“Nearly Nude” calendar to benefit local Emergency Rescue Squad
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – They’re bold and mischievous, lighthearted and energetic, spry and sixty (even seventy, eighty and ninety) years old – they’re the Pin-Up Boys of Atlantic Shores. This group of gregarious gentlemen is taking the world by storm as they bare it all (behind strategically placed props) for a “nearly nude” calendar, with sales benefiting the Princess Anne Courthouse Volunteer Rescue Squad.
A new twist on pin-up girls, these calendar guys, ranging in age from 69 to 90, are fellow residents at the Atlantic Shores Retirement Community in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Taking time off from hobbies, traveling and late-stage life careers, these fourteen active seniors (and one dog) shed their inhibitions to take a stab at modeling – starring on the glossy pages of the 2010 “Pin-Up Boys of Atlantic Shores” calendar.
The fifteen-month calendar spotlights the individual careers and interests of each model – from a classical vocalist to a chemistry teacher, and a Bonsai tree cultivator to a 70-year old active Emergency Medical Technician. All will be creatively obscured to create the illusion of nudity in a range of comical vignettes.
“Far from being difficult to recruit, our residents couldn’t wait to sign up,” commented Atlantic Shores Executive Director, Eden Jones. “When word got out about the project, it became a buzz throughout the community. We had people coming to us to volunteer! With everyone we emphasized, ‘whatever your comfort level is, we’ll work it into the shot’ – and they instantly ran with it and had great ideas.
“We had a marvelous time dreaming up different scenes for each of them,” commented Calendar Committee Co-chair Betty Brown. “These men have been the best sports in the world, and have carried on the momentum beyond the photo shoots, doing personal appearances, building floats and serving on committees. And the word is getting out – even people coming to visit Atlantic Shores for the first time are asking to meet the models. They are turning in to quasi-celebrities!”
Originally hailing from hometowns as far away as Brooklyn NY, Portsmouth Ohio, Detroit, and Long Island, these spunky seniors brought not only their good looks to the project, but a wide range of personal experiences as well. Each model shared their philosophies on life with a “Words of Wisdom” quote on their calendar page, ranging from “You can do a lot of good if you’re not concerned with who gets the credit,” to “Growing old is not for sissies!”
The combination of personalities, philosophies, talents and hobbies make the calendar truly unique. “Mr. February,” George Traskowsky stretched out in a pool scattered with rose petals and a rose gripped in his teeth, entirely relishing the moment and momentarily putting aside his battle with cancer and Parkinsons. His experience? “It felt wonderful, and was so much fun,” exclaimed George. Atlantic Shores Executive Director Eden Jones added, “We had a hard time keeping him from totally getting into the spirit by slipping off his skivvies.”
A storm was rolling in as “Mr. October,” Paul Yocher stood on the 14th green at Red Wing Golf course, awaiting his 15 seconds of fame, and hoping for no lightning during his golf-themed shot.
According to Paul, “The risk was all worth it for the good cause. Still, I’m glad I had my fiberglass clubs that day!” Coincidentally, Paul’s “words of wisdom” are “He came, he died, he made a difference.”
“Mr. May,” Mike Ferguson, an active Episcopal priest and volunteer EMT, strikes a pose behind a back-board in front of an ambulance – much to the delight of his congregation and fellow emergency rescue co-workers. Any backlash from his parishioners? “None so far, everyone has mostly been amused,” laughed Mike. In fact, the congregation has been rallying behind theproject, with more than 30 calendars sold at the church so far, and the women’s bible study group lining up for autographs at the Calendar Unveiling Ceremony.
Has anyone been offended by the nearly-nude nature of the calendar? According to Eden Jones, “All the photos are fun, yet very tastefully done. We’ve heard nothing but rave reviews. Some of our ‘boys’ in their nineties are in better shape than men half their age! The project has also generated tremendous support and excitement as it is giving back to a vital group in our community.”
The calendar is the brainchild of former Atlantic Shores resident Don Reinhart, who passed away on June 17, 2009. Always a joker, while battling cancer he teasingly commented to his nurse “did you know I used to be a model with Chippendale’s?” Her reaction was so comical that the next day he called the Atlantic Shore Management office and said, “I have an idea.” The board of directors was captivated with the “sizzling senior men’s calendar” concept, and the residents of the community immediately set about to make it happen.
