at 204-825-2128. Calendars cost $25 a piece or $100 for five. They accept credit cards or cheques.

All the men featured in the calendar -- a total of 13 -- were recognized for the contributions to Pilot Mound and were selected by nomination. The calendar has one extra month -- January 2017. (Greg Currie Courtesy Ginger Collins)


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