Empowerment By means of the Lens: The Inspiring Story Behind the Mature Girls Calendar for Charity

In 2003, the heartwarming film Calendar Women premiered. It was primarily based on the true story of a bunch of middle-aged Yorkshire ladies who teamed as much as create an attractive calendar to boost cash for blood most cancers analysis after one in all their husbands died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

This British ensemble comedy, headed by Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, grew to become a serious success, each commercially and critically, and garnered quite a few award nominations. Greater than that, it grew to become the inspiration for a Tennessee mom whose son was combating mind most cancers.

In actual life, the Yorkshire calendar had raised over $5 million to assist fund the Leukemia Analysis Unit on the College of York, a educating hospital. Connie Maynord, a mannequin and actress primarily based in Hendersonville, Tennessee, determined she wished to embark on an analogous undertaking in 2020 after her son Matthew Barnes was recognized with mind most cancers.

“I started creating this calendar to maintain my sanity,” defined Maynord.

A yr later, Barnes misplaced his battle, and Maynord mentioned she “shut down” for a time after the “insufferable loss.”

As Maynord grew stronger – she credit her religion and the love of her household and mates for that – the calendar grew to become a manner for her to honor her son. “This undertaking introduced me out of a darkish time in my life and gave me the braveness to get again in and do the issues I take pleasure in and love,” mentioned Maynord.

She hoped the calendar undertaking wouldn’t solely assist her cope along with her grief over the dying of her son, but additionally make a constructive affect within the Iives of others, together with that of her good friend, Sue, who had lately been recognized with most cancers.

“I recall all of the out-of-pocket wants that insurance coverage doesn’t cowl from my son’s battle,” Maynord famous.

By means of this distinctive and empowering undertaking, Maynord goals to have a good time the wonder, power, and resilience of mature ladies whereas elevating funds and consciousness for a trigger near her coronary heart.

Native Girls, Native Settings and Native Satisfaction

For the undertaking, Maynord mentioned she “recruited” 11 native mates and acquaintances ranging in age from 45 to 80. Maynord rounds out the yr and is the face of Might, a month she selected in honor of her late son’s birthday.

“I wished ladies who led thrilling lives and had fascinating careers and hobbies,” she mentioned. “At our ages we’ve gone by way of and skilled a lot and these women have one thing to offer again.”

One notable exception (to the age vary) among the many members is the 29-year-old daughter of one of many ladies who’s a powerlifter {and professional} wrestler.

“Melody has a narrative to inform, too,” her mother, Deborah, instructed Maynord.

All of the photographs have been taken by Dan Holland, an area photographer, who has labored with Maynord through the years. Holland photographed the ladies in picturesque Sumner County (17 miles north of Nashville) places which embrace Previous Hickory Lake, Music Metropolis/Sumner Airport, TGL Farms, Ernst’s Automobile Museum, Monthaven Arts and Cultural Middle, and the Bethpage Horse Barn.

And the calendars have been printed by DoDat, a printing firm in Hendersonville. By holding it native, Maynord mentioned she “wished to offer again to everybody who gave to me” throughout her private tragedy.

In a world saturated with calendars that includes airbrushed and unrealistic photos, the 2024 Sweet & Sassy Pin Up Gals Cancer Charity Calendar stands out for its authenticity and empowerment. It not solely showcases the wonder and vitality of mature ladies but additionally but additionally goals to problem societal stereotypes about age and sweetness.

To that finish, Maynord hopes the calendar would possibly additional “open their phrase and result in different modeling experiences and extra.”

Every month the featured mannequin is dressed to characterize her previous or current profession or pastime. All the ladies, nevertheless, are sporting pink footwear, pink lipstick and nail polish, Sue’s favourite shade, and sporting pink wristbands with the phrases No One Fights Alone.

Meet the Girls Behind the Calendar

January: Melody Watson

Melody Watsonis a second-degree black belt in Wado-Ryu Karate-do and has skilled in Choong Sil Taekwondo and boxing. She can also be a Girls’s Physique Bodybuilder, skilled wrestler, and a powerlifter, who has set state and nationwide information for her weight class within the bench press. Watson, a part-time mannequin and actress, has appeared in music movies and tv commercials.

February: Olivia Haley

Olivia Haley is an actress mannequin, and motivational speaker, who has graced the pages of print, appeared in tv commercials, and achieved voiceovers. The previous Ms. Tennessee Senior America titleholder went on to characterize Tennessee nationally. In 2008, she was topped Ms. Senior America 2008, turning into the first-ever winner from Tennessee.

March: Norma Tillman

Norma Tillman spent over a decade working in regulation enforcement earlier than turning into a non-public investigator. She is the creator of six nonfiction books, together with “How To Discover Nearly Anybody, Wherever” and has been a frequent speaker at PI conferences across the nation. Tillman can also be a licensed realtor.