Despite failing health, Mr. Reinhart was actively involved in the initial stages of the planning process, including recommending some of the models. According to his daughter, Donna Reinhart-Bourgelas of Portsmouth, Virginia, “He was so excited! Brainstorming about this project was a great diversion while he was sick, and knowing that it was going to come to fruition brought him great satisfaction. Dad was a colorful individual, and loved to tease. He was of a master of playful, yet suggestive innuendos. This project suits his personality so well, and is a reflection of the fun he had with life. Our family is thrilled, and so are his friends. It’s hard to describe what a blessing it’s been for me to personally witness the energy and fun this project has created in the community of Atlantic Shores. I watched Dad plant the seed, and even though he’s no longer here, we’re all getting to see the seed blossom.”
Many of Mr. Reinhart’s hobbies were incorporated into the calendar. One of his passions was collecting and repairing antique clocks. At Atlantic Shores, he frequently fixed clocks for fellow residents, earning him the nickname “Father Time.” The “January” shot features model Floyd Evans on the sand dunes posing behind a strategically placed clock face. Don also loved kites, and taught people of all ages how to fly them. It was not unusual to find him flying at the beach or launching a kite within the retirement community for everyone to enjoy. The calendar’s cover shot will feature seven of the seniors cavorting on the beach with kites from Don’s collection.
Mr. Reinhart was also a huge “Christmas fanatic” – bringing a childlike enthusiasm to the holiday tradition at Atlantic Shores. Every year he decorated the exterior of his home along with the interior, complete with a 12-foot tree with a multitude of ornaments and lights. Everyone was welcomed to share his Christmas spirit, including both residents and staff. Bill House, “Mr. December,” strikes a festive holiday pose with a miniature version of Mr. Reinhart’s decorated Christmas tree. He shares the spotlight with Baxter, his Golden Retriever therapy dog. “I figure that Baxter’s the reason I was asked to be in the calendar,” he commented, “but that’s OK, he’s an extension of my personality.”
Creation of the calendar involved extensive planning, elaborate photo shoots and photo-retouching, but was amazingly produced in just nine weeks, all directed by a committee of seniors at Atlantic Shores.
Net profits from the sale of the calendar will go to the Princess Anne Courthouse Volunteer Rescue Squad (#5/21), a dedicated group of individuals who provide 24-hour emergency medical care at no cost to residents in the Virginia Beach area. According to Donna, “Dad had a vision that proceeds from the calendar would go back to the community in some way. It’s appropriate that the Courthouse Rescue Squad was selected as this year’s beneficiary, as they had personally helped dad on several occasions, and they continue to provide vital, life-giving assistance to thousands each year.”
“We’re honored to have been chosen to receive proceeds from the calendar,” stated squad spokesperson Richard Otto. “Outside funding is vital to continuing our life support response efforts, and this project is also helping to raise awareness for the need for public support of volunteer rescue squads around the country.”
“The Pin-Up Boys of Atlantic Shores” gives a comical nod to one of the best-known and possibly first nude calendar of its kind — the “Ladies of Rylstone,” a women’s club in England who, in 1999, disrobed to benefit cancer research after a member’s husband died. Their story was the basis for the 2003 movie Calendar Girls. Locally, enterprising residents at the Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay retirement community followed suit with “The Calendar Girls of Westminster-Canterbury,” a project which has made the gals into local celebrities. The ladies’ first comment when they heard about the Pin-Up Boys calendar? “Are any of the guys SINGLE?”
“The Pin-Up Boys of Atlantic Shores” calendar is available for purchase online for $14.95 plus shipping & handling, and is also available at Virginia Beach-area retailers including: Barnes & Noble/Town Center, Taylor’s Do It Yourself Centers, Virginia Beach Resort Hotel & Conference Center, Kitty Hawk Kites, Shear Class, Studio Optix, Baker’s Fine Jewelry, The Globe, Leaping Lizard Café, and at the main concierge desk at Atlantic Shores. For information, to purchase calendars, check updated retail locations and view calendar signing events, visit atlanticshoresliving.com or call (757) 716-3000.
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About Atlantic Shores: Atlantic Shores is Virginia’s premier, comprehensive retirement community. Set on 100 beautiful wooded acres one-mile west of the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Atlantic Shores features over 560 independent living units, ranging from apartment homes to freestanding villa homes, along with a 50-bed skilled nursing facility, 52 apartment-home assisted living facility, and 14-bed Memory Care unit. For more information, visit: atlanticshoresliving.com
About Princess Anne Courthouse Volunteer Rescue Squad (#5/21): The squad is the second largest of the 10 all-volunteer rescue squads in Virginia Beach, with a membership of 100-plus dedicated volunteers, volunteering in excess of 45,000 hours annually. The squad provides coverage 24 hours a day seven days a week, operating three Advanced Life Support ambulances out of two stations, and serving a primary response area of 100 square miles with a population in excess of 40,000 families.