Good Reason for Nudity and Giant Lava Lamp

Tough Times Call for Strange Plans

By Buck Wolf

Jan. 14, 2003 --   If not for a strategically placed chocolate Easter bunny, Tom Fegley would be buck naked — but at least it would be for a good cause.

It takes more than a bake sale to raise money in these tough times. In Brattleboro, Vt., Fegley and fellow members of a local Rotary Club raised $25,000 for charity with a 2003 calendar that features a local judge, a school superintendent and other townsmen golfing in the raw, skiing au naturel, and fishing with the wind gusting through their bare, hairy legs.

"I guess you could say we were inspired by The Full Monty," says Fegley, who proposed the "Men of Brattleboro" calendar last year when he was president of the club.

"Some men were reserved and needed convincing," he says. "Other laughed and the clothes fell faster than a prom dress."

You'll see a lot of rear ends but no full-frontal frolicking, thanks to coyly crossed legs or a few tastefully positioned softball mitts. Still, you'll see an awful lot of Brattleboro.

April features Fegley and his chocolate bunny. He's with two middle-aged friends, Bob "Bare Naked" Coonan and David "Sweet Roll" Dunn, at a local candy store.

Like Playboy models, each man dons festive bunny ears, although they're not exactly built like porn stars. Fifty-three men — three fourths of the Rotary Club — dropped their trousers.

"You'll see lots of flab," Fegley says. "That's part of the fun."

Funds raised through sales of the calendar are going to homeless shelters, youth groups, and other charities. The Rotary Club even has an initiative to build water-purification systems for impoverished villages in Honduras and El Salvador — more than enough reason to grin and bare it.

With more than 17,000 Brattleboro calendars sold for $17 each, the fun is just beginning. Fegley was inspired by a group of female wool spinners in Maine who became calendar girls three years ago as a matter of civic pride. No doubt more people will find good reason to strip.

Still, even if you have no immediate needs to make you model your birthday suit, strange times call for strange action — in both the private and public sector. Let's take a look: