A 22-year-old Hammonton resident will not only return to grace the pages of the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders calendar this year, she will be on the cover.

Ivelisse Rivera sports a brown, thong-like bikini made of 100 percent organic material as the eco-friendly calendar focuses on the importance of preserving the world’s oceans. Ten percent of the calendar’s sales will be donated to the Gulf Restoration Network to assist in its cleanup efforts of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Rivera, as well as 37 other Eagles cheerleaders, shot the 16-month calendar in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Rivera said getting chosen for the cover was a surprise.

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“I was totally shocked when I found out that I was going to be on the cover,” said Rivera, a registered dental assistant for a dental practice in Vineland. “Some of it was luck because it rained for some of the days we were shooting there in May. My morning started cloudy, but it turned into a gorgeous day.”

Rivera is also seen inside the calendar for August 2011 wearing bikini bottoms with “Save the Chagos” imprinted on them. The Chagos Archipelago, in the Indian Ocean, was established as the largest marine protected-area in the world. Rivera hopes she can raise awareness to get even more people involved.

The calendar goes hand-in-hand with environmental projects that the cheerleaders are actively involved with year-round.

“I really like that the calendar is helping the efforts in the Gulf,” said Rivera, the first Hispanic to be on the cover. “We went to the Delaware River, and we cleaned up more than 600 pounds of trash. People throw so much in the river, and a lot of that ends up in our oceans.”

The calendar is available online and at bookstores nationwide. For a link to buy the calendar, click here.


Teachers honor memory

of colleague's generosity

Michael Lorenzi, a Ship Bottom resident and Southern Regional High School teacher, died two years ago after a battle with cancer, his best friends and fellow teachers, Cindy Wood and Adele Berardi, wanted to make sure his spirit continued at the school and in the community.

Aside from being a great teacher, Lorenzi was known for handing out his money “like it was candy,” said Wood, a Barnegat Light resident. “If a student needed money to go to the prom, needed gas money or to go to the doctor, he made sure they had money or got a ride or whatever. He went above and beyond his teaching duties.”

So Wood and Berardi, of Berkeley Township, started the Michael Lorenzi Philanthropic Fund to give away scholarships while also continuing to help students who were in tight financial spots, whether they needed a yearbook or a winter coat.

One of the fund’s major revenue generators is the Ram Boutique, where students recycle prom dresses, tuxedos and accessories to save money and to also make sure everyone has prom apparel.

That led to the fund’s latest spinoff: a recycled clothing store inside the high school’s 11th and 12th grade building where every item is $1 and students are encouraged to bring in clothes they don’t want anymore. With clothing racks donated by T.J.Maxx and a student-designed surf theme, The Vintage Hut, was a big hit when it debuted in the spring.

“All of the money goes to the philanthropic fund,” said Wood, crediting Principal Eric Wilhelm of Tuckerton for finding a classroom for the store. “Not only can kids find a Billabong shirt for a dollar, but they are helping others, as well. When it reopens in September, we think it’s going to be huge.”

Everyone Has a Story appears Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. To share your story, call Scott Cronick at 609-272-7017 or e-mail him at scronick@pressofac.com.

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