A group of lifeguards from Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue will grace the pages of a 15-month calendar this summer as a fundraiser organized by the Wrightsville Beach Foundation.
After initially hearing the idea, ocean rescue director Dave Baker said he was a little skeptical about what the final product would look like, but his fears were put to rest by the vision of the nonprofit. Projecting the professionalism of ocean rescue will be one of the uses of the calendar, Baker said.
“It is a win-win all the way around,” Baker said. “Everybody has the same vision for the final product and that is really one of the most important things. To project a professional image in the calendar, raise awareness about rip currents and the ability for the foundation to raise money is a good thing.”
Foundation co-president Jim Smith said the male and female ocean rescue members who volunteer for the calendar will be photographed in a couple different scenarios. One action shot in their ocean rescue gear on the beach and the other an off-the-beach scene. Smith said the off-the-beach scene will incorporate each month’s sponsor.
So far, O2 Fitness and Kingoff’s Jewelers have agreed to sponsor the calendar. Smith said the foundation needs 15 sponsors total. Sponsorships are $500 and there will be a major sponsorship opportunity available for $1,000.
The calendar idea came from a foundation meeting one year ago from foundation member Layne Smith. The final product will be available in late June.
“It is going to be very high quality and very professionally done,” Smith said. “It will be on heavy gauge paper with matte finish and we want to make this an annual thing.”
The calendars will sell for $15 each and proceeds will help pay for the expenses of ocean rescue’s competition team for the United States Lifesaving Association’s South Atlantic Lifesaving Association regional competition.
Baker said the team’s expenses are usually around $7,000, and every ocean rescue member would be aware of what the calendar sales could do.
“Not only will we be able to educate people about rip currents and the ordinances at Wrightsville Beach but also to let them know the accomplishments of the team,” he said. “People are always asking how they can help us out, well this is a great way to reach out with also getting something in return.”