The proceeds from Fernie Fire Rescue’s charity calendar will ensure women in crisis have access to emergency funding all year round.
The fire department teamed up with local photography company Decoro Portraits to produce the calendar, which features shirtless firefighters and raised funds for the Fernie Women’s Resource Centre (FWRC).
It proved hugely popular with all 200 copies snapped up before Christmas and one even hanging in Fernie Mayor Ange Qualizza’s office.
On January 9, the firefighters and Qualizza presented FWRC Executive Director Lauren Fox with a cheque for $5000.
Fox said it was a welcome injection of funds for the FWRC’s emergency support program at a time when demand is highest.
The program provides a small amount of funding to women in crisis to ensure their basic needs are met and $2500 was withdrawn over the Christmas period.
Fox said Fernie Fire Rescue’s donation should last them most of the year.
“It’s great to know that we’re not out there just trying to do this all on our own because we simply can’t do it,” she said.
“So just even the awareness the calendar raised about the women’s centre and the services that we offer, and getting people talking about the women’s centre. A lot of people who might not know about it, it’s a talking piece for sure, so that’s huge for us also.”
City staff also helped raise funds at the City’s Christmas party, where gift baskets and prize packages were raffled off with all proceeds going to the FWRC.
Qualizza said Decoro also deserves credit after donating about 30 professional hours to the calendar.
“Without Decoro’s contribution this certainly wouldn’t have reached that high,” she said.
“I’m just proud that everyone pulled together for the exact same goal and it’s an excellent goal.”
Qualizza also thanked firefighter Cory Robinson, who spearheaded the project with his colleague Mike Bragg.
People who missed out on a 2019 calendar can look forward to next year’s with Robinson eager to continue the fundraiser.
“It will depend on Decoro but we’re hoping so,” he said.