Off the Hill with Tricia Swenson: Locals take it all off for charity

By Tricia Swenson
November 2016

I have a lot of respect for those who have been featured in the Vail Undressed Calendars, a project of the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. In fact, I have been in their shoes, or, I guess many weren't wearing shoes, but I do know the feeling.

I was asked by the Vail Valley Charitable Fund to participate in the 2005 Vail Undressed Calendar as the Ladies of Media for the month of February. I was told there would be five of us, so I figured safety in numbers (or at least more people to hide behind!) and agreed to drop everything for a good cause.

At the time, the Ladies of Media consisted of Holli Snyder, of NRC Broadcasting; Suzy Sackman, of KZYR; Carolyn Pope, of the Vail Daily; Jennifer Coulson, of Channel 5; and me. For many of us, this was our first meeting. There were a lot of nervous giggles and some liquid courage, but we were in the comfort of photographer Katherine Schmidt's home studio and it was all ladies, so it wasn't much different than being in the locker room at the gym, except you probably don't have Champagne at the gym or anyone taking your picture while nude.

It's amazing to see the lengths and the heights — some photo shoots take place up at 10,000 feet above sea level — the photographer and models will go to in order to get the shot. Action photos involving skiing, biking, running, kayaking and fishing have graced the pages of the Undressed Calendar throughout the years.

The Vail Valley Charitable Fund helps locals in financial distress after a medical crisis. This organization started out with the community coming together to help out Cindy Nash after a cancer diagnosis. Since 1996, they have given over $7 million to approximately 1,400 people in our area.

The Vail Undressed Calendar had a 10-year run and to celebrate their 20th anniversary, they brought back one of their top fundraising ideas. If you'd like to see who stripped down, calendars can be purchased at Spa Anjali, Crazy Mountain Brewery, The Bookworm of Edwards and 7 Hermits.