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Campbell Photographer Trisha Leeper Makes Philanthropy Fun

The Valer 2012 Calendar for a Cure campaign aims at raising funds for the American Cancer Society Research Fund.

Three and a half years ago, both of Trisha Leeper's parents were diagnosed with cancer.

"I panicked," Leeper says. "I didn’t know how to react. I went into shock mode."

Fast forward to earlier this year.

She was in Los Gatos when she spotted a striking young man.

"I looked at him and asked, 'Who do you model for?' " she says.

Turns out, the 25-year-old Slovakian water polo player living in Los Gatos had never modeled. Until now.

Meeting Valer Bobak put into play something that Leeper had always wanted to do.

The two put together the first Calendar for a Cure, an oversized 12-month calendar for 2012 featuring Bobak. A portion of the proceeds of this endeavor goes to the American Cancer Society Research Fund.

"We are working with , which is great," Leeper says.

But the project was relatively unknown and Leeper knew she would need to make a big splash to get it on locals' radars. That's when she approached the owners of in Los Gatos.

"Larry was great!" she says. "He was wonderful to open his arms with such short notice."

But a party wasn't the only thing on Leeper's mind. She asked Bobak how he'd feel about being auctioned off.

"He said to me, 'What if no one bids?' " she says.

But on Nov. 10, the event kicked off and the bidding for a dinner date at with Bobak reached $1,200. The winning ladies (a group of four) were all prominent fundraisers from Los Gatos.

So now that the partying and auctioning are done, is that it?

Leeper says she's just getting started.

"Phase two includes calendar pickup parties throughout the Bay Area," she says.

The first of these takes place at the on Dec. 1, from 6-10 p.m.

Three DJs will be special guests at the event: DJ Harry Who, DJ Rick Preston and DJ MJ Gamez.

"These three DJs are loved by the community," Leeper says. "I’ve known these guys over the years and they have all been touched by cancer.

"It's true what they say," she continues. "What brings you closer sometimes is tragedy but instead of talking about it, you gotta get out and do something."

Calendars can be purchased at in downtown Campbell or online at: www.trishaleeperphotography.com.

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