April: Laurie Delk Chittenden

Laurie Delk Chittenden,a singer and songwriter, has carried out with a band and sang for prestigious occasions on the French Embassy. She even had the consideration of singing on the US Postal Service’s first-day-of-issue ceremony for the Purple Coronary heart stamp. Chittenden has earned honorable mentions in songwriting contests. Moreover, she has demonstrated her expertise as an auctioneer, internet hosting profit auctions for numerous causes.

Might: Connie Maynord

Connie Maynord is an actor {and professional} mannequin whose resume contains appearances in movies, tv reveals, and commercials. Past her on-screen work, she may be seen in music movies, theater performances, and trend reveals. Maynord has twice received the title of first runner-up within the Ms. Senior Tennessee Pageant and, in 2019, was topped Ms. Elite Tennessee North America. Actively concerned in her group, Maynord serves on the boards of a number of charitable organizations.

June: Amanda Runnels Foster

Amanda Runnels Foster had a profession in advertising and marketing earlier than acquiring her actual property license. In 2019, she joined Southeastern Business Properties and is at present a team-managing dealer. She additionally serves because the chair for Grace Place, a company that aids single moms in want. In her free time, you’ll find Foster fishing on Previous Hickory Lake.

July: Valerie Connelly

Valerie Connelly is the founding father of Nightengale Press, for which she edited and revealed fiction and nonfiction books alike. Conelly has written 5 books, herself, together with Calling All Authors: How you can Publish With Your Eyes Extensive Open. A member of ASCAP and the Nashville Composers Affiliation, she has composed a whole bunch of songs, and produced 9 albums of her music. Conelly can also be an artist.

August: Courtney Rogers

Courtney Rogerswas born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is a former member of the Tennessee Home of Representatives. A retired Air Pressure Lt. Colonel, Rogers served as a Focusing on Officer throughout Operation Simply Trigger in Panama and was named U.S. Air Pressure Focusing on Officer of the Yr. She was additionally instrumental in serving to to construct the primary totally operational concentrating on cell within the area for Desert Storm 1. Rogers can also be a public speaker and voice actor.

September: Bobette Spear

Bobette Spearis the president of the Newcomers & Neighborhood Membership of Sumner County, a company that provides a welcoming hand to residents. A retired faculty trainer with a ardour for music, she is an achieved pianist, in demand for her piano classes. Spear is a previous president of the Tennessee Federation of Music Golf equipment.

October: Morelia Cuevas

Morelia Cuevas,often called the“Rhinestone Heiress” is a board member and the particular occasions coordinator for Nashville’s Girls in Movie and Tv. Certainly one of her signature tasks is the annual SWIFT (Southern Girls in Movie and tv) Style Present, an occasion she started 5 years in the past. Cuevas will function the co-host of “Bless Your Coronary heart,” an area tv speak present for girls, now in preproduction.

November: Deborah Watson

Deborah Watson’s spectacular martial arts expertise earned her a black belt from the David Deaton Karate Studios. She works in actual property, in addition to retail, and has achieved high gross sales for Nashville’s Betty Boots, a ladies’s western put on retailer. Moreover that, Watson manages the profession—and designs the costumes—of her husband, Tim Watson, a singer and fiddle participant often called the Fiddle Man.

December: Lynda Evjen

Lynda Evjen has a grasp’s diploma in Theatre Arts and can also be a graduate of the Stella Adler Faculty of Performing. She has appeared in quite a lot of movies together with Two Mules For Sister Sara and Rio Lobo and has toured with the USO. Evjen is the present president of Nashville Girls in Movie and Tv, in addition to the founding father of HolidayFest of Sumner County, at which she seems yearly as Mrs. Claus.

The Official Launch

A calendar launch celebration for the fashions, sponsors, donors, and particular friends is scheduled to happen in late September on the Bluegrass Nation Membership in Hendersonville. This occasion will introduce the fashions and mark the general public unveiling of the calendar. It’s going to even be the primary time the fashions have seen their last calendar photograph. Every mannequin will likely be introduced with a replica of the calendar, and a particular award will go to the mannequin chargeable for probably the most gross sales. As well as, attendees can have the chance to take part in a silent public sale that includes gadgets donated for the occasion.

The calendar is getting lots of buzz in Sumner County and gaining consideration from media shops. Just lately Maynord and Courtney Rogers have been interviewed on Nashville At the moment. And it’s not simply native curiosity that they’ve generated, as orders and donations have are available from states like California, Illinois, Florida, and Texas.

However for Maynord, the satisfaction goes deeper. “The calendar undertaking with has given me the power to smile once more.”

Let’s Have a Dialog:

Have you ever seen Calendar Women, the film? Did it encourage you indirectly? Would you think about buying a calendar (or another merchandise) to help a trigger? What trigger would possibly that be? What about creating merchandise to boost funds for a trigger?