Fired Up for Kids, a charity founded by Kirsten Hamling that annually produces the hunk-laden Colorado Firefighter Calendar, is embroiled in controversy right now. The Denver District Attorney's Office confirms that it's got an investigation underway even as Hamling has resigned amid assertions that she diverted or mismanaged funds earmarked for The Children's Hospital.
Among the reported allegations against Hamling: that some of the cash raised by calendar sales wound up in her personal account. Also, questions remain about whether Fired Up For Kids was granted nonprofit status, calling into question whether donors were misinformed about their largesse being tax deductible.
A photo from the calendar launch party in August.
Photo by Amber Taufen
CBS4 has done much of the heavy lifting on this story, as indicated by the fact that correspondent Rick Sallinger was barred from a news conference at which attorneys for Hamling and two Fired Up principals proclaimed their clients' innocence. (The lawyers met with him separately.) A statement issued at the news conference read in part: "At no times did [Hamling] mismanage funds or withhold funds from The Children's Hospital and vehemently denies all allegations to the contrary."
In the meantime, Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney's Office, is trying her best to squelch misinformation that's swirling around the story.
"We received a complaint at the end of September alleging a possible theft of money from that group," she says, "so we have an investigation underway. The investigation, as I understand it, is that money was taken from that group. The nonprofit itself is not under investigation. It's the potential victim."
She adds that "we are not talking about any specific names of people in general" -- meaning that her office hasn't publicly described Hamling, or anyone else, as the focus of the investigation.
In the meantime, however, the growing scandal is an enormous distraction for a charity that's grown by leaps and bounds in recent years due in part to successful events such as its calendar launch party in August. Westword's Amber Taufen covered that bash for our Show and Tell blog. Look below and page down to see sample photos from the calendar, accompanied by Taufen's commentary. That's followed by CBS4's latest report.
December 2011: Charlie Karl
Charlie is a disabled vet with daughters; Erica asked him what advice about boys he'd give the little ones, and he responded: "Stay away!"
January 2012: Neal Martin
Neal recently got a dog -- a bulldog named Lola. Aw.
Calendar note: "Your first time always means the most!"
February 2012: Tyler Capron
Tyler's favorite dessert is tiramisu. Good choice!
Calendar note: "Be my Valentine!"
March 2012: Scott Roahrig
Scott is the father of three boys. Girls of the future, keep your fingers crossed that they take after dad!
Calendar note: "Keep rockin'! Spring Break time!"
April 2012: Kip Korthuis
Kip is a fire captain -- and he's single, ladies! His ideal date involves indoor skydiving.
May 2012: Corey Piper
This Colorado Springs 'fighter is a dead ringer for John Travolta, and he even did a little Saturday Night Fever impression for us. (He also had one of the best songs: "You Can Leave Your Hat On.")
Calendar note: "You're lovely." (The feeling is mutual, Corey!)
June 2012: Molly Meehan
The lone female on the calendar still got lots of love from all the ladies last night. Erica referred to her as the "HBIC: Head Bitch in Charge," and we know lots of guys who would love to have her whipping them into shape!
Calendar note: "Have a sizzlin' summer!"
July 2012: La Don Williams
LaDon dieted to get his physique ripped for the calendar -- and his colleagues helped him out (or not) by baking a cookie the size of a plate.
Calendar note: "Time for some fireworks!"
August 2012: Brian Thorngate
A self-proclaimed gym rat (we can totally tell), Brian chose Nelly's "Hot in Here" for his catwalk strut.
Calendar note: "I hope it's a long, hot August!"
September 2012: Gary Riggins
Gary's the strong-but-silent type, and the beautiful script tattoo across his chest (it reads "Always") reminds him to live strong -- he's a cancer survivor.
Calendar note: "Stay hot this fall!"
October 2012: Nick McKibbin
Nick has a twin sister and a bad-ass tattoo of a Celtic god and goddess across his torso. Rawr!
Calendar note: "I'll keep you hot & wet in October!"
November 2012: Derek Trombetta
We're not saying Derek's packing junk in the trunk -- clearly, he's not -- but his buns are so juicy that he regularly tears his pants.
Calendar note: "Stay strong!"
December 2012: Matt Van Dyken
Matt's a country boy at heart, so in other words, we know he's a big softie.
Calendar note: "Merry Christmas!"
2012 Cover Boy: Colin Brunt
Colin does a killer Chewbacca impression (he demonstrated; it's good) and plays guitar. Swoon!
Calendar note: "You deserve a trillion hearts."
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