The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
The ladies of Welland felt the heat on Oct. 9 as the Welland Professional Firefighters Association( WPFFA) had its 2011 calendar kickoff party.
The outdoor event took place at Club Richeilieu in Welland. Admission fee was $5 to get in and $6 for 20 tickets to spend on food or drinks.
Mr.June, Mr.November, Mr.October, Mr.December and Mr.March of the calendar pose for the ladies after showing off their moves. Photo by Emma Russell
This was the fourth year for the event. An expected 850 to 1,000 people were to show up, says Laura Infantino and Cheryl Marr, wives of the firemen.
“Other cities did it, like Toronto, and it turned out well, so Welland started,” says Infanino and Marr.
The band 351 Cleveland entertained the crowd of women while they anxiously waited in line to get the man of each month to sign their calendar, which were being sold for $15. Marr and Infantine say all the proceeds go to the Welland Hospital Foundation.
A fire truck arrived with the sirens blaring, and moments later smoke appeared all over the stage. The ladies quickly crowded around. The firemen then entered the stage to show off their choreographed dance moves to a mix of songs.
Women from ages 20 to 40 screamed and took pictures of the firemen as the gents ripped their T-shirts off. Jacqueline Shaver of St. Catharines and Tia Cinello of Welland agreed they like the firemen because they are “heroic, brave and manly.”
“Firemen are sexy, and we are definitely getting a calendar.”
Karen Burger says her favourite firefighter of the calendar is December, better known as Adam, while others say they can’t decide on just one guy.
Greg Dempster, firefighter and Mr. June, says the best part of the show was the energetic crowd. “They are what make this possible.” This is Dempster’s second year participating in the calendar event.
“The best part of being a fireman is the guys you work with. We are really close. We all have each other’s back.”
Marr says even the wives are close. She says whenever they see each other, they all give each other hugs and kisses.
“We are one big happy family.”
Dempster says part of being a fireman is putting his life on the line to save people he doesn’t know.
“We risk a lot.”
The night ended with several happy women dancing together enjoying the sounds 351 Cleveland covering many popular songs.
Janna Postill says, “Every girl has that firefighter fantasy and, tonight everyone got a preview of it.”