Published: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 @ 11:59 AM
By: Amelia Robinson
— Time flies when you are taking off your shirt, pulling fire hoses and raising money for Dayton charities.
Local firefighters are celebrating 30 years of the Hunks and Ladders calendars.
Miami Valley Firefighter/EMS Memorial, A Special Wish Foundation – Dayton Chapter and the Pink Ribbon Driven Foundation will each receive checks for $2,000 during a special launch party 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 at Jimmie’s Ladder 11, 936 Brown St. in Dayton’s South Park neighborhood.
The band Full Frontal will perform and calendars will be sold. Admission is $5.
HOW TO GET A CALENDAR
Hunks and Ladders organizer Jake Preston said all 118 firefighters featured in the project’s 30 years are featured in this year’s calendar, which is on sale now at the Dayton Firefighters Credit Union, 338 S. Patterson Blvd., Dayton.
Calendars are $20 each.
“We were really swinging for the fences (with the 30th anniversary calendar),” Preston said. “It kind of pays homage to our forefathers who created Hunks and Ladders.”
The calendar is dedicated to Caleb Smith, the brother of firefighter Dan Smith, the champion of this year’s Hunks and Ladders Firefighter Combat Challenge.
Caleb is battling brain cancer.
Preston said A Special Wish Foundation is sending Caleb and his family to Hawaii.
The word is spreading about the organization.
More than 2,000 people attended the Hunks and Ladders Firefighter Combat Challenge held this summer at Austin Landing. Preston said about 500 attended the prior year.
HOW THE CALENDAR STARTED
Hunks and Ladders was started in 1987 as a fundraiser for the burn unit at Children’s Hospital.
Keith Bayer, the son of Cathy Hillman and Dayton firefighter Steve Bayer, was badly burned in a fire as a child and treated at the hospital.
Hillman and members of the Dayton Fire Department IAFF Local 136 hosted a special runway show featuring nearly 70 Dayton firefighters.
Dayton Daily News columnist Dale Huffman hosted the show, which was judged by local TV news anchors.
The 1988 calendar was Hunks and Ladders’ first.
Through the years, Preston said Hunks and Ladders firefighters were recognized by talk show host Oprah Winfrey and appeared on Phil Donahue’s national show.
At one point, the Sirens calendar was produced and featured female firefighters and nurses.