Riverstick’s residents have had great fun baring all for a naked calendar, and all for a worthy cause.
Lia Kelleher, Sharon Cronin, and Elaine Sheehan, ran with the idea of a ‘tasteful’ naked calendar to fundraise for an inaugural summer festival in 2023, whilst also supporting Breakthrough Cancer Research.
A Riverstick Festival Committee was formed in late September, with the aim of organising a Summer Festival in 2023, and from there the idea took root to organise the calendar along with a Christmas market which will be held on December 4. The Riverstick Festival takes place next year from July 14 to 16. “It will be a traditional family fun weekend. Riverstick was always a tight-knit community, and many felt, emerging from the pandemic, our community needed a lift,” said Lia.
“The idea for the naked calendar originated during one of our fundraising brainstorms, just eight weeks ago. Time was tight but we decided to go for it. The response at the outset was mixed, people were hesitant with the naked theme, especially the thought of undressing during the cold month of November. It started slow but escalated at a record pace. Our strategy was fourfold – community engagement across a spectrum of groups, businesses, clubs, and locals. The idea was to have tasteful content ensuring no one felt uncomfortable or out of their depth at any point during the photo shoots, raising money for a good cause, and most importantly reigniting that community spirit.” Elaine commented that “We were absolutely delighted that Breakthrough Cancer Research came on board, and a percentage of the calendar sales will go towards the amazing work they do every day in the fight against cancer. We felt that everyone at some stage has been affected by cancer, whether directly or indirectly, so it’s close to people’s hearts’’. ‘ “Cancer has touched the lives of so many in Riverstick so it is nice that we are linked to Breakthrough Cancer Research’’, said Lia. On the night of the launch, there will also be a head shave, with all the money going to the Cork-based research organisation.
“The photoshoot took place over two weekends, and the nervousness quickly abated, and was replaced with excitement, fun and a sense of achievement. The word spread, and before long people were asking to take part. Groups got together – we stopped traffic on the main road, drove through mucky water-logged farm fields, braved building sites in torrential downpours, and scavenged through farm sheds for props. The fun was second to none,” said Lia.
‘’Community spirit is the backbone of Riverstick Uncovered’’, said Sharon, ‘’with the cover photo depicting well-known ‘local celebrities’ including local Independent councillor Alan Coleman, publican Eamon Kelleher and the Duchess of Riverstick Eileen Cronin! Overall, there are 89 people in the calendar, ranging in age from 18 to 84 years.
All photos have remained under tight control, and all will be ‘revealed’ at the official launch on Friday, December 2nd in Allens Bar, Riverstick, at 7.30pm’’ “We have a big night planned with music, food, prizes and presentations,” added Lia. Calendars retailing at €10 will be available to buy in many of the local businesses in Riverstick including Allens Bar, Centra, the Grind Fitness gym, The Priory and more local shops. More information is available through the Riverstick Festival Facebook page, and Instagram.