Category Archives: PPACH News

2013 Celebration of Smiles Day Raises More Than $48,000 For Operation Smile!

PPA Charities President David Grupa has announced the results of the organization’s annual Celebration of Smiles fundraiser in support of its charitable partner, Operation Smile. Held during April, a total of 79 members raised $48,166 to benefit Operation Smile.

“These funds will go a long way toward meeting our 2012 goal of raising $100,000 for this wonderful organization,” Grupa said. “Because Operation Smile’s medical professionals and support staff volunteer their services, it costs only $240 to provide a simple cleft lip surgery to a child in desperate need. Therefore the funds raised by PPA members so far in 2013 mean that over 200 smiles will be saved.”

The annual Celebration of Smiles Day campaign provides consumers with the opportunity to receive a mini-session and a 5×7 professional portrait in exchange for a donation to Operation Smile of only $24; therefore, for every 10 sessions photographed by a participating studio, another smile can be saved by the volunteer staff of Operation Smile.

In 2014 PPA Charities will advertise Saturday, April 5 as the official Celebration of Smiles date, but studios can hold their events on any other date or dates in April for their convenience.

Top donors for the 2013 campaign are Ryan & Erica Manthey, Pure 7 Studios, Miramar Beach, FL, who contributed $6,131. Last year Pure 7 Studio also was the campaign’s top performer with a donation of $3,813.

In addition to the Mantheys, the Top Tier donors, who contributed $500 or more, are:

Larry Lourcey Lourcey Photography Plano TX $3,950
Monica Cowles Monica Cowles Photography Aberdeen WA $3,203
Pete Rezac Pete Rezac Photography Reno NV $2,060
Mariah Ashley Snap! Wedding Rumford RI $2,013
Vicky Hultman Seasons Photography Rice Lake WI $1,869
Claire Houser Claire Terese Photography Ebensburg PA $1,597
Melanie Anderson Anderson Photographs Hagerstown MD $1,400
Virginia Freire Virginia L. S. Freire Brooklyn NY $1,325
Matthew Andrews Matthew Andrews Photography Covington KY $983
Clark Sanders Clark Sanders Photography Cherokee Village AR $960
Wendy Waddell Wendy Waddell Photography Petaluma CA $960
Meggan Harper Harper-Wayne Portrait Studio Ormond Beach FL $947
Rachel Schrock Torchlight Photography Cleveland TN $824
Dan Thornton Thornton Photography Godfrey IL $730
Patricia Van Bergen Adoring Glances Photography Boyds MD $730
Lili Englehardt Vibrance Photography Chapel Hill NC $722
David Anderson David Anderson Photography Annapolis MD $720
Chanel Apsey Your Reflection, My Style Photography Bloomington IL $720
Jeff Kaiser Kaiser Custom Images Chesapeake VA $633
Constance Bergstedt Resonant Images Roseville MN $508
Lynn Brower Lynn Marie Photography Harrisburg SD $500

In addition to the studios listed above, the studios shown below attained the honor of being designated as an “Operation Smile Studio” for having donated at least $240 dollars, the amount needed to fund a single surgery through Operation Smile. Those individuals and studios are:

Allyson Hurley Allyson Hurley Photography Bedminster NJ
Julie Hipkins Originations Photography Frederick MD
Elizabeth Homan Artistic Images San Antonio TX
Stacey Knoebel Knoebel Portrait Design Hammond WI
Rosalinda Luna Rosalinda Luna Photography San Jose CA
Connie Meyers Connie’s Studio of Photography Nisswa MN
Christina Novak Amazingly Graceful Photography King George VA
Kerith Paterson Visual Girl Photo North Vancouver, BC CANADA
Cindy Sherman Cindy Sherman Photography Boise ID
Heather Fine Elusive Image Photography Blaine MN
Heather Lussier Heather Lussier Photography Los Altos CA
Kelly Zimmerman Cherished Images Boise ID
Autumn Branscome Autumn Branscome Photography Princeton WV
Damien Silveira Mikien Photography Roswell GA
Megan Twaddle Broken Glass Photography Liberty IL
Susan Anderson A Forget Me Not Moment Greensboro NC
Alma Aponte Metamorphosis Digital Photography Fitchburg MA
Mary Pat Kelley Photography by Dale Hagerstown MD
Jennifer Gomez All That Jazz Photography Hillsboro OR
Bert Behnke Behnke Photographers Mokena IL
Zaida Parkes Parkes Photography Stratford CT
Tanya Boggs Tanya Boggs Photography Charleston SC
Carol Brown Brown’s Country Store Benton AR
Danielle DeVito Danielle DeVito Photography Bronxville NY
Cecilia Lysne Behl’s Photography Grand Forks ND
Dan Pulver Guys and Dolls Photography Mt. Pleasant MI
Jasa Wolfrey Sweet Scene Photography Stafford VA
David Grupa David Grupa Portrait Maplewood MN
Kevin Baker Baker Photography Baldwinsville NY
Lew Everling Muse Photo Design Cedar Falls IA
Sarah Hinchey Sarah Hinchey Photography Hingham MA
Britney Kirby-Fullgraf Belvedere Studio Lakeland FL
Mark Mason Mason Photography Duluth GA
Christina Parker Christina Parker Photography Calgary, Alberta CANADA
Tina Petta-Pelletier Uniquely Yours Photography Waterbury CT
LeAnne Schmidt Photog Frog Portrait Studio South Saint Paul MN
Ed Sharp Ed Sharp Photography Greenwich NY
Jill Welch Jill Welch Photography Cataula GA
Jason Williams Snapshots Photographic Salisbury NC
Beth Zak BZak Photography Florissant MO

