Local Women’s Facebook Group Selling Halloween Calendars to Support Nonprofits

Group used professional photographers and makeup artists in photo shoots; proceeds go to domestic violence and homeless service providers

By Myers Reece
Image from Flathead Valley Boozin Babes calendar. Photo by Elizabeth Calderon Photography

When a Facebook group launched earlier this year as a social outlet and support network for local women amid the pandemic, it had a refreshing rule: no politics allowed.

Flathead Valley Boozin Babes, founded by Bobbie Anderson, has since grown to nearly 3,500 members, with several hundred consistently active members. But that rule has remained steadfastly in place. It’s an inviting premise: have fun, meet people, give each other gifts and leave the political melee at the doorstep.

The page’s description declares, “This group is for us fun girls who like a cocktail and are givers!”

“It was started to lift women up during the whole COVID lockdown,” member Jesse Lasater-Keller said. “The focus of the group is to be a giving group. The goal isn’t to get things but to give, to lift other women up and support other women, to have a fun place to be without all the political drama.”

One recent bout of fun evolved into a fundraiser for two local nonprofits, after a few group members originally set out to casually dress up in Halloween costumes for light-hearted photos, only to see the project grow into intricate photo shoots with professional photographers and makeup artists.

“We thought, ‘If we’re going to go that big and professional, we should utilize it,’” Lasater-Keller said.

The result is a Halloween-themed calendar, adorned with the playfully spooky photos. The calendars cost $15 apiece, with all proceeds going to the Abbie Shelter, a domestic and sexual violence service provider, and Sparrow’s Nest of Northwest Montana, which serves homeless students.

The nonprofits aren’t actively involved in the fundraiser, Lasater-Keller said, but have given their blessing. The first order of 200 calendars was picked up last week, and 85 had already sold as of Oct. 26, with plans to print more if the current batch sells out.

Pickup locations for the calendar include the Shipping Station in Evergreen, Hinchey & Hinchey law firm on Main Street in Kalispell and Sudden Rush Espresso along U.S. Highway 93 South in Somers. Lasater-Keller, who owns Sudden Rush, said she has also delivered calendars to buyers.

“If they get ahold of me, I can meet them in some cases,” she said.

Members of Flathead Valley Boozin Babes exchange gift baskets, which fosters connections and friendships, and may offer a little light on a gloomy day. They also exchange stories, greetings and pleasantries.

One other rule of the group is that members must be at least 21 years old because, as the name suggests, gift exchanges typically involve alcohol.

“It’s all about fun: no drama, positive, community minded,” Lasater-Keller said. “It’s more about lifting each other up and making it fun.”

For more information about the calendars, contact Lasater-Keller at (406) 261-9651 or suddenrushespresso@gmail.com, or swing by Sudden Rush Espresso at 5215 U.S. Highway 93 South in Somers.

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