The D.A.R.E. program has gained $1,000 toward its $3,000 a year operating budget, thanks to 12 Lansdale-centric pictures.
Calendars depicting scenes of Lansdale throughout the seasons have sold out, thus giving the Lansdale Police D.A.R.E. program one-third of its annual fiscal support.
"With the renewed interest in Lansdale, and D.A.R.E. funds being desperately needed, I put together a calendar of Lansdale buildings, events, and homes that would sell, and the proceeds support the D.A.R.E. program," said Lansdale Mayor Andy Szekely. "Lansdale Area Fundraising Society helped seed the money for this, and PrintWorks was generous in donating some of their services."
Calendars were available at places like borough hall, Lansdale Police, Elm Terrace, St. Mary Manor and Shell.Fish.Sue.
Szekely said that, to his knowledge, there has never been a Lansdale-centric calendar.
"Being the mayor and the head of the police, I thought what better way to help the police department out a bit?" Szekely said. "D.A.R.E. needs the money. Why not see if I can help them out a little bit?"
Szekely was inspired by his 365-day project blog, which he started in January 2012.
"I'm out there, taking photos just about every day in the borough. By September, October, I had thousands of photos. How can I wrap everything up at the end of the year? A book form would take a bit of work and more time," he said. "I thought, all I need are 12 photos of the borough. I'll have those immediately with all the photos I have."
Szekely started sifting, and sorting, and shuffling. He had about 10 chosen before he was inspired again.
"It can't be all me," he said of the calendar. "I opened it up and asked photographers in the area to submit photos for the calendar."
Area photographers like Chris Flyzik, Richard Strahm and Patch editor, writer and photographer Keith Heffintrayer answered the call.
"Since it was my first time doing this, I said, all right, this is going to be interesting," Szekely said.
With LAFS help, Szekely wants to continue the calendar in 2013. He already has some early ideas.
"We could have a calendar that, for each month for the year 2013, we get a sponsor as a local business. We can get 12 sponsors at $100. Then, we open it up for photographs to everyone in the borough," he said. "If you have 12 different photographers for each month, then you can do a calendar that's mainly events, a calendar that's homes of Lansdale. You can get creative."
How about "Legs of Lansdale" or "Bald Heads of Lansdale"?
"Let your mind run with it," he said. "Next year, with an added interest and sponsorships for the month, that would completely finance the D.A.R.E. program."
This year's calendar had elements of 311 W. Main St., Founders' Day, the trains, fireworks and more.
"My brother in Australia wanted four of them for him and his family," Szekely said. "It's a great item for people who once lived in Lansdale and now live elsewhere."
Szekely said the calendar "wasn't too difficult" to put together. At least, he said, it gets interest generated for D.A.R.E.
"I think people like them," he said of the calendars' aesthetics. "Either that, or they are lying to me."