Skip to comments.South Carolina women, all over 60, bare themselves for charity
Posted on 10/06/2001 7:26:21 AM PDT by TLBSHOW
AIKEN, S.C. (AP)
Wearing little more than pearls and smiles, more than two dozen women, all older than 60, have brought new meaning to dropping everything to help charity.
Their 18-month "Still Magnolia" calendar is less graphic than it is revealing about how the group came together to raise money for local programs for older residents, including Meals on Wheels.
"When I learned of the problems our Council on Aging was having, I couldn't say no," said 64-year-old Dorothy Ridley, a Meals on Wheels volunteer. In the calendar, she appears on a private tennis court wearing pearls and tennis shoes with her otherwise private parts covered by a loosely held towel and the top of the net.
Scott Murphy, executive director of the Aiken Area Council on Aging, said the program will be expanded and include better meals with some of the $125,000 raised by calendar sales.
Betty Ryberg, who helped organize the project, said the Still Magnolias name was picked because the women are still as beautiful as the magnolia flower.
The women also offer a message that "it's not all about 16-year-olds and Britney Spears," Ryberg said.
The photos were taken mostly on private property, but there were moments of mild embarrassment, Ryberg and Ridley said.
"The funniest thing was the color of the photographer's face," Ridley said. "I think he just hadn't adjusted.
A brush with uninvited eyes came outside a city performing arts center when six women dropped their shirts to pose just as a couple of inmates that clean the park came around a corner, Ryberg said. "They started screaming," she said.
"I ducked at that point," Ridley said. "I hid my face and everything else."
The project already has covered a $26,000 production bill and has $30,000 in the bank from sponsors and a sold-out calendar unveiling gala set for Friday with 360 couples and a waiting list of couples wanting to pay $75 to get in.
The Aiken women kept their doings as secretly as possible, referring to shoots and planning meetings as "tea parties." Over the weeks, a group that started with nine people swelled to more than 70.
"A couple of women still haven't told their husbands," Ryberg said.
In most jurisdictions it is illegal to be "all about 16-year-olds"...
No doubt they were smoking the tea.