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The Naked Truth

Members of the Johnsburg town board pose au naturel.

The retired music teacher’s saxophone is strategically placed. A couple of skiers sit primly on a chair lift clad only in boots and helmets. Local officials stand, barefoot and buck naked, behind a plank with “town board” scrawled across it. Wearing just a Mona Lisa smile and a straw hat a stout gentleman rides his antique tractor in front of an old barn.

Call it cheesecake for a cause. Or the chance to reveal your inner and outer self so that half a dozen nonprofits may benefit. The 2013 All Aboard! Welcome to North Creek calendar sold like hotcakes last year, raising significant money for the Elizabeth Nash Foundation, which supports cystic fibrosis research and scholarships for people with CF; North Country Ministry, in North Creek; North Country Hardship Fund, which helps people who have suffered recent tragedies in Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Hamilton and Essex Counties; the Johnsburg Historical Society; North Creek’s Tannery Pond Community Center; and the endowment fund for Adirondack Tri-County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, an 80-bed skilled nursing facility in North Creek.

In Spain last year soccer moms shed their clothes to pay for a school bus when the district budget was cut. Closer to home, All Aboard follows in the footsteps of The Men of Maple Corner, a tasteful and amusing photo assortment that supported renovations at a community center in Vermont. The best known small-town nudie project, an incredibly successful effort to raise money for leukemia research in England, was turned into the film Calendar Girls, starring Helen Mirren.

Wes Dingman and Bob Nessle ride the chairlift at Little Gore

In early March, at a party at Tannery Pond, checks totaling more than $12,000 were distributed, the proceeds from selling thousands of calendars that retailed for $15. Many of the 27 models from 2013 were present, dressed for the occasion. Wes Dingman, who shared January honors with Bob Nessle, commented about the photo op at Little Gore, “The morning sun had warmed the chairlift, and the shoot didn’t take that long.”

Cindy LaPell—who helps wrangle the erstwhile models, market the calendar  and organize the fundraising efforts—recently revealed that the 2014 edition is well underway. “There is a fly-fisherman, golfers, kayakers, antique-car buff and Harley riders. But full disclosure of the identities will have to wait until a concert and launch party this summer.” She did list the nonprofits that will be supported by the new project: the Elizabeth Nash Foundation; North Country Hardship Fund; Hudson Headwaters Health Network, which operates health centers in North Creek, Chestertown, Indian Lake, Schroon Lake, Bolton Landing, Warrensburg and elsewhere; and Johnsburg Emergency Squad, based in North Creek.

Calendars will go on sale throughout the central Adirondacks in a few months. For more information contact Cindy LaPell at clapell@frontiernet.net.

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