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Secret project unveiled at Linden Ponds

Created date

September 21st, 2010

One secret project made its debut at Linden Ponds last month, exposing the work of more than 12 women who live in the community. The Linden Ponds 2011 calendar is now available, featuring the Ladies of Linden Ponds in photographs that reveal a little skin and a lot of personality. The calendar, which is on sale to raise money for two vital community funds, is the result of one and a half years of hushed planning and production spearheaded by four women who live at Linden Ponds.

Quiet project

The idea for a fundraising calendar came to Carol Oliver about ten or 15 years ago after she heard about the nude calendar that women in England created to raise money for a British charity, Leukaemia Research. I said, What a wonderful way to do something for charity, Oliver recalls. It was always in the back of my mind but my job never allowed anything like this. I sat down at Derby [Clubhouse atLinden Ponds], and I said, I think we could do this. Oliver had only been living atLinden Pondsabout nine months when she began the project to raise money for the Benevolent Care Fund, which provides assistance to residents facing financial hardship, and the Student Scholars Fund, which is awarded to students who work atLinden Ponds. Oliver formed a committee with fellow residents Donna MacLeod, Laurel Morris, and Susan Thayer, who dedicated themselves to the project of producing a calendar quietly. Planning took place in Oliver s apartment to keep the group from being discovered, Morris says. [caption id="attachment_14536" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Laurel Morris poses as Miss January in the Linden Ponds 2011 Calendar. Morris was one of the four women who live at the community who organized the production of the calendar. (Photo by Hobbs Studio) "][/caption] As a veteran community member, Morris was tasked with the job of finding models. I wanted somebody from every building and age range, she says. She succeeded in finding a diverse group of women from age 63 to 96. Miss March (Dorothy Joyce) says she was hesitant to participate at first but eventually gave in and represented her Irish heritage for the month of St. Patrick s Day. Joyce bears a pot of gold in her photo and appears to be emerging from a forest, in the presence of a leprechaun. I haven t told anybody in my family that I did it either, and they re all going to get a calendar for Christmas, she says.

Telling stories

There s a story behind every month, adds Morris, who says she couldn t get away without being featured in the calendar; she s Miss January. The calendar s committee, with oversight and support from Linden Ponds former Director of Philanthropy Michelle LeBretton, selected a photographer and makeup artist. Hobbs Studio offered to take on the job free of charge, and Charlotte Phinney was chosen for makeup. Many of the scenes were shot in Oliver s apartment, including the March scene featuring Joyce, with creative direction from theLinden Pondscommittee members. For Joyce s shoot, the ladies created a makeshift forest by arranging decorative tress from the hallways ofLinden Ponds. The team was forced to improvise for the December photo featuring Barbara Perry. The shoot was planned forLinden Ponds theater, in front of a video screen image of trees and snow. Perry was to emerge from a wrapped box, but when it came time for the shoot, the room was too dark. So we went outside, Oliver says. It was a snowstorm, it was 25 degrees, and it was blowing. We went out there, we put the box out, and it s real snow; we froze, but it s one of the nicest pictures we did. Barbara was a sport, Oliver adds. Though the project required a lot of work, those involved agree it was a pleasure to execute. Once we started taking the pictures, we were just totally amazed with ourselves that it was going so well, Morris says. We had a blast doing it, and it all just came together.

Life accomplishment

For Oliver, who worked in the engineering department at Verizon before moving toLinden Ponds, the calendar project was a new, rewarding challenge. I really think it was the best thing I ve ever done in my life and accomplishing something that I think we re going to do well with, Oliver says. Having the professional people that we had, it just went beautifully; I m very proud of it. Oliver says she may have been crazy to take on such a large project when she was so new toLinden Ponds, but along the way she came to know many people. The models alone I will always treasure them they were like kids all over again doing something like this, Oliver says, adding of those atLinden Pondsand in the corporateErickson Livingoffices: I did meet some wonderful people, they ve been behind us all the way. Last month, the calendar was unveiled at a special event atLinden Ponds, featuring the calendar girls as well as the women behind the project. The $15 calendars are on sale through theLadies of Linden Ponds website( and atLinden Ponds. This isLinden Ponds: it s a very unique place, a very beautiful place. Its social life is great, Oliver says. I wouldn t have done this if I weren t happy here; it took a lot of energy to do this.