CHATHAM – Once upon a time there were the Prettiest Dads. Now you can hang the Men of Monomoy on your walls courtesy of the new calendar from Monomoy Community Services.
The calendar, which borrows a page from others around the world, features men from the Monomoy community in the midst of their daily jobs and is an addition to the annual Tools of the Trade fundraiser, which takes place March 22 at the Chatham Wayside Inn.
According to Theresa Malone, director of Monomoy Community Services, the calendar was a way to enliven the annual Tools of the Trade event.
“We've always had tools of the trade, but we wanted to connect it more to the things we're benefiting,” Malone said.
Deputy Chief of Police Michael Anderson said that upon hearing about the calendar concept, the response was enthusiastic.
“When Theresa came and pitched this idea to a bunch of us, we were all in,” Anderson said.
Anderson, the calendar's Mr. October, said Monomoy Community Services has been an integral aspect of his daughter's lives.
“My kids have gone to Monomoy and I would be lost without the services they provide for my two daughters,” he said. “I can't speak enough about the level of quality of services, both after school and summer programs. I've been attached personally and professionally since my oldest daughter was able to go.”
Anderson said that Brooke and Ashley have delighted in the myriad offerings of the various programs.
“First of all, their staff is second to none,” Anderson said. “They've been consistent. They have a long-tenured staff, very familiar with the kids, and they have field trips, programs, crafts, games, sports, everything. Theresa has been evolving this program and it gets better every year, and from what I've seen and heard, the plan is to make it even better.”
A longtime supporter of MCS, Anderson was one of many dads that got all dolled up for the popular Prettiest Dad contest, a fundraiser that took place for several years during the summer program. When that idea was set on the back burner, the calendar came to life.
“Don't get me wrong,” Anderson quipped. “I'll dress up like a woman for charity, but I'd rather have my photo taken.”
Indeed he did, alongside his cruiser, joining a host of other area dads photographed in their respective lines of work, everything from fishing to tending bar to firefighting and more. Not only do the Men of Monomoy get their mugs on a specific month (beginning with April), but they'll also play a key role in the Tools of the Trade evening, which includes live and silent auctions.
Anderson said the Chatham Police Department offers a police escort package ideally aimed at elementary school children, though grownups might enjoy it, as well.
“We will come to your house in the morning in a cruiser with a police escort and bring you to school or to work,” he said. “In the past we've rolled out the show.”
Other items include custom built-ins from a local company, a wealth of gift cards to area businesses, and much more.
“All the tradespeople donate,” said Malone. “Rooms painted, textiles donated from Simpler Pleasures. It's all about fixing up your house, yourself, or your car. More than 130 donations from area businesses. Some of the stuff you get for a fraction of what you'd have to pay. You've just got to be willing to take a chance.”
In the end, it's all for the kids.
“The funds will benefit primarily our childcare programs,” Malone said. “There's all this work going on with building up some financial resources for families, and we find that a lot of families living in town need assistance as well. Mostly we want to make sure we've got the childcare programs up and running, especially for the summer when it switches to full time childcare.”
The event features food from the Wayside and beer from Devil's Purse. Tickets are just $25.
“It really is a lot of fun,” said Malone. “It's a townie event.”
Tools of the Trade takes place March 22 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are available, along with the Men of Monomoy calendars, at monomoy.org/fund-raising/tools-of-the-trade/. Calendars are $15 and limited to 100 copies.