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Theatre 17’s Calendar Girls raise $20K for oncology ward

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.
Dryden Regional Health Centre CEO Wade Petranik (seated left) accepts a donation cheque for $20,000 to benefit the Health Centre’s Oncology ward from the cast and crew of Theatre 17s Calendar Girls. Staff photo

By Dryden Observer Staff

Local Theatre group Theatre 17 is laying to rest its successful Calendar Girls project over a year since it first began.

Members of the play’s cast, crew and other helpers joined Dryden Regional Health Centre CEO Wade Petranik and members of the facility’s oncology department, June 23, to hand over a donation of $20,000. The funds were raised primarily through sales of the group’s calendar project and topped up by ticket sales.

Photographed by the Dryden Observer’s own Chris Marchand, the calendar served as both fundraiser and an exercise to embolden the actress towards the goal of appearing nude (cleverly obscured of course) during the performances.

“I guess we were fearful that people wouldn’t understand what we were trying to do,” said Theatre 17 actress Karen McDonald. “Gradually we started to hear and see how supportive Dryden was. Everybody’s been touched by cancer in some way.”

Darlene Fuerst says the play has made an enduring impact on those involved with its production.

“I still have people, so many months after the play coming out, thanking me and congratulating us on a job well done,” said Theatre 17’s Darlene Fuerst. You don’t really think about that going in, but it was very suprising and an honour to be a part of.”


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