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Risque calendar raises cash, eyebrows

Risque calendar raises cash, eyebrows

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SARATOGA SPRINGS -- In the end, there was simply too much skin.

Leaders of the Skidmore Photography Club were told on Monday that the Make-a-Wish Foundation would not accept proceeds from sales of a calendar in which members of several student groups appear naked.

Save a few strategically placed props, flesh tones abound in each of the calendar's 12 images. The calendars went on sale for $10, both online and at the Saratoga Springs campus, this week.

Stephen Schaeffer, the marketing and public relations coordinator for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast New York, said Monday the group could not accept money from the students because the organization was not contacted about the fundraiser in advance.

A licensing agreement needs to be signed before the charity's brand is attached to any fundraiser, he said.

Even after learning about the calendar on Monday, though, Schaeffer said the charity was not interested in the fundraiser or willing to accept any money from the photo club, which hoped to grant two children's wishes through the effort.

"Based upon the content, we elected not to authorize that our name be used or that we be affiliated with it," Schaeffer said.

Organizers of the fundraiser are now looking for a new area charity that could use the money.

At least $5,000 could be raised if all 750 of the calendars are sold, and more money could be raised through donations from people who are interested in helping but are not interested in having the calendar.

The calendars will be sold through February, and additional copies will be made if the initial run sells out, organizers said on Monday at the Case Center, where the calendars were disappearing rapidly.

Students who participated in and helped produce the calendars said they expected some degree of mixed reactions to the photos, but that they largely saw it as a fun way of getting to know one another and to raise money for a good cause.

"I think everyone that was in it is really happy that they did it," said Keith Petri, who chairs the photo club and organized the 13-hour shoot in which 105 students participated last month.

School administrators were aware of the project, too, he said, and they even fronted the $2,500 needed to print the calendars.

"For the most part, people have reacted well and said this was a great idea," said Petri, a senior who himself appears in two of the shots. "Enough that I think this will be a yearly activity, anyways."

Among those memorialized in 2010 is Jon Schneider, a junior majoring in art history whose midsection is largely covered with the left end of a student government banner in one of the calendar photos.

Though he had weeks to second-guess his decision to participate, Schneider said his nerves eased in the moments before the group disrobed.

"There was a second or two of hesitation, but then we just realized that, hey, this was really happening and everyone calmed down and went with it," the Princeton, N.J. resident said. "The group already knew each other pretty well - now we all know each other a little better."


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Calendars produced by the Skidmore Photography Club are available on the Skidmore College campus or online at…

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