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Calendar Girl

Written by Chris Ryan

People raise money in all sorts of different ways to help Second Harvest feed hungry people. Linda Hopper picked one combining art, community, camaraderie, and—not surprisingly—food, for Linda is a restaurateur and owner of the popular Santa Cruz diner, Silver Spur.

She decided to create a calendar featuring informal portraits of the community that revolves around the Silver Spur—the waiters and waitresses, the cooks, and the regulars who frequent the friendly breakfast and lunch spot. (Two of those regulars are Second Harvest CEO Willy Elliott-McCrea and his wife, Katie.)

The 2017 calendar is now available, and Linda is donating 100% of the proceeds to Second Harvest.

Linda got the idea for a calendar fundraiser from the (true) story behind the film, “Calendar Girls,” in which a group of senior British women produce a nude calendar to raise money for leukemia research.

To the relief of her teenage son, Linda (Ms. January) decided it would be a “clothed calendar,” but the spirit behind the idea is the same.

I asked Linda why she chose Second Harvest Food Bank as the beneficiary of the proceeds.

“I’m in the business of feeding people,” she explained, “and so is Second Harvest.” So it’s a natural fit.

Plus, Linda said, “no one should go hungry.”

It’s as simple as that.

Several people donated their skills to help make the project happen. Fine art and portrait photographer Nick Chao shot most of the photos, which are in the style of environmental portraiture. Nick is also the son of Jeanie, who has worked at the Spur for 35 years.

“I’m in the business of feeding people,” Linda explained, “and so is Second Harvest.”

In the restaurant or in the kitchen, chopping peppers or carrying a freshly baked pie, the subjects pause mid-flight or put an arm around their nearest co-worker and smile–Nick captures the warmth and camaraderie behind the scenes in an American diner loved by Santa Cruz locals.

Artist Kat Wilson’s work graces the calendar’s cover, a reproduction of the mural depicting a cowboy and horse taking a “leap of faith” which Kat painted on one full side of the restaurant.

And the calendar cost nothing to produce, as Santa Cruz-based Mission Printers provided the printing and design pro bono. So every penny of the $10 cost of the calendar will go towards feeding the children, seniors, veterans, working poor, and others that Second Harvest helps, day in and day out.

Linda Hopper is feeding the community in many different ways, and Second Harvest is grateful for all she does, 12 months a year.

The 2017 calendar is available at the Silver Spur, on Soquel Drive in Santa Cruz, and will soon be available at Second Harvest Food Bank in Watsonville.

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