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Boise Fire Fighters Get Fashionable for a "Night on Fire"

Boise Fire Fighters Local 149 will walk the runway Thursday, Nov. 2, to benefit the Community Assistance Fund

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The Boise Fire Fighters Local 149 will turn the fashion show stereotype on its head—and will turn heads—at the Linen Building on Thursday, Nov. 2, when more than 20 homegrown firefighters (men and women) will stroll the catwalk to raise money for the Community Assistance Fund. Dubbed “Night on Fire," the show will feature the firefighters wearing clothes donated by designer John Varvatos, running the gamut from staid to sexy, with one or two even flashing high-end SAXX underwear.

The Boise Fire Fighters Local 149 Firefighter Calendar is a page turner. - LEX NELSON, BOISE FIRE FIGHTERS LOCAL 149
  • Lex Nelson, Boise Fire Fighters Local 149
  • The Boise Fire Fighters Local 149 Firefighter Calendar is a page turner.

The idea for a fashion show was sparked last month, when BFF Local 149 released a firefighter calendar for the first time in a decade. The 16-month calendar is packed with glossy photographs of shirtless male firefighters posing in iconic Boise locations. Although it might sound provocative, it’s actually quite wholesome—especially since 100 percent of the sales proceeds go to a good cause.


“The whole purpose of all of this, the calendar and the fashion show, is to raise money for a 501 (c)(3) that our local union has, called the BFF Local 149 Community Assistance Fund,” said Matthew Lutz, a BFF Local 149 paramedic and member of the CAF Board. “What we do with the CAF proceeds is we support different community outreach programs like Operation Warm-More than a Coat, where we buy American-produced coats and give them to kids here in the Boise School District.”


Funds have also gone to the Boise Independent School District Teachers Association Shoe Voucher Program, the Boise Fire Toy Brigade and individuals in the community who were victims of sickness or tragedy. The $50 fashion show entry fee will help fill CAF coffers, and attendees will score two free drinks—provided by Revolution Vodka, Bier:30 Bottle and Bistro, and Cinder and Split Rail Wineries—hors d'oeuvres from Willowcreek Grill and a chance to participate in raffles and silent auctions.


“Honestly, [a fashion show] is not really inside the wheelhouse for a vast majority of us,” said Lutz, speaking of the model lineup, which includes seven or eight of the firefighters from the calendar, more than a dozen of their male and female peers, and some of the firefighters' wives. “But you know what? A couple minutes of being outside your comfort zone is definitely worth it for a good cause.”


Lutz is planning the show with help from Natalie Durham, owner of Boise boutique/consignment clothing shop Piece Unique & Shoez. Durham has whipped up fashion shows for City Light and Ballet Idaho before and for Night on Fire, she is curating designers, and will be on hand for the show.

Meet Mr. November 2017, Boise firefighter Derek Bohan. - LEX NELSON, BOISE FIRE FIGHTERS LOCAL 149
  • Lex Nelson, Boise Fire Fighters Local 149
  • Meet Mr. November 2017, Boise firefighter Derek Bohan.

“There will be jackets and casual wear, and [outfits that are] a little more evening," Durham said. “We’re going to put [the female firefighters] in cocktail dresses and evening gowns, and the guys will be a mix. They’re going to look fashionable, but yet [be in] something that they would wear around here.”


As for the underwear models, Durham doesn't have their looks pinned down quite yet.


“There will be a little brief fashion show,” she said, punning. “We don’t know exactly how detailed that’s going to be ... We’ll see how the evening goes.”


Lutz confirmed the firefighters will stay classy.


“We’re the fire department, we’re firefighters with the city, and so we have standards that we have to live up to,” he said. “It’s definitely not ... a swanky, sexy party show.” 


The bash will also be memorable for its cocktail-hour vibe and spectacular raffle and silent auction prizes, which include a $1,200 Piece Unique gift card, tickets for 2.5-hour scenic flights, fire union t-shirts, spa and massage gift certificates, an easy chair and a travel package.


“We [have] two tickets to a Seahawks game, which I believe is on Dec. 2,” Lutz said, “The union is kicking down $250 towards flight costs, and then we [have] a night’s stay at a hotel in Seattle, so kind of a package deal. There are quite a few really cool things.”


Best of all, the Firefighter Calendar, which costs $25, will be sold at the event; and the handsome heroes will be available to sign them.