Trade Street business owner uses personal “ass-ets” for charity fundraising calendar
By Charles Womack
By all accounts, Philip Opie Kirby is a kind and generous person. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone around Winston-Salem, or that has visited his 620 N. Trade Street eatery – Finnigan’s Wake – to say an unkind word. He donates to various charities, and every September hosts one of the largest fundraising parties in the Triad – St. Baldrick‘s Day that raises money fighting childhood cancer. He even shaves his flowing red locks for the cause. Sounds nice huh?
But–or should I say, butt – have you seen his other side?
Back in April of 2014, while vacationing on the Hawaiian island of Molokai, he decided to show off his other side.
“I was on a private island and thought ‘wouldn’t it be funny if I got Sara (person traveling with him) to take a photo of me naked from behind,” Kirby said. “She took it, and I sent it out to nearly everyone on my cell phone contact list. It went out to my dentist, accountant, family, friends…everyone.”
Kirby admits he got more than a few texts back asking things such as, “Who sent this?” “Why did you send this?” “Did you mean to send this?” etc. However, the overall reaction was of humor and fun.
“In December of 2014, I did it again,” Kirby laughed. “I was still not sure what I was on to or where this would lead or had any idea of turning it into a fundraising thing.”
After posing with his butt to the flash numerous times and sharing it with his supportive and fun-loving phone contacts, Kirby had a brainstorm.
“I wondered if I took all the photos and put them into a calendar would anyone buy it?” he asked himself. “I put the question out on social media and have gotten a tremendous response. People actually have said they would buy not only one, but multiple.”
Kirby found a local printer, SE Logo Wear Inc. in Winston-Salem to print the calendar and will donate all the sales proceeds to City with Dwellings: A Community First Initiative that works to end homelessness.
Kirby seems very excited about the end product which is available thru his Facebook page, @Philip Opie Kirby. You can purchase one calendar for $15 or two for $25.
“The photos are from all over the place and all different weather situations including Antartica,” Kirby said. “Park City, Utah was fun, and the most difficult was Hoover Dam.”
“I [took the photo] on top of the dam,” Kirby explained. “There were a lot of people out that day, and I usually try to get college-aged guys to block for me. Well, that day it was mostly moms and daughters. My buddy James, who took the photo, said ‘just do it.” So we went for it and got the shot without causing too much fuss.”
Kirby said last week the demand for the calendar by his friends has been overwhelming, as he printed 250 and 160 have already sold. Make sure to hurry before they are all gone and check out Philip Opie Kirby’s Facebook page to get yours today.