Mike Korte is a firefighter in the 2014 calendar

When Mike Korte sets his mind to something, he'll do whatever it takes to achieve the goal. And if it means he ends up surrounded by a throng of admiring women, well that's a sacrifice he's willing to make.

Korte was an aimless 13-year-old, admittedly drifting in the wrong direction, when his dad, Rick, a longtime Lauderhill fire marshal and a battalion chief in the Broward County Fire-Rescue Department, died of cancer. Korte immediately joined the Explorers junior firefighter program, and five years later graduated early from Coral Springs High School and became the youngest certified firefighter to come out of the Coral Springs Fire Academy.

Last December, Korte, now an arson investigator with the Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire-Rescue Department, decided he wanted to take a shot at the 2014 edition of the famous South Florida Firefighters Calendar. But with 235 well-cushioned pounds on a 6-foot-1 frame, he was more lay-down than pinup.

So he started working out two hours a day, cut his daily calorie intake to 1,500, ended his relationship with alcohol and carbs, and dropped 50 pounds in four months, just in time for the calendar auditions. And now, you can hang him on your wall.

Korte, 27, will show off his now-ripped 185 pounds during unveiling parties for the 21st annual calendar this weekend. They include 9 p.m. Friday at the country nightclub Round Up (9020 W. State Road 84, Davie), 6-11 p.m. Saturday by the Center Fountain at Seminole Paradise at the Hard Rock (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood) and 2-5 p.m. Sunday at Macy's in Pembroke Lakes Mall (11605 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines).

The Hard Rock party is a notoriously raucous affair attended by hundreds of female fans drawn by the $20 calendars (they benefit the charities Here’s Help, A Safe Haven for Newborns and Friends Forever Rescue) and the 8 p.m. catwalk show put on by the firefighters. The calendars, which include 18 men ages 18 to 45 from Broward and Miami-Dade counties, will go on pre-sale at 6 p.m.

“I’ve heard about the unveiling [party]. I hear they get a little crazy,” the girlfriend-less Korte says, promising that wasn’t a motivating factor. “No, the calendar is outside the normal scope of who I am,” he adds with a laugh. “I’m not normally the flashy, showoff kind of guy. I just wanted to do something different.”

Korte has told his buddies to stay home, but he expects some of the secretaries from his office in Deerfield Beach to attend. His mom, now living in South Carolina, was at first apprehensive about the image the calendar suggests, but she has since come around.

“She understands the charitable aspect now. She’s telling all her friends and sending them pictures,” Korte says. “She’s happy for me. She can’t believe the difference in how I look.”

More info: FirefightersCalendar.com.

FREE #THICKE
Robin #Thicke and his “Blurred Lines” sidekick Pharrell are performing Sept. 1 on the BleauLive series at the Fontainebleau on Miami Beach, and its hard to imagine a more fitting setting for the sexy-fun vibe of the hit song. It’s almost enough to make us forget that #Thicke has made some pretty scary music over the years, including crack-of-dawn-sex ballad “It’s in the Morning,” in which he sang the lyrics: “You got the hottest body, I got the hottest hottie, let me put some cream in your coffee.” However, free tickets are free tickets, and SouthFlorida.com is giving away passes to the show to those who like our Facebook page.  Winners will be selected randomly at 1 p.m. Monday, so get on it. To put you in the mood, here’s #Thicke doing “It’s in the Morning.” You’ve been warned.

 

THE GOOD TIMES ROLL
More good times for good causes happen Saturday with the return of the Fort Lauderdale Bus Loop, the trolley crawl focused on Fort Lauderdale beach this time around. The new beach hotspot S3 makes its Bus Loop debut on a list of stops that include McSorley's, Sopranos Dueling Piano Bar, Blue Martini, Red Dog Cantina, Burger-Fi, the SandBar, Quarterdeck and Tropic Cay. Tickets: $30 online prepay before noon Saturday, $35 cash at check-in (either at the Galleria or Beach Place). The ticket gets you a free drink or food item at each stop and free trolley rides until midnight. Beneficiaries are the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Jessica June Children's Cancer Foundation, Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale, Covenant House Florida, Broward County Gator Club and Jack & Jill Children's Center. Info: 954-574-6000, BusLoop.org.

FOUR PLAY
The Ben Stocker Quartet, made up of members of the nationally acclaimed, Fort Lauderdale-based Dillard Center for the Arts jazz band, will bring a little brassy swagger to the enchanting courtyard at Books and Books in Coral Gables (265 Aragon Ave.) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. It’s free. Info: 305-442-4408, BooksandBooks.com.

SNOW DAZE
This weekend offers your last chance to see “Slava’s SnowShow,” called “wildly imaginative” by the Sun Sentinel’s Rod Hagwood, who knows a thing or two about imaginative wildness. The kid-friendly comedy-magic-and-music spectacle has its final performanes at Miami’s Arsht Center at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $25-$75. Info: 305-949-6722, ArshtCenter.org.

