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Charleston Animal Society Firefighter Calendar on hiatus

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- This year, there will not be a new Charleston Animal Society Firefighter Calendar to hang up. No more public appearances by the firefighters turned models, or the debut party in the fall.

The Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore says one reason they decided to put the calendar on pause is it comes at a time when they already have a lot on their plate.

Elmore says, "Over the last three years we've had major disasters each of those falls. In addition to that in the fall, we have our big chili cook-off with over 6,000 people attending. Between that, and the disasters, and the firefighter project it's just too much for us at one time."

The calendar is a money maker for Toby's Fund, which pays for medical care for animals at the shelter. Elmore says the project needs to be reorganized so more money goes to the animals.

He says, "In the last few years it hasn't raised what we've wanted it to, but it's still raised a couple hundred thousand. It's just cost so much to raise that. You really don't want to do fundraising projects that way. We're going to revamp it, revisit it, make it bigger and better, but also the fundraising efficiency, we want to improve on that as well."

15 firefighters are featured in the calendar, many of them participating year after year. They say they are disappointed to hear the project is on hiatus.

One of the firefighters featured in the calendar, Adam Craft, says, "It breaks our heart, really. The amount of time and effort the firefighters and the volunteers put in, it was a big deal for us and it raised a lot of money, and gave us a chance to involve the community."

Craft has participated in the calendar for the past two years. He says he hopes the Charleston Animal Society sticks to the plan to bring the calendar back in a year or two.

He says, "They absolutely should do that. Toby's Fund is a great fund to be involved with. They absolutely need the help at the Animal Society donating the money. The 15 firemen, we collectively got together and spoke about it and we wish they never would've had these issues, but we hope they can get it up and running and everything works out."

The Charleston Animal Society says the community can still get involved in their chili cook-off, golf tournament, spring gala, or by adopting an animal.

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