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Vital Signs

Eye-catching calendar is for a good cause

Aiming at "something we could give to our grandmothers with a clear conscience" but also something alluring enough to raise money for a good cause, Dartmouth medical student David Sears had an idea: produce a calendar featuring a dozen of his fellow second-years. The result, "DMS Beefcakes 2004," has sold almost 400 copies.

Sears kept costs down by taking all the pictures himself and having the calendars printed in bulk at the local Staples officesupply store. Good taste prevailed—the models bared only their chests, though Sears says that "Mr. December," Michael Pirozzi, posed in a leopard-print loincloth. But that's as racy as the calendar gets.

Pictured above is Mr. March. Below, Mr. April from "DMS Beefcakes 2004."

The concept came to him, Sears says, before the success of the current movie Calendar Girls (which he still hasn't had time to see). He hit upon the fund-raising scheme after doing volunteer work in Bolivia last summer and realizing that medical supplies that go unused in the U.S. (after an expiration date has passed, for example) could be invaluable to clinics elsewhere in the world. But how to get them there?

Sears started out by giving the undertaking a name—the International Medical Supplies Project—and then got in touch with hospitals and clinics in the region, appealing for excess supplies, free pharmaceutical samples, and the like. Next he drew on the expertise of DMS faculty with international contacts who know what's needed where. But there was still the hurdle of finding the money to pay for shipping. That's where the "Beefcakes" calendar came in.

"If we can get our hands on things like older lab equipment, that would be really good," Sears says. But the biggest need is for basic supplies. "Sterile equipment is really needed, including basic things like gloves," he says. "Some of us have worked in clinics where the staff have to wash gloves and reuse them."

Sears welcomes inquiries at DMSBeefcakes@Dartmouth.edu both about the calendar—copies of which were still available at press time (they sell for $8.00 apiece)—and about the International Medical Supplies Project.


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