Billings firefighter calendar to raise money for local benevolen - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Billings firefighter calendar to raise money for local benevolent fund

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It's our local firefighters like you've never seen them before.

A whole lot of muscle and a little less shirt can all be found in the upcoming 2016 calendar.

"I would say that it's edgy and it does show the strength of what is here in Billings," said Rudi Marten of Clark Marten Photography.

Dreamt up by the firefighter's union IAFF Local 521, and under the creative eye of Clark Marten Photography, several fire fighters are stepping out of their usual role.

"It feels different here, definitely. Just being a little more exposed too I guess,” said local firefighter and paramedic Justin Tinnes.

With a little nudge, 10 men and two women were convinced to volunteer a glimpse at their sculpted biceps and six pack abs.

"These men and women are very strong and it just gives me confidence in how they take pride in their work, it's fantastic," said Clark Marten.

The photo shoot is a switch from Clark Marten's conservative popular family portraits. When asked to volunteer their time and talent, the company had no problem getting a few extra hands on deck.

"The female staff at our studio have all volunteered to help with the session too,” Rudi Marten said with a laugh.

Aside from the glitz and glam of the cameras, lights and baby oil, the firefighters are posing for a purpose.

"The union set up a benevolent fund to raise money to give back to the community in tragic events whether it's fires or covering the cost of medical bills," said Local 521 Union Vice President George Richards about the Rich Du Val Benevolent Fund. .

The fund has given away almost $200,000 over the past eight years.

The goal is to be tasteful with the upcoming calendar and the union is hoping it will garner strong community support.

"And that's what it's all about, it's giving back to the community,” Richards said. “We always say it's our community serving your community, so we're all one."

If you can't wait to get your hands on a calendar, there will be a reveal party and raffle drawing at Yellowstone Cellars and Winery on Saturday, July 11 at 6 p.m. The winery is located at 1335 Holiday Circle in Billings.

Calendars and poster sized portraits will also be sold at Clark Marten's gallery and other supporting businesses after the reveal party.

While the photo shoots have been fun, the union still needs to print the calendars. Several businesses donated $2,000 in gift cards and they will be raffled off and split between two winners.

Raffle tickets are $10 a piece and can be purchased at the following businesses: Squire Lounge, Andy's Bar & Lounge, Canyon Creek Brewing, Chrome Bar, Club 90, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Montana Brewing Company, New Atlas Bar, Play Inn, Reno Club, Rio Sabinas, Rock Pile, Shooters, Southern Empire Emporium, Sunset Bowl, The Den, The Red Door, VFW Post 1643, Yellowstone Cellars & Winery.

Updates on the calendar's progress can be seen by visiting the official Billings Firefighter Calendar 2016 Facebook page.

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