Texas School Staff and Students Raise $20,930 for PPACH; Surpass $100,000 Mark

safariscreensnapz036-copyDuring this year’s April 28-May 13 Texas School session, generous students and instructors, as well as the Texas School Trustees, chose to support PPA Charities by challenging each other to give as much as they could to support the philanthropic arm of PPA, whose partner is Operation Smile, the international medical charity that repairs cleft lips and cleft palettes of needy children around the world. Their combined efforts, netted PPACH a contribution of $25,000 bringing the total of donations made by Texas School students, instructors and trustees, over a five-year period, to $113,070!

The top “Challenge” donation of $1,905 was made by attendees of the class taught by Lori Nordstrom, and the following classes donated $1,000 or more: Greg and Lesa Daniel, David and Luke Edmondson, Kay Eskridge, Hanson Fong, Mike Fulton and Cody Clinton, Elizabeth and Trey Homan, Gary and Kathy Meek,

How It All Got Started . . .

Texas School is the largest of all PPA Affiliate Schools in the country, and this year the week-long event drew over 1,000 students from throughout the U.S. and abroad. The tradition of PPA Charities fundraising at Texas School began spontaneously in 2008, when a few instructors, who were familiar with PPACH’s support Operation Smile, encouraged their class members to donate. This effort culminated at the Thursday evening all-school party when school director Don Dixon offered to shave his head if the donation could grow to $5000. It did, and Don lost his hair!

In 2009, Texas School instructors encouraged their classes to buy as many smiles as they could by playing an Operation Smile video so that students could learn how this organization’s incredible volunteers can perform life-changing surgery for a desperately needy child for only $240. Jed and Vicki Taufer’s class alone donated an amazing $7,300 for individual contributions and auctions of merchandise and private classes by Jed and Vicki. Their donation, along with those from other classes, along with an impromptu auction of donated vendor items, resulted in a $17,000 contribution to Operation Smile!

Since then, donating to PPA Charities and Operation Smiles has become a tradition at Texas School. The 2014 edition of Texas School will be held in Dallas on April 27 – May 2. For information on Texas School, click here.

Congratulations Jason and Ania!


Congratulations to Jason Williams, Snapshots Photography, Salisbury, North Carolina, who was the big winner of the amazing Imaging USA Speakers Basket raffle held at PPA’s annual IUSA convention in Atlanta in January. Valued at over $8,000, these educational items were donated by speakers at IUSA 2012.


Congratulations also to Ania Mikolajewski, who was the lucky winner of an opportunity to document an Operation Smile Mission. Ania’s name was drawn from all those who donated $240 or more in support of Operation Smile in 2012.

Ania, who is a Certified Professional Photographer, is the owner of Denver-area Ania Mikol Photography. Last year she participated in PPA Charities’ first Celebration of Smiles promotion.

PPA Charities Celebration and Gala Auction Provide a Great Start for IUSA in Atlanta



Once again PPA Charities’ Celebration Gala and Auction, held this year on January 19, proved to be a great kickoff for PPA’s Imaging USA convention in Atlanta. PPA members from around the country packed the convention hotel ballroom ready to have a good time, bid on great auction bargains, and celebrate PPA Charities’ 2012 fundraising efforts on behalf of its charitable partner Operation Smile. On hand for the check presentation ceremony with members of the PPA Board of Directors and PPA Charities Trustees was Dr. Bill Magee, who, together with his wife, Kathy, founded Operation Smile. Dr. Magee, shown holding the check at left, was accompanied by his sister-in-law, Beth Marshall, director of Operation Smile’s Southeast Region and Senior Executive Advisor for Latin America, shown holding the check at right.

The $70,000 check means that PPA members have now contributed over $570,000 to Operation Smile, which translates into saving some 2.385 smiles of children around the world.

Texas School Trustees, Instructors, Students Raise $25,600 for Operation Smile!

texas-school-2012For the fourth straight year, generous Texas School trustees, students and instructors chose to support Operations Smile, the charitable partner of PPA Charities, during the April 28-May 3 school session. Spearheaded by an outstanding donation of $5,000 from the Texas School itself, headed by Don Dixon, who also serves as PPA’s chairman of the board, instructors and students challenged each other to give as much as they can to help Operation Smile carry out its important work around the world. Altogether, the Texas School donation for the 2012 school session totaled a record-breaking $25,600!

