Women grin and bare it for a good cause

Tuesday, March 9, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:36 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 10, 2008

Karen Althage wants to get out the message that there is life after cancer. With a little help from her friends, she’s raising money for cancer research at the same time.

The Bosom Buddies of Boone County, 14 women ranging in age from 27 to 65, have posed partially nude for a calendar the group is selling to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life walkathon. Three of the women featured in the calendar are cancer survivors, but all have been affected by the disease in some way, Althage said.

“A lot is being spent on research, and they are getting close,” Althage said. “I feel like I wouldn’t be here without that research, and I want to do my part.”

Althage added that while breast cancer is a serious issue, putting the calendar together required a sense of humor.

“I was a snowboarder out on the slopes,” she said with a giggle.

Sandy Aulbur, who posed with basketballs for a March Madness theme, echoes Althage.

“It’s for a good cause, and it was fun too,” Aulbur said.

Luan Vair, who posed as Ms. August, said everyone was a little nervous at first. But shooting the calendar as a group made it more comfortable, she said. The photographer, Julie Ray, also put the women at ease.

“There was always someone there saying, ‘You look good doing that,’ or ‘Don’t do that,’” Vair said. “With the digital age, we could look at everything right away and pick the shots that we liked.”

The calendars are on sale for a $15 donation at Calhoun’s Accent Furnishings, 911 E. Broadway, and Prange Intimate Apparel, 2503 Bernadette Drive.

Sue Duncan, who posed in a baseball scene for September, said that sales of the calendar have been good so far but that the Bosom Buddies are looking for other businesses to sell them.

She said that though the fund-raising method is unusual, the money goes toward an admirable cause.

“We have sold about 400, and we are hoping to double that,” Duncan said. “This is just a different way of raising money for our team.”

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