Lt. Greg Michell from Central Saanich Fire Department with his calf Neeve, dog Sophie (heeler/collie) and puppy Lucy (Collie) during Sunday’s photo shoot for a calendar from the Balfour’s Friends Foundation helping low income people with their veterinary care costs. (Tracey Scott/Submitted)

Lt. Greg Michell from Central Saanich Fire Department with his calf Neeve, dog Sophie (heeler/collie) and puppy Lucy (Collie) during Sunday’s photo shoot for a calendar from the Balfour’s Friends Foundation helping low income people with their veterinary care costs. (Tracey Scott/Submitted)

Saanich Peninsula firefighters pose to claw back veterinary care costs

Balfour’s Friends Foundation calendar helps low-income people cover pet care costs

Male and female firefighters from Sidney, North Saanich and Central Saanich did something familiar Sunday evening: they posed for a calendar.

But they were not the main object of attention. The real focus fell instead on all the creatures great and small that posed with them for the Balfour’s Friends Foundation annual fundraiser, which is continuing its tradition of helping low-income people with veterinary care costs.

Stephanie Munkley, foundation president, said this year’s calendar, which began in 2012, marks a distinct departure from previous ones.

“We wanted to go for the ah-factor and the cute factor,” she said. “I think people just love to see animals in pictures. So we have gone away from the beefcake calendar.”

The format reflects the mandate of the calendar project to raise funds to help those struggling to pay vet bills, she said. In the past, the group has helped people on a disability pension, veterans or students among others.

RELATED: Pet photos with Santa funds pair of Greater Victoria animal-friendly organizations

Annual calendar sales have raised about $32,000 over the years.

“It’s quite significant,” Munkley said. “It’s one of our biggest fundraisers.”

People from all walks of life purchase them, she added, some for the firefighters, but mostly for the animals.

Regardless of the motivation for giving, the money makes a significant difference for the animals and their human companions, saving and enriching countless lives along the way.

Animals can mean the world to individuals receiving assistance, Munkley said.

“For the mental and physical well-being of so many people, these animals keep them going,” she said. “Some of these people have absolutely nobody in their lives except for their animals, and without our assistance these animals would be surrendered or euthanized or they would just die.”

Over the years, the calendar shoot has featured a wide range of animals from familiar house to farm animals to more exotic ones. While many of the animals are house pets or working farm animals, some have an unusual history. The first calendar featured a dog that firefighters rescued from a house fire.

ALSO READ: VIDEO: Fire destroys Salt Spring Island’s Windsor Plywood

“And I know a year ago, Sidney fire rescued a hamster from a bad fire in Sidney,” said Munkley. “I was actually the paramedic on scene. Unfortunately, the hamster passed away, not because of the fire, but of natural causes.”

Munkley hopes to make the 2022 calendar available for sale in early October, with copies available at veterinary clinics in Sidney and Central Saanich, plus other locations.

For more information, to order calendars or learn how to apply for financial assistance through the foundation, visit www.balfoursfriends.com.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Saanich Peninsula

 

Firefighters Kevin MacKenzie and Mireille Groleua from Sidney Volunteer Fire Department pose with their dog Louna, a white Husky, during Sunday’s photo shoot for a calendar from the Balfour’s Friends Foundation helping low income people with their veterinary care costs.(Tracey Scott/Submitted)

Firefighters Kevin MacKenzie and Mireille Groleua from Sidney Volunteer Fire Department pose with their dog Louna, a white Husky, during Sunday’s photo shoot for a calendar from the Balfour’s Friends Foundation helping low income people with their veterinary care costs.(Tracey Scott/Submitted)

Just Posted

HMCS Corner Brook returned to Victoria’s waters for the first time since 2015 on June 10. (Courtesy of the Royal Canadian Navy)
WATCH: Navy surveillance submarine returning to Victoria waters

HMCS Corner Brook one of first submarines to receive new communications systems

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes following provincial reopening announcement

Recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

A new multi-family residential project at the corner of Hillside Avenue and Cook Street will feature nine below market-priced units aimed at middle-income, first-time homebuyers, through a partnership between BC Housing and the developer. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Middle-income first time homebuyers gain access to nine homes in Victoria

BC Housing partners with development community to create affordable purchases

(Black Press Media file photo)
Copper piping missing, as suspect found with tools in Oak Bay commercial block

Police briefs include missing dinghy, speed stop turned impaired, wallet swiped from unlocked car

(Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-19 exposure closes Oak Bay pub, restaurant

Penny Farthing, Vis-a-Vis expected to reopen Wednesday after deep clean

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ plan going forward

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read