Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Exposure for a good cause |

Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Exposure for a good cause

I enjoy being naked.

Admit it, we all do, to one degree or another, although most assuredly some in a bit more aesthetically pleasing fashion than others.

In fact, not a single one of you reading these words entered this world in any other manner than bare-assed and butt-naked. It is the ultimate freedom of expression, and pretty much the reason it’s referred to as “au-naturel.”

Hence, one would think that skinny dipping without water would be as natural as breathing, as normal as political candidates taking opponents’ quotes out of context. (Seeing how today is election day, this will be my only thinly veiled reference to that subject for the duration of the column).

However, society has culturally equated the act of wearing one’s “birthday suit” as akin to exposing one’s ultimate vulnerabilities. Thus, it was incredibly fitting, way back in 1996, that a group of concerned locals came together to form the Vail Valley Charitable Fund for the purpose of helping over-exposed locals, especially as far as personal financial draining is concerned.

And how better to help them than by exposing themselves – literally – in print for charity?

A straight on shot of a well-formed buttock area, the teasing angle of a Hefner-styled breast (in his early days), and case after case of well-chiseled six-packs have graced its pages and covers.

Fast forward a solid decade of Happy Valley high quality exhibitionism, and we have the 10 annual Vail Undressed Calendar UnVailing Party, tomorrow night, Wednesday the 3rd, at Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. (I have issues using that particular “V” word, so let’s just say it rhymes with cash bar and, um … disbar).

This time it is the “Best of Vail Undressed” 2011 calendar, which does not, however, allude to merely the best naked bodies they could produce for 2011, but the “Best of the Best” of the last 10 unclothed years.

Thanks to a simple suggestion from a former board member, the public (you, me, and anyone else with a pair of functioning eyeballs) determined who would grace the monthly pages via voting for their favorite models of the past. And here was the brilliant part: Each vote cost a buck, and not only did they create the hottest calendar of all time, but they raised over $10,000 for the locals in need, as well.

And where does the money go?

Simple: to qualified individuals who live or work in Eagle County and find themselves in a financial crisis due to a medical catastrophe.

These are the types who do not need pity, sympathy, empathy or condemnation of any kind from those more fortunate. They need financial help, plain and simple, and so far over 600 locals have benefitted from this one-time assistance to the tune of over $5 million.

That, ladies and gents, is one helluva lot of government-free assistance. As opposed to the Rally to Restore Sanity, I think they could call it the Rally to Restore Dignity.

Anyway, this is the final year of the calendar, as the Charitable Fund has commendably chosen to switch fundraising gears for a while, so try not to miss tomorrow night.

It’s probably the last chance to see a few particularly buff locals in the buff, as least for those of us not into voyeurism.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at Comment on

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