Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Calendar raising funds for AIDS orphans

So you think your little girl is as sweet as a strawberry parfait. Or your son bears an uncanny resemblance to Elvis.

Now you can show it to everyone -- and do some good.

Child and maternity photographer Mimika Cooney wants to put them on a calendar to raise money for Mothering Across Continents, the Charlotte charity that finds local ways to help South African children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Cooney's calling her calendar project "Tasty Treats & Movie Stars." There's a reason she's raising money for MAC. She's a mother and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and has seen first-hand children made motherless by the disease.

"Since I am a mother I know how important that role is in a child's life," she said. "My heart's always been with babies and children. There are so many children with huge needs in South Africa. I believe we can help one child at a time.

"I was very excited to find a local charity like Mothering Across Continents trying to do something about it."

Cooney began her calendar casting call Tuesday, and received 22 applications. The call will go through Aug. 15.

Here's how it will work: You can apply to have your baby or child photographed for the 2010 calendar, babies newborn to 15 months as "Tasty Treats" like a banana split or strawberry parfait, and children 18 months to 7 years as movie stars like Audrey Hepburn or Brando. The costumes are provided at Cooney's studio at Photo Lyrical Photography in Waxhaw.

Photo sessions will take place during the first two weeks of September. Cooney is intentionally being flexible with newborns, and will take them if they're due by Sept. 30.

If your application is accepted, the photo session will cost $100, every dime of it going to Mothering Across Continents. As a thanks, you'll get an 8-by-10 glossy of your choosing from the session. Photo Lyrical will select 30 for an online vote to be on the calendar. The top 10 vote-getters will assuredly claim a spot. Eight more will be chosen to fill out an 18-month calendar.

Cooney will print up 1,000 calendars that will sell $10 each, every dime of that also turned over to Mothering likely next January.

It's a fun way to raise money for an important global effort. And who knows: Maybe your son will be the next Brando.

To apply go here, or call Photo Lyrical Photography at 888-344-0894.