Members hope 'naked' calendar will raise money for charity
by: courtesy of Gresham Rotary and Natalia T Photography, For August, attorneys Patton Echols, Scott Leibenguth and Eric Young posed in a courtroom for the charity calendar.

Rotary took on a new spin this week with the debut of a calendar showing 19 Gresham business leaders grinning and baring it.

Ever since an English ladies' club learned that that they could make bucks by getting buck naked, prominent citizens from the grange to the school board have stripped to their altogethers for good causes.

Not without some trepidation, Gresham Rotarians decided to give up peddling roses and take it all off for charity. If sales of the $20 calendars are good, the project will break the organization's all time fund-raising record. The Rotarians, headed by President Tom Graves, who conceived the idea and poses in it, hope to make an unprecedented $14,000 to $22,000 for their scholarship fund. In the last 10 years, the organization has contributed more than $100,000 to local schools and charity.

But the fund-raiser has been an education all around.

'I sat around in my shorts as long as I could,' admitted Curtis Mettler, who wore only a Lance Armstrong 'Livestrong' bracelet when he posed with his dog, Jade. Jade wore only a collar.

'I don't know why, but somehow it helped that the photographer didn't speak a lot of English,' Mettler confessed. Russian-born Natalia Tsvetkov, a professional photographer from the Portland-metropolitan area, took the photos.

Mettler said his 82-year-old mother was amused and ordered a second calendar. And Norma Mettler, his wife of 34 years, said only, 'You never cease to surprise me.'

Gresham travel agent Doug Walker, normally a Dapper Dan, chose to appear in the flesh in only a sombrero, holding his five-month-old grandson, Walker Ferguson. 'Mr. January,' as his gramps now calls him.

'My daughter, Amy, had to leave the room. It was more information than she wanted,' Walker said of his photo shoot. A world traveler, Walker poses behind a globe.

Gresham Liquor Store owner Mark Klahn sits behind the handlebars of his motorcycle. And sheet metal shelters T.J. Lenchitsky of Honke Heating and Air Conditioning, though air conditioning seems not to be necessary in his case.

Normally, a gray-flannel type of crowd, some Rotarians kept their neckties on. Attorneys Patton Echols, Scott Leibenguth and Eric Young worked in a courtroom without briefs. And investment counselors Robin McGregor and Dino Rocha used the tools of their trade, neckties, phones and The Wall Street Journal.

The women claimed the July centerfold, Carolyn Bailey of Bogey's, Leah Yamaguchi of Gresham Acupuncture, Teresa Bright of Blue Heron Mortgage Co., and Claudia Stewart of The Gresham Outlook and Sandy Post. One man-and-wife team, Dr. Keith and Mary Klatt of Gresham Urgent Care, obeyed the standard medical order, 'Take everything off.'

Cheryl Graves DuBois said some Rotarians are not comfortable with the calendar, but she says the calendar fun was for a good cause because it helps people.

'We have to laugh at ourselves once in a while,' Walker said. Mettler chose April for his page because he will be 60 on April 22, 2007, and having fun with it seemed the right thing to do.

Calendars are $20 each, or two for $30. They are available at Gresham Liquor Store, Walker Travel and in large supply at TLC Bed and Breakfast Spa Retreat, 700 N. Main Avenue.

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