Controversial East Texas calendar makes national headlines - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Controversial East Texas calendar makes national headlines


We first told you about the controversial calendar two weeks ago. It's called "Taking it off for the Dogs," and some East Texas leaders posed nearly nude for the calendar to raise money for the SPCA of East Texas.

You might remember that a board member of Meals on Wheels Ministry resigned over board president (and the calendar's Mr. January) Aubrey Sharpe's involvement. But, as the SPCA told us during the initial story, the goal was to get people in East Texas talking about the animals. Well, it's gotten more than just East Texans talking. Wednesday night the story we first showed you on KLTV aired nationally on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360.

Dallas, New York, and San Francisco are all places Cindi Featherston is shipping calendars.

She has prepared more than one hundred orders that came in overnight, and that number is growing.

"We were really excited when you did the interview initially with us, and then it just took off from there," she said.

It took off and landed all the way on Anderson Cooper's show on CNN.

"Time now for The Ridiculist, and tonight we venture to one of my favorite states, Texas, where a pin-up calendar is pushing boundaries and raising some provocative questions," said Cooper as he introduced the story Wednesday night.

Within seconds of the story airing nationally, the "Taking it off for the Dogs" website had more than 1500 hits from all across the country.

"Our computer was just blowing up with people going to our website and seeing and buying calendars, but not only that; they were emailing us, showing their support, telling us how neat," Featherston said.

Thousands hit the site last night, but the publicity didn't come without criticism.

"You know, we've had a few other people that have come forward that have just said, you know, have clearly not liked what we were doing, but again, we kind of expected that that would be the case," she explained.

"Well, I didn't pose nude; I was wearing short britches," Aubrey Sharpe said.

"See? Short britches," Cooper said on the show. "I'm not even sure what they are, but I like them!"

Featherston said she is excited about the possibility of more calendars, but more importantly, "we're just very excited. Actually, we've inspired other people to go on and do this as well."

In hopes that animals everywhere become the talk of the town ... and maybe even the nation.

Featherston also said they do plan on doing this calendar again next year since it was such a success.

We reached out to Meals On Wheels for comment several weeks ago, but they declined.

We reached out again today and have not heard back.

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