GENEVA — Fifty years after graduating, 10 Geneva High School alumnae decided to reveal a different side of themselves to the community.
Swayed by a good cause, the women joined forces to produce a tastefully risqué calendar, modeled after the British film “Calendar Girls.” The 2012 Panther’s Pride calendar is on sale for $15 to raise money for the Elizabeth Wende Breast Care Fund in Rochester.
All of the participants have been affected by breast cancer, either directly or through friends, explained Liz Carty, who edited the photos and appears in March.
One of their own classmates died of the disease at age 45, leaving behind three small children, added Joan Morrow, photographer and model for January and November.
“I think that was always in the back of our mind,” she said.
The sepia-tone shots show the ladies in various stages of dress, though all carefully angled or covered so as to leave most to the imagination.
In January, Morrow appears with a strategically placed dark feather fan, seated on a piano. Carty’s is a playful shot featuring a St. Patrick’s Day ensemble, while Carole Arkins, April’s model, sports the famed trench coat-only look on a rainy spring day.
“We were very pleased with the way the pictures turned out,” said Arkins.
All agreed the photos had to be in good taste, she stressed.
“Everything looks just the way we wanted it,” she said.
The Elizabeth Wende Breast Care Fund reviewed the shots to ensure it was a project it could put its name on, Carty added.
“We think we did a tasteful job of it,” said Morrow. “We had the most fun doing it!”
Getting their models on board was a bit of a challenge, though.
“We didn’t have to threaten them with bodily harm,” Carty laughed.
“They would waver, they’d get all excited and say, ‘OK,’” Morrow recalled. “And then they’d think about it.”
Arkins was one who waffled. She first signed on over a glass of wine at the reunion.
“Then [I] quickly changed my mind,” she said, noting she suddenly considered the possibility of those who knew her professionally seeing the shots.
“Slowly people convinced other ones that it would be well done,” she said.
It took about 500 to 600 photos to get it right, according to Carty, but the women enjoyed the work.
“We just laughed and laughed and laughed,” she said. “It was a labor of love.”
Models were allowed to veto their photos and request a redo and a few did, she noted.
Backdrops and themes were chosen to match the seasons and then Carty set to work editing. In the end, it was a two-year journey, they said.
Though they hope to raise funds and awareness to fight breast cancer, there was more to the project than philanthropy, the women agreed.
“We bonded so much with the girls that we did it with,” said Morrow. “We weren’t all best friends that did it. We kind of picked a cross-section of the class to do this ... We reunited with old friends.”
The calendar is dedicated to the memory of classmates, friends and relatives who lost their battles with breast cancer, as well as to the women currently battling the disease.
Calendars are available at the Elizabeth Wende Breast Care Fund main office at 170 Sawgrass Drive, Rochester, and at S.J.’s Village Boutique, 25 S. Main St., Pittsford, as well as Baroody’s Cigar Store, 424 Exchange St., Geneva.