The lovely ladies of Calendar Girls made their entrance down the centre court escalator at the Peter Pond Mall on Sunday afternoon, adorned in their plush white bathrobes and nothing else.
Alan Robert, Director of the Theatre and Arts Centre was on hand to say a few words about the production and the fundraising effort, as was Jon Tupper from the Canadian Cancer Society.
They both articulated the deep meaning behind this endeavor and lauded the efforts of the photographer (Sean McLennan), designer (Charlene Haggett) and marketing coordinator (Misty Oakes) for doing a stellar job putting together a stunning and tastefully revealing calendar.
"They officially go on sale right now," said Alan. "You can also purchase a copies for $20 at Keyano Box Office."
The six ladies in bathrobes were joined by most of their fellow cast members and director Valmai Goggin for a group photo followed by an autograph session.
|Misty Oakes with director Valmai Goggin|
Calendar Girls by Tim Firth is going to be a delightful theatrical experience, one that is sure to pull on your heartstrings from what I hear from the actors. The subject matter, of having to face the loss of a loved one to cancer, is sadly familiar to many of us. How these characters decide to seize back control of their lives and turn a negative into a remarkable positive, is going to provide an injection of inspiration and spirit to the Fort McMurray holiday season.
Miss June, cancer survivor Valerie Grainger (above right), beautifully captures the essence of her story - and by extension, the Calendar Girls story - in the following words featured on her page:
Took my breast.
Altered my golf swing.
Robbed me of my energy.
But it will never, ever take away my
zest for living, everyday, to the fullest.
I can't change what happened yesterday,
but I can choose to smile today and look
forward to tomorrow.
In the words of Sheila Hahn, sister to Miss May, Debbie Hahn (above left), "when Debbie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, her attitude, faith and courage fueled her fight against the disease. She's generously shared her experiences and dedicated time to help others facing the same hardships."
At the bottom of the page featuring Debbie, are the following words: IN MEMORY OF OUR MOTHER, MARGARET HAHN 1925 - 2012.
My heart ached and my eyes moistened as I read these words, and I thought of others close by who have lost parents in recent months to cancer. I think of my father who is fighting his own battle right now, and the incredible courage, fortitude and hope that keeps him going.