The hunks are here in time for gift giving

DEBORAH WHEELER

Guys and gals, are you searching for that unique one-of-a-kind gift for your friends?

Just in time for gift giving, the Hunks & Hounds calendar is here.

The calendar is made up of 12 hot mostly local guys and their dogs who wanted to share their likeness for a good cause.

The calendar is a benefit project for Alaqua Animal Refuge, and several of the dogs used in the shoot were rescues living at the shelter. The dog in Mr. December's shoot is Daisy the Border Collie, which belongs to Alaqua founder Laurie Hood.

Hood said the Hunks & Hounds calendar was a joint idea of hers and those around her, which took shape and snowballed in early June.

"We did a calendar last year of just pets, and thought it would be fun this year to do a calendar of local guys and their dogs," said Hood.

In July, a casting call was sent out, auditions were held on the beach at Grayton, and local photographer Dawn Whitty donated her time and expertise to do the photoshoot.

"Dozens tried out," said Hood, "and those were painstakingly narrowed down to a dozen, which were selected by a committee."

Whitty then followed up doing a true photoshoot with each of the chosen 12.

Keri Atchley of Design 360 also donated her time for the layout.

"The guys come from all walks of life," said Hood. "They are musicians, restaurant owners, doctors, and even an Olympian in training. All are local except for Mr. December, who lives in Nashville."

Most well known of the 12, she said, might be Kyle Ogle of the band Dread Clampitt, and Louis Petit, Jr., of Louis Louis restaurant.

Order calendars online at http://www.hunksandhounds.com/home/. They are also available at the refuge, as well as at Furry Fanatics at Gulf Place, Shaggy to Chic dog grooming, and Seagrove Village Market. More outlets will be added soon.

The large and full-color calendars are $30 each and all proceeds go to Alaqua.

Alaqua Animal Refuge is a no-kill animal shelter located in Freeport. Established in 2007, the shelter houses more than 200 animals of all kinds at any given time, and has found homes for more than 10,000 animals since its inception. But the cost exceeds $50,000 per month to operate the shelter. Hood relies on fundraising and private donations to feed, care for, and house the animals. For more information visit www.alaquaanimalrefuge.org.