The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 18, 2012

Mayor to be among city's 'calendar boys'

By Jean Cole

— You’ve admired the rippling abs of actor Matthew McConaughey.

You’ve been mesmerized by the steel-blue gaze of Daniel Craig — as James Bond.

Now, you can feast your eyes on the unrivaled hunks of Athens featured in the “2013 Men of Athens Support Relay” calendar, which is due out at Christmas.

City firefighters, police officers, parks and recreation employees and others will grace the calendar’s pages in an effort to raise money for the Relay For Life cancer fundraising drive. Mayor Ronnie Marks is among those posing for the camera.

“He will make a special appearance in the calendar,” confirmed Grant Coordinator and Communications Specialist Holly Hollman. “It will showcase his humor.”

To preorder the $15 calendar, call Vicky Dowd at 256-233-8730 or send email to Hollman at Make checks payable to City of Athens Relay, and mail it to City of Athens Relay, P.O. Box 1089, Athens, AL 35612. The calendars will be ordered after Thanksgiving and arrive before Christmas.

“One calendar will include a purple ribbon on May 3 to honor the date of the relay event,” Hollman said. “The person who finds this ribbon will win a TV.”

The calendar is just one way the city of Athens Relay for Life team is raising money in its 2012-13 campaign to fight cancer. They are also selling T-shirts for $20. This year’s Army-green shirt was devised by a designer at Coleman Group, which creates the designs for Hard Rock Café, Hollman said. The shirt has dog tags and the slogan “The Best Defense Against Cancer Is A Cure.”

Shirts have been ordered and should be delivered before December, Hollman said.

Employees involved

“Last year, the city team raised more than $10,000 for Relay for Life, which supports the American Cancer Society,” she said.

City employees participate in Relay for many reasons. Athens Police employee Cindy Pugh participates in honor of her father, Charles Kilpatrick. Jennifer White, who works with Limestone County Department of Human Resources and participates on the city's team, is a third-generation breast-cancer survivor.

“City employees have battled cancer themselves or have loved ones who have battled cancer,” the mayor said. “When one of our employees had a 10-year-old son diagnosed with leukemia recently, this Relay team and other employees rallied to raise funds to help the family. Now they are working to give back to the community through this Relay campaign.”