The weather may be turning cold, but one organization is bringing some heat to the season. Just in time for the new year, Brother, Help Thyself (BHT) is presenting the ''DC Men of the Year 2006 Calendar.''
Through the course of the upcoming year, calendar owners will be treated to shots of local beefcake representing a dozen bars or clubs, as photographed by Rudy Lawidjaja, and thanks to underwriting for the project from Manhunt.net.
''Jeff Wessler is the head of our special projects committee,'' explains Larry Stansbury, BHT executive director, giving credit to Wessler for concocting the calendar project. Coincidentally, the Green Lantern, where Wessler works as a bartender, raised the most money of participating venues.
''As Jeff laid it out, we approached each of the bars, and each bar was to raise money,'' says Stansbury. ''We got $800 from Green Lantern. The average was about $500.'' Costs were also offset by support from TABMEH Entertainment and Minuteman Press.
Stansbury says the calendars, which went on sale Nov. 10, have already sold out the initial printing of 225. He says he's currently hammering out details for a second print run.
''We're already talking about improvements for the next calendar,'' says Stansbury, confident BHT will produce a 2007 version.
Though the calendar's production costs have already been covered, Stansbury says he's reluctant to take a stab at how much the calendar will eventually raise for BHT, initially formed 27 years ago as an alliance of the leather, Levi, drag, bear and fetish communities to help gay-related charities in the Baltimore-Washington area.
''I usually don't put top-end goals on things,'' he says. ''The response has been positive, and I want to keep the calendar available as long as people want it. I have them all over my desk, but I don't dare put one on my wall because I'm still selling them. At this time of year, they're great stocking stuffers.''
The ''DC Men of the Year 2006 Calendar'' is available online at www.brotherhelpthyself.org, at Lambda Rising stores in Baltimore, Rehoboth and Washington, or at D.C.'s Leather Rack.