In Search Of…Some Area Calendar Girls
The city of Winona is home to a group of ladies making quite a name for themselves, and it all started with these
two women. Jean and Barb attended the same church in Winona. Barb was dealing with a very aggresive form of multiple
sclerosis…Jean was battling ovarian cancer. Both women passed away within a month of each other…and soon
after…friend Jennie Rafferty knew she had to do something…and that’s when a movie sparked an idea.
“Calendar Girls”…is the true story of a group of elderly british women that pose nude for a calendar to raise
money for charity. “When I saw the movie…I thought…that’s it…I have to do it.” So Jennie began recruiting women
all across the Winona community willing to bare it all. All ages…. all backgrounds…. surprisingly… one by one…
they signed on. “People started realizing that this could be a fun progect to be involved in and before long there was
a waiting list.”
In fact 70 women in all came out to photographer Julie Geiger-Shutz’s studio to bravely go where they had not gone
before. “We knew we were going to be comfortable and that it was going to be tasteful.” “They were all robbed and I
would say remember how you are…where you’re hand is…and then dis-robe.” “And the focus is at the pose at that
point. So you’re not even thinking…”I don’t have any clothes on. You’re just thinking…(posing)”
A few weeks ago…the final product was unveiled…and for many…the outcome is quite powerful…
Mothers… Grandmothers…. Sisters…. Friends… Survivors… Taking a risk…to take aim at a deadly
disease. “We all have mothers and sisters and aunts that we love…it’s scary.” “Everyboby’s been touched by cancer
and what an easy thing for us to do…” “We did it. I’m gonna start crying…we did it…for Barb and Jean.”
This project has brought 70 plus women together, friendships have been made…women have realized their full
potential. “It’s just been beautiful. It’s just a celebration of being a women.” Quite an accomplishment for these
women of purpose who’ve decided to change the world…one month at a time. “You have all these different groups of
women in winona bound together by this cause.”
We went in search of…some area calendar girls… “I can’t even give you words to describe how proud I am.” We
found them. In Winona…Jennifer Livingston…NewsChannel Eight.
And if you’re still unsure about the project and its subject matter, keep in mind that in just three weeks, it’s
raised $55,000 that will go to support cancer and M.S. reasearch and support the Winona Hospice.
If you would like to purchase a calendar, go to
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