Proceeds from a local calendar intended to promote self-love will soon be awarded to young women trying to help their peers.
Chelsea Sutherland, who created the Women On Fire calendar, donated $3,600 on Thursday, March 12 to high schools in the area for a nomination-based recognition award that will go to a graduating student who has done something kind to empower another young woman.
Sutherland was hoping that the calendar, which is filled with photos of local women celebrating their bodies and was sponsored by Advocate, would sell well enough in order for her to be able to donate $500 to each school. Instead, she surpassed her goal and was able to give North Nova Education Centre, Pictou Academy, and Northumberland Regional High School $1,200 each that will be awarded over three years to different students.
“I tallied it up and I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited,” says Sutherland.
Matt O’Toole, principal of Northumberland Regional High School, believes it’s a positive thing to be able to promote to young women at the school.
“It gives us the opportunity to recognize a girl who has made an impact in the school community over the last couple of years, maybe someone who we might not have been able to recognize otherwise, so it’s greatly appreciated. And we look forward to the challenge of trying to narrow it down and find a winner,” says O’Toole.
Starr Pettipas, principal of Pictou Academy, echoes O’Toole’s sentiment.
“We have lots of young girls who do great, wonderful things. And so this is an opportunity for them to be recognized for the things that they do and to also inspire other girls to do the same.”
North Nova Education Centre acting principal Lia Lewis says they’re very appreciative for the donation.
“Anything that is promoting young women supporting young women, we are for.”
Sutherland hopes to create a keepsake book in the future that would showcase more diversity and continue the award at the schools.
“I don’t want anyone to be able to look through this book and not find themselves somewhere, whether its body type, age, race, cultural background. As much diversity as we can possibly think of is the goal and to have it be probably not a calendar, (but) something that doesn’t time out,” she says, adding that it would also promote the same message of celebrating self-love.
Chelsea Sutherland recently donated the proceeds from the sales of the Women on Fire calendar to three local high schools in order to start a nomination-based recognition award for young women. Pictured from left are Northumberland Regional High School principal Matt O’Toole, Pictou Academy principal Starr Pettipas, Sutherland, and acting principal for North Nova Education Centre Lia Lewis. (Jess photo)