Each year, PRC honors an organization at its Mighty Real Gala that has been instrumental in helping PRC significantly advance its mission. No partner has done nearly as much as Bare Chest Calendar over the years to advocate and raise funds for PRC and its essential services for those most in need. That is why PRC is honored to recognize Bare Chest Calendar with the Outstanding Community Partner Award at its Gala on November 5th at the Four Seasons. The work that the Calendar has done over the years is so incredibly important to PRC, and the funds they have raised directly support PRC’s HIV/AIDS, mental health, and substance use services.
The powerhouse fundraising organization known as Bare Chest Calendar (BCC) has been generously supporting PRC and the AIDS Emergency Fund, which later became a part of PRC, for more than 35 years by donating the proceeds from their annual calendar sales and other fundraising activities. In recent years, the Calendar has raised more than $200,000 annually for PRC’s critical services. The calendars feature twelve shirtless men who become spokespersons for PRC’s HIV/AIDS related services. If you’ve been to one of the many street fairs in San Francisco, you’ve probably seen the Bare Chest Calendar booth and the shirtless or leather vested advocates selling and signing calendars while promoting the work of PRC.
BCC was founded in 1984 by the manager of Arena Bar, Terry Thompson, and three friends who desired to help those suffering from the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The Calendar has since raised more than $2 million dollars and featured more than 400 shirtless men. In its early days, it was sold in-person as a promotion calendar at the Arena bar, then it migrated to the SF Eagle bar, and then moved again to its current home at the Powerhouse Bar. Each of these bars has significant historical roots within San Francisco’s leather and LGBTQ communities and has also contributed to the growth and success of the Calendar. Each year Bare Chest Calendar holds competitions to select 12 men for the following year’s calendar. But these men do much more than pose shirtless! Every week from June through December they take time out of their personal schedules to work at local or statewide fundraising events, all while educating the masses on the services of the organization they’re fundraising for.
Bare Chest Calendar models have built a community, often referred to as a brotherhood, and are guided by their “Den Daddies,” leaders appointed to manage contest and fundraising activities. The Calendar Men each have different reasons for participating and many come back year after year. Some have also been recipients of PRC’s services, and their participation is a way to give back to the organization that helped them through a tough time in their lives. Upon Bare Chest Calendar’s success and growth, the organization has come to an exciting cross-road in its trajectory and has decided to become its own 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. While BCC will continue to support PRC, its volunteers look forward to partnering with other local LQBTQ initiatives that extend beyond PRC’s scope of services. PRC CEO Brett Andrews affirms, “As PRC’s oldest community fundraiser, Bare Chest Calendar holds a special place in our hearts. Proceeds raised over the years have helped to provide direct relief to our clients, and we are forever grateful. PRC is thrilled to support Bare Chest Calendar as they take this important step in establishing themselves as an independent nonprofit. On behalf of our Board, staff, and the many clients we serve, PRC wishes Bare Chest Calendar many more years of growth and great success.”
Larry Rich, BCC’s current “Big Daddy”, the head of the organization, shares, “The Calendar provides a way for me to give back and support our community in a way that is fun and feels authentic, namely shirtless and wearing a leather vest. I am very proud to be part of this brotherhood and contribute to our 38-year legacy. As a leader in the newly formed organization, I’m excited to return to our grassroots, community-based heritage in the San Francisco Leather and Kink communities. I look forward to working with PRC and supporting their important programs for many years to come.”
We want to sincerely thank BCC for its tireless work. From all of us at PRC and the thousands of clients who have benefited from BCC’s efforts, we wish Bare Chest Calendar infinite success and longevity in their pursuit to help those in need.
To donate to Bare Chest Calendar or purchase the 2022 calendar, visit their website.