Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Not all heroes wear capes: First-ever firewomen calendar to be launched in Ladysmith

Glen Hartle
Pontiac Sept. 24, 2023
This isn’t just ANY calendar. It’s a calendar of heroes. Everyday heroes from all corners of the Pontiac.
That they are all volunteer firefighters and that they are all female adds wholeheartedly to the appeal found therein. “And we aren’t wearing bikinis”, offers veteran firefighter and participant, Tracey Moore, of both the Bristol and Kazabazua fire departments.
The motivation behind the calendar was at least threefold: celebrate identity, attract new volunteers via publicity and generate funds for charity. And maybe have a little fun along the way. The call went out in May for all female firefighters in the Regional Municipality of the Pontiac (MRC Pontiac) to join the project and join they did with Otter Lake photographer Elysa Lance-Benac creating a portfolio of images of the assembled firewomen on July 8. The seeds for the first-ever firewomen calendar from the Pontiac took root with nine women from 12 fire departments.
Project lead Sonya Rivington beamed, “the response we got from the cover story in THE EQUITY in July was incredible. We couldn’t believe the support.”
Fast forward a few months and the calendars are ready. Their official launch and initial availability will be at the Bretzlaff Store in Ladysmith on Friday, September 29 – just in time for the hugely popular Oktoberfest. It is serendipitous that the first of the 16 months in the calendar is soon-to-be-here October.
Funding for the physical printing of the 16-month calendars has been provided by MRC Pontiac, local fire departments, Desjardins Bank, Pontiac Printshop and a generous contribution from an anonymous donor.
All proceeds from the firewomen calendar sales are going to a support fund organized in the memory of one of their fallen comrades, Luc Harper, who passed away suddenly on May 21 at the age of 35. Luc leaves behind his fiancé Jennifer and two young sons and it is hoped that the funds will provide some measure of support for them.
The $25 calendars can be purchased in person at Bretzlaff Store in Ladysmith or via eTransfer to Sonya Rivington at pontiacfemmeenfeu@outlook.com. Look for more points-of-sale to come.

Calendar lead, Sonya Rivington (left) with Greg Bretzlaff of the Bretzlaff Store in Ladysmith and fellow firefighter-participant Tracey Moore.

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