The Real Calendar Girls ...
Everyone knows the story: a group of extraordinary women, members of a very ordinary Yorkshire's Women's Institute (WI) group, persuade one another to pose for a charity calendar with a difference.
The Calendar Girls, as they became known, dedicated the calendar to John Baker who had died the previous year in 1998. John's wife, Angela (Miss February) and friends were members of the local WI. At one meeting Angela's friend Tricia Stewart (Miss October) suggested that they do an alternative WI calendar, in the nude, The idea provided much mirth and entertainment for John throughout his difficult traetment. After his death, the women were determined to continue.
John grew sunflowers from the onset of his illness and gave them to friends and family in the hope that he would have recovered by the time they flowered. Sadly, this was not the case, but the sunflower lives on as a reminder of John's life and has become a symbol of the girl's fundraising.
The girls initially aimed to generate funds to buy a new sofa for the hospital where John was being treated. To date (Oct 2013) they have raised more than 1.5 million for Leukaemia Research, have been the subject of a smash hit Hollywood film staring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, and filled more colunm inches than they can count, and now their story is re-enacted in a hit stage show.
In 2005 the Calendar Girls were thanked personally by the Prince of Wales for their amazing achievements at a reception at Clarence House. Their Fabulous fundraising work continues with personal appearances, endorsements, speaking engagements, photos shoots and much more.