Kilkenny’s ‘Calendar Girls’ raise incredible €40,000 for charity
A risqué Kilkenny calendar which made some jaws drop has raised a jaw-dropping €40,000 so far for charity.
Some 30 members of the Ballyfoyle Ladies Group decided to break free from their comfort zone and agreed to bare all for a revealing calendar they hoped would raise much needed funds.
The response they received is beyond any of their wildest dreams. This evening in Ballyfoyle community hall, the ladies will hand out fruits of their endeavours – €40,000 to both local and national charities.
The 50 strong ladies group agreed to take on the challenge earlier this year when they learned five of their members have been affected by breast cancer. Thirty of the women stepped forward willing to pose for this worthy cause. The rest of the ladies supported them in any way they could.
The calendar has become a must have item and out of 2,500 published, just a handful are left.
“It’s just phenomenal really,” Anne Buggy, a member of the Ballyfoyle ladies and driving force behind the calendar told KilkennyNow.ie.
“It’s been such a wonderful experience and an experience that would be very hard to explain to people unless you were a part of it.
“We have raised over €40,000, which for a group in a small rural community it’s hard to believe.”
The scale of the success of the calendar and the public’s appreciation of what the Ballyfoyle Ladies have done is what has amazed Anne the most.
“What we raised is not just all money from the calendars, we have had a huge amount of donations and sponsorship. We were really taken aback about the amount of people who came knocking on our doors saying ‘we heard what you have done, it’s brilliant. Here’s a donation.’ The support like that has been overwhelming.
“I don’t think we ever thought it would reach this level. When I filled out the form to apply to fundraise I put down €1,500 as a target on the form. I really thought this would be a local thing in Ballyfoyle but it’s escalated.
“We have had national attention from the likes of the Ray D’Arcy show, the Elaine Show on Virgin Media. We have been in RSVP magazine and next week Women’s Way is covering it.”
Anne believes the experience is something the group will never forget and something they will cherish but says all the attention has not changed the ladies.
“It’s been a bit surreal. Everyone in the group has been on such a high between the shoot and making the calendar. Then there was the launch night in the Avalon in Castlecomer which was such an amazing experience and success and the publicity the calendar has received since. It’s been absolutely wonderful.
“But we are back to the normal things with the group now, the knitting, the dancing, the yoga, back doing all those things we used to do as a group,” Anne explained.
The funds raised from the calendar are going to be distributed among 12 charities this evening, Breast Cancer Ireland – Researching a cure, Cois Nore, the Irish Cancer Society, the Carlow/Kilkenny homecare team, the Nore Dragon Boat, the Kilkenny night-nurse service, the District Hospital in Castlecomer, the fund for Conor Parr in Castlecomer, the South East Radiotherapy Trust (SERT), St Luke’s Oncology Unit, and the Lourdes fund and Christmas Party in Ballyfoyle. The ladies have also set aside a community fund for anyone in Ballyfoyle in need of support.
There’s still a handful of calendars remaining and all donations are greatly appreciated.