Calendar capers go on

WHEN the Spencer triplets graced the pages of the first Our Kids calendar, they were tiny todders who had recently discovered walking and teddy bears.

This year they are bubbly primary school kids again helping Our Kids raise money for pediatric equipment in the Northern Rivers.

The Alstonville trio will feature in the 2012 Our Kids calendar, as will the other children who appeared in the first edition in 2003.

Next year's calendar will mark the publication's 10-year anniversary. The initiative was sparked by Lismore pediatrician and Our Kids founder, Dr Chris Ingall in 2002.

Northern Star photographer Jacklyn Wagner and Lismore designers Soren Hjorth and Dougal Binns have helped create the much-loved community calendars ever since.

Adam, Kate and Erin were selected to be in the first Our Kids calendar after their two-week stay in Lismore Base Hospital.

"They were born six weeks early and spent two weeks in hospital," mother Kylie said.

"(During their calendar photo shoot) I remember Jacklyn and I trying to get three recently-walking toddlers in one place at one time.

"We had to bribe them with a teddy to stay quiet."

This year the kids can clearly recall having their photo taken for the 10th anniversary calendar at their grandmother's house.

"I remember looking out the window, sitting down and going in the bush," Adam said.

"The bush was my idea."

While the family is yet to see what image has been picked for next year's calendar, they already have a spot on the wall for it - right next to the first calendar.

Our Kids co-ordinator Rebekka Battista said each year medical staff at the Lismore Base Hospital recommended 12 kids who had been in the special care nursery or the children's ward for the calendar.

"Jacklyn captures these kids and they are like stars," she said.

"It is different to every other time they come in contact with the medical team, which may have been for negative reasons.

"This is about who they are, not what is wrong with them."

Over the past decade the calendar has raised $180,000 for Our Kids.

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