Kilkenny’s ‘Calendar Girls’ bare all to battle cancer
By COLIN BARTLEY
A CALENDAR featuring 30 Kilkenny women baring all to raise money for local causes had its big reveal last night.
There was a lot of tension yesterday evening in the Avalon House Hotel in Castlecomer as the Ballyfoyle Ladies Group, as well as the assembled crowd, waited for the unveiling.
Group member Ann Buggy came up with the idea of the calendar after going to see a play in Kilkenny’s Watergate Theatre.
“One of the events the group organised was to go to the play “The Menopause” earlier in the year. Afterwards we went for a meal and we were just chatting. I planted a seed about doing something fun and asked ‘would we think about doing a calendar?’
“There was a lot of nervous laughs and then there was no more about it.
“About two months later at our annual meeting, I brought up the calendar again and this time I told them that I had breast cancer.
“The other ladies never knew I was sick but all then said they wanted to support me. They said if it was organised, they would do it with me.”
The Ballyfoyle Ladies group are 50 strong, five of them have been affected by breast cancer. This was an overriding reason they went ahead with the calendar Ann explained.
“The whole idea behind the calendar is we want to raise money for the charities and when it came to the shoot, 30 women were willing to bare all.”
“There were two full days shooting in the fields and farms of Ballyfoyle and another day in the Avalon House Hotel in Castlecomer. We only received the calendars today (Friday) and only two us have seen it. The rest of the ladies won’t see themselves in the pictures until everyone else does at the reveal.”
Winning Streak presenter Marty Whelan, a cousin of one of the group was on hand to host the night and keep a giddy and anxious crowd in check.
All money raised from the sale of the calendar will go to the Irish Cancer Society, Cois Nore Cancer Support Centre, the Ballyfoyle community nurse, and the rest going into a local community fund to support people going through cancer treatment.