Knysna's own 'Calendar Girls' raise funds for animal charity_1


A group of Sedgefield women stepped out of their comfort zone this year for charity, and to empower themselves.

"Life is short. Fun doesn't just land in one's lap. You have to go out and make it happen," Sedgefield Floating Book Club member Di van Beek, the mastermind behind the charming 2020 calendar in aid of Sedgefield Animal Matters (SAM) launched last weekend, told Knysna-Plett Herald.

Based on the 2003 comedy film Calendar Girls, these gals used the opportunity to embrace and celebrate being women through classically composed photographs, and let SAM receive all proceeds from the sale of the entertaining calendar.

"The idea formulated while we were talking about how all women need to feel and look beautiful, regardless of their age or size … The idea behind the calendar is about women empowering women, embracing life and having a good laugh. It takes heaps of courage to feel comfortable enough to remove one's clothes, especially at our age. It was also an icy 16ºC on the day of the photoshoot," said 60-year-old Van Beek, who features on the June page.

SAM co-founder Kirsty Hofhuis said she was delighted when the women approached her.

"I really liked the idea, especially with the adversity women are facing today, to show that all women – regardless of shape, size or look – are unique in their own way," said Hofhuis.

She started SAM seven years ago after she fell in love with a blind, diabetic, three-legged dog called Dobby.

"I started SAM through Dobby's determination to live. He was the first dog I saved and I started to wonder how many more I could help.

"SAM is purely funded by the community and focuses on spaying and neutering, as less puppies born in poverty has the direct result of less neglect.

"We mostly help the needy from Smutsville and are very fortunate to work in partnership with Knysna Vets. We aim to spay 100 animals in 2019 and are currently at 87. Our vision is to find land and build holding kennels in Sedgefield," said Hofhuis, who believes SAM has a positive impact on the community.

"What we are seeing is people from Smutsville coming to neuter their animals, which means they are taking responsibility and that is encouraging," said Hofhuis.

Make a straight dash to secure one of only 300 copies of these quirky calendars, available at a variety of outlets, for R100.

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