TICKET ALERT: CYNDI LAUPER
Iconic pop singer and performer Cyndi Lauper will bring her 30th anniversary She’s So Unusual Tour to Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Nov. 9, a concert that will see her play the landmark album in its entirety. “She’s So Unusual” included the classic ‘80s hits “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “Time After Time,” “She Bop” and “All Through the Night.” Tickets cost $64, $54 and $44 and go on sale 11 a.m. Saturday at MyHRL.com, all Ticketmaster outlets and at 800-745-3000.

BONNIE’S BRAIN
The witty, challenging, self-indulgent and plain goofy short films that make up Optic Nerve 15 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami on Friday are “art” but also “fun.” Perhaps the most exciting thing about it for you is that the series is the brainchild of MOCA's former executive director Bonnie Clearwater, who will be bringing that brain to Fort Lauderdale’s Museum of Art next month. It still seems too good to be true. Optic Nerve 15 begins at 8 p.m. MOCA is at 770 NE 125th St. Admission: $3-$5. Info: 305-893-6211, MocaNoMi.org.

BONNIE'S TOUR
The great Bonnie Raitt performs Nov. 30 at Hard Rock Live, with tickets ($55-$85) going on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday at MyHRL.com, all Ticketmaster outlets and at 800-745-3000.

FREE CLOWNS
Delray Marketplace, the 250,000-square-foot shopping-and-entertainment destination that still has that new-car smell, debuts the every-Friday Marketplace Music Fest schedule this weekend with the country sounds of the Rodeo Clowns, 8-10 p.m. at the Delray Marketplace Amphitheater (14851 Lyons Road, Delray Beach). The free concerts run through Oct. 18. Info: 561-865-4613, DelrayMarket.com.

CLASSIC FILMS, BIG SCREEN
Forgive us for looking ahead, but in the likely case you were wondering, Fort Lauderdale’s remodeled Classic Gateway Theatre will bring back its Classic Film Festival for a second year, with 16 favorites running Aug. 30-Sept. 26. Arthur Friedman, a movie producer and the theater’s operating partner, says there’s only one way to see these movies, and it’s not on your sofa courtesy of Netflix: “The magic of seeing a great movie in a classic movie theater is what dreams are made of.  All the movies in this festival were made to be seen in a theater, where they belong.” The opening-week rotation includes "On the Waterfront," Dr. Strangelove," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "The Maltese Falcon." Among the other scheduled films are “The Bridge on the River Kwai” and “Dr. Zhivago,” “Young Frankenstein” and “The Graduate,” “Manhattan” and “Lawrence of Arabia.” Tickets: $10, $8 before 4 p.m.; seniors, students and 12 and younger $8. All tickets $7 on Tuesdays. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Sun-Sentinel Children's Fund.  Info: 954-763-7994, ClassicGateway.com.

GREAT SCOTT
Rock stars are a rare breed anymore, but former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland fills the bill unabashedly and for better or worse. Friends in Chicago say his performance there a few months back on the "Purple at the Core" tour was filled with rambling ego-stroking but at the same time oddly riveting. Weiland and the Wildabouts perform Saturday at Fort Lauderale’s Revolution Live. Tickets at the box office are $29.50 advance, $32 day of show; also available at all Ticketmaster outlets. Info: 954-449-1025, JointheRevolution.com.

TOMMY FUN
News has come that the combination of drummer-DJ Tommy Lee and even a simulated version of his former paramour Pamela Anderson was too combustible for the Gryphon-Pangaea nightclubs at the Hard Rock. So, TL will perform a DJ set on Saturday at Gryphon (954-581-5454, Gryphon-Club.com), but the Pam look-alike contest set next door at Pangaea the same night is off. If it's any consolation, on Labor Day weekend, Playboy Playmate Khloe Terae (no stranger to South Florida) will host the Aug. 31 party at Pangaea. If you squint a little, Khloe is a Pam doppelganger, with nearly as much doppel. Info: 954-581-5454, Pangaea-Lounge.com.

BAD SEX
On Saturday, Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale) will devote its screen to a Local Filmmaker Night presentation of the documentary “Risky Business: A Look Inside America's Adult Film Industry” by David Mech, a former porn actor from Boca Raton. The film takes a sober look at the $13-billion-a-year industry, the production hot spots in Los Angeles and Miami, and proposed health and safety remedies, including regulations for mandatory STD testing and condom use. It screens at 10 p.m. Info: 954-525-3456, FLIFF.com.

Get daily updates on South Florida entertainment and things to do at SouthFlorida.com, on Twitter at @BenCrandell and Instagram /BenCrandell.