An Iowa funeral director will be showing off his people skills in a fundraising calendar titled “Men of Mortuaries.” Mike Hanes has worked as a mortician for 9 years in Iowa City. He says this project was set up by a California funeral director whose sister had breast cancer. He wanted to do something to help raise funds to offset the costs for patients and their families.
Hanes says his own mother’s also a breast cancer survivor, and the project had special meaning for him. He says people may not realize it, but his job does require a lot of social skills. You’re dealing with people very day at a difficult time in their lives.
Hanes says he enjoys it because he likes working with people, and being able to help them at a time of loss. He says this unusual side of the profession turned up in a trade magazine, and some co-workers read about the plan to collect photos of some good-looking funeral directors to assemble in a calendar. There was an ad in a trade magazine for funeral directors, and Hanes says “My co-workers pretty much told me I was going to do this.” They sent a photo of him and a brief biography to the magazine, and after the dozen were selected, he and the others were flown to California for a photo shoot.
While groups from garden clubs to firefighters have bared their souls for similar fundraising photo collections in recent years, Hanes says the funeral directors do not appear nude in this calendar, and he thinks it’s in good taste. “There are a couple photographs where we don’t have ties on,” he admits. In fact, in some they appear in black suit coats with no shirt on underneath. He says it was done tastefully.
Hanes says funeral directors have a stereotype of being pretty boring, and he hopes to break that stereotype. Hanes says while the twelve funeral directors were chosen for their looks as well as their professional skills, the calendar’s nothing he wouldn’t show his mom. He says he’d be proud “to show my mom, and my grandma,” adding it touches home since his mother’s a breast cancer and the calendar was done for a great cause. Hanes went to the University of Iowa and Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Illinois.
The calendars will go on sale in October on-line and at shopping-mall kiosks.
Related web sites:
Men of Mortuaries calendar fundraiser