Student models raise relief funds

Danielle Couturier, pre-med student at Central Michigan University, posed in a swimsuit to raise money for the Katrina Relief Fund.

Couturier was one of twelve women who posed for the Girls of Central Michigan swimsuit calendar, which was put together by Shamrock Media Productions.

“When I first did it, I thought it was a joke. I liked it because the proceeds were going to a charitable event. I thought it was cool,” Couturier said.

Shamrock is an independent business venture comprised of four Central Michigan students who donate some of the proceeds to the Katrina Relief Fund.

The calendars cost $10 apiece. Shamrock has sold 4,000 calendars to date.

Shamrock was started in August, with the intent to produce college student-oriented media. Jeff Globish, a public relations major at CMU, started the business with his friends as a way to make money.

“We all have a good mind for business and wanted to go into business together, and that’s why we decided to start the business,” Globish said.

The calendar was the group’s first project, and Globish wants to start a magazine in the future. According to Globish, the calendar idea was born in an attempt to appeal to college consumers. The project was funded entirely by Shamrock, which paid for a hair and makeup artist, a graphic designer and the models.

Globish said it was easy to find models. They ran an ad in the newspaper and posted flyers around campus.

Couturier had reservations but was surprised by Shamrock’s professionalism.

According to Couturier she trusted the guys to be tasteful; the other models didn’t have an issue with it either.

Globish was surprised at the number of girls who wanted to participate.

“The response was pretty overwhelming: We got almost 80 girls who sent in submissions, and from there we had to narrow it down,” Globish said.

According to Globish, Shamrock picked the Katrina relief fund because it was in the forefront of the public’s mind at the time they made the calendar.

It was a matter of timing, Globish said. Shamrock came together after the Katrina disaster and thought it would be a good idea to donate a percentage of the proceeds to the Relief Fund. They also donated some proceeds to a scholarship fund.

According to Globish, the media response has been overwhelming. They have split the responsibilities between members in dealing with the media.

“It’s great. Even though it started out to be a negative thing – the university felt it didn’t serve the students or the school well – we’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback from other students,” Globish said.

Couturier saw a lot of media attention herself in response to the calendar.

“A lot of people were e-mailing me, a radio station and MSNBC … a lot of papers got ahold of the information,” Couturier said.

While the town and the university had a problem with the calendar, she had fun with the whole process. She participated in calendar signings and plans to put it on her resume.

“I took it as a big, fun joke, some of the girls took it seriously,” Couturier said.

BGSU Junior Mario Slaughter said it is up to the individual whether to participate or not.

“If the students choose to be models, let them be models. It’s their decision, it’s their own path that they choose to go on,” Slaughter said.