In the 2003 movie, Calendar Girls, starring Helen Mirren, a group of well-aged women turned themselves into “pin-up girls.” When Potrero Hill Neighborhood House staffer, Jean Crosby, discovered that Senior Lunch program participant Lorys Crisafulli had experience creating similar calendars, she suggested a reprise of the effort. With her 90th birthday looming, Crisafulli agreed to create a 2017 calendar, using as models “the ladies who lunch” at the Nabe.
A dozen calendar girls were selected. Crosby secured more than $11,000 in advertisements and contributions to cover production costs, including from Hilliard Architects and Tim Parker Studios. Damien Alvarez Design volunteered its time and talent to photograph the women and produce the calendar. Hill historian Peter Linenthal also made photographs.
“We had a grand time in the photo sessions,” Crisafulli, “Miss January,” recalled, who was responsible for the calendar’s “clever captions.”
“These were really bonding experiences,” reported “Miss July,” Dorene Cotter.
The calendar was first sold for $15 at the Potrero Hill Fall Festival last October, the booth staffed by Crisafulli, with assistance from other calendar “honeys.” A two-month “door-to-door” marketing effort followed, with Christopher’s Books, Chiotras, The Ramp Restaurant, Farley’s, and the Nabe vending copies. Crisafulli – in a red sequined baseball cap or black fedora – Cotter, and Sally Taylor – attired in a coonskin cap – became neighborhood fixtures.
The effort raised $7,500, with the funds dedicated to supporting Potrero Hill residents’ post-high school academic, vocational or technical education, including books and other materials. Twelve $500 scholarships are on offer. Applications are available at the Nabe, with a May 1 deadline. Winners will be announced at the May 25, 2017 graduation celebration at the Nabe.
“We got a lot more laughs than we sold calendars,” Lorys admitted. “But we had a great time doing it, too. And we met loads of interesting people along the way.”
Copies of the calendar, on sale for $5, are available at the Nabe. For more information about the scholarship: 415.826.8080.