To say that the January 2010 PPA Charities Celebration at PPA’s ImagingUSA national convention in Nashville was a success is truly an understatement! The event was packed with over 500 members eager to kick off the convention and celebrate PPA Charities’ accomplishments for 2009.
The Big News: PPA Photographers
Raise $100,000 for Operation Smile!
The evening’s high point was the presentation of a check for $100,000, which represents funds raised by photographers for PPACH’s charitable partner, Operation Smile, in 2009. In the photo below, members of the PPA Charities Trustees and other well-wishers surround PPACH president Mary Fisk-Taylor (center right) as she presents the check to Beth Marshall, director of Operation Smile’s Southeast Region and senior executive advisor for Latin America. Beth is the sister of Kathy Magee, cofounder of Operation Smile.
The $100,000 donation represents a major milestone for PPA Charities, as it nearly doubled the $50,635 contribution presented at IUSA in 2009. According to PPACH Executive Director Bert Behnke, “This outstanding result would not have been possible without the incredible participation of many new individual and corporate donors who have recognized that Operation Smile is such a worthy organization and a perfect fit for photographers.” To date, PPA photographers have raised a total of $250,000 for Operation Smile. That translates into well over 1,000 smiles that have been saved through the generosity of PPA members. For a complete listing of PPACH 2009 contributors, click here.
The check ceremony followed a narrated slide presentation by Bert Behnke, who documented an Operation Smile mission to Paraguay in November, and a presentation by Dr. Rafael Gottenger, who spoke from the heart about the impact of Operation Smile and the importance of photography in telling the story of Operation Smile’s world-wide missions. Dr. Gottenger’s work was documented by PPA member and PPACH Board member Graham Wilson, who accompanied a November mission to Vietnam.
Graham Wilson and members of his studio staff are shown below along with
Dr. Gottenger, Beth Marshall and Bert Behnke.
Demonstrating The Power of ONE
“The Ronald” fundraiser, which took place during the Celebration, was a light-hearted spoof on Donald Trump’s reality show with PPA President’s Ron Nichols and two other judges, determining the winning team, shown below, which consisted of Kay Eskridge, Trey and Elizabeth Homan, Lori Nordstrom, and Dan Pfeffer.
Team leader Kay Eskridge explains their “Power of ONE” fund-raising strategy: “Our goal was to enlist the support of socially responsible photographers by sharing how simple the power of one really is: These are tough times for fundraising but we know that people still want to help. They just feel like the small amount they may have to give couldn’t possibly make a difference. Our campaign was designed to show them it is not true. Small amounts could count. And, by spreading the word about the Power of One, they would become a part of a campaign that was making a dramatic difference in so many little lives. So we twittered, facebooked, blogged, emailed, e-newslettered . . . and worked tirelessly at spreading the word and asking for small amounts. “Standing as ONE, professional photographers across the country can make a difference in the lives of children all over the world through the PPA Charities Operation Smile Campaign.”
Rick Gibbons Honored With PPA Charities Legacy Award
During the Awards Ceremony on the last evening of ImagingUSA, Rick Gibbons received The PPA Charities Legacy Award, which recognizes outstanding service and commitment to PPA Charities and philanthropic endeavors. Rick was honored for his pioneering work with Operation Smile, through the North Carolina Professional Photographers Association and the Southeastern Professional Photographers Association (SEPPA), which resulted in the ongoing relationship between PPA Charities and Operation Smile. Rick is a past president of both organizations. Rick’s award was acknowledged by Mary Fisk-Taylor during the Celebration event.
Because of the size of the crowd in Nashville, PPA has reserved a much larger room for the 2011 Celebration event at at IUSA in San Antonio. We’re going to need it, as Texas School has contacted us to help sponsor the Celebration as the unofficial welcome party to IUSA 2011. Wow!
To relive the sights and fun of the 2010 PPACH Celebration, click here.
Mark your calendar NOW for January 15, 2011. SEE YOU IN SAN ANTONIO!