Because Operation Smile medical and support personnel donate their time, it costs only $240 to provide the gift of life-changing surgery to a deserving child. When adding this year’s Texas School donation to those of the previous three years, this means that Texas School students, instructors, and directors have donated a total of $87,669 to Operation Smile and therefore are responsible for saving 365 precious smiles!

The top student donation of $2,100 was made by attendees of the class taught by Greg and Lesa Daniel, and the following classes donated $1,000 or more: Doug Box and Randy Kerr, Kay Eskridge, Mary Fisk-Taylor and Jamie Hayes, Julie Klaasmeyer, Richard Sturdevant, Michael and Tina Timmons, Janice Wendt, and David Ziser.

In Memoriam: Jon Smith 9/9/54 – 1/31/12

jon_smith_painting.comThe PPA Charities family is mourning the loss of a wonderful friend, Jon R. Smith, of Moore, Oklahoma. Jon passed a way suddenly on January 31.

Typical of Jon’s willingness to help others was evident at Imaging USA in New Orleans, when he was the first volunteer to arrive to help set up for the PPACH Celebration Gala on Saturday, January 14, and he was the last to leave, once everything was packed up and moved out.

His friend (and PPACH Trustee) Randy Taylor said this about Jon, in forwarding the sad new about his passing: “Not many knew that Jon came to San Antonio and New Orleans to help with the Charity Event. He stayed for one day of trade show and went home after. He really enjoyed helping with our cause. He also worked with special kids at several Christmas events and always donated his time. He was the editor for the Oklahoma Professional Photographers and was serving as convention manager for the current year. He also served on our Affiliate School board and was responsible for the website and publication. Some people walk quietly and leave a huge foot print. He was one of those people.”

After hearing about his untimely death, Richard Sturdevant created the painting of a photograph by Ted Lane, shown here, for the family. Thanks to Richard and Ted, for allowing us to reproduce this beautiful tribute to Jon.

PPA Charities is receiving donations for a memorial gift in Jon’s name to benefit Operation Smile. To donate, go to this link. Type in Jon’s name when you update your donation total. Jon’s widow, Debbie Smith, can be reached at 405 N. Butler, Moore, OK 73160.

Jon’s obituary appears below:

Sept 9, 1954 – Jan 31, 2012 MOORE Jon R. Smith, 57, of Moore, OK, went to be with the Lord on January 31, 2012. He was born in Pawhuska, OK on September 9, 1954, to Walter & Clara Smith. Jon graduated from Moore High School in 1973. He attended the First Baptist Church of Moore. He was a professional photographer and was the editor of the Professional Photographers of Oklahoma. Jon is survived by his wife of 25 years, Deborah Smith; mother, Clara Smith; sister, Belinda Patrick and husband Larry; and nephew, Dennis Patrick. He was preceded by his father, Walter Smith. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Monday, February 6, 2012, at the First Baptist Church of Moore. Interment will follow at Moore City Cemetery, Moore, OK. Services are under the direction of the John M. Ireland Funeral Home, Moore, OK.

Matt & Angela Weedon Are 2010 Top Individual Contributors; WHCC Leads Corporate Donors

nd3_8926For the second consecutive year, Dallas-area studio owners Matt and Angie Weedon were the top individual donors to PPA Charities with a total contribution of $9,600. In addition to providing support and sponsorship for other PPA Charities activities in 2010, a contribution of $10,000 made White House Custom Colour the year’s top corporate donor. View the entire 2010 donor list by clicking here.
Angie and Matt Weedon are owners of Angela Weedon Photography in Garland, Texas, and Angie recently concluded her service as a member of the Board of Trustees of PPA Charities. In four of the past six years, Angie and Matt have topped all individual donations to Operation Smile. Their total contributions during that period is an astonishing $37,500! Most of these funds were raised through studio activities, including the sale of “Smile Cards.” You can read more about the Weedon’s success in fundraising by clicking here. Visit their website by clicking here.

Thank you Matt and Angie and WHCC!!

PPACH President Mary Fisk-Taylor Receives PPA Charities Legacy Award

During the Awards Ceremony at PPA’s ImagingUSA, PPA Charities President Mary Fisk-Taylor received The PPA Charities Legacy Award, which recognizes “outstanding service and commitment to PPA Charities and philanthropic endeavors.” The award was presented by PPA Charities Executive Director Bert Behnke, himself a winner of the Legacy Award. Mary has served as PPACH president since 2005.

PPA Charities 2010 Campaigns Net $100,000!

stacks_image_8_1For the second straight year, annual donations to PPA Charities from members and friends have allowed PPA Charities Trustees to allocate a gift of $100,000 to its charitable partner, Operation Smile. The contribution was presented at the PPA Charities Celebration gala on January 15, in San Antonio.

It takes only $240 to repair the smile of a child because the medical professionals and staff who provide these life-changing operations volunteer their services to Operation Smile. To date, PPA Charities has raised a total of $350,000 for Operation Smile. That translates into nearly 1500 smiles that have been saved through the generosity of PPA members and friends.

PPA Charities Receives $10,000 Jamieson Foundation Gift

A very large THANK YOU goes out to Jennifer Jamieson of San Francisco on a recent donation of $10,000 to PPA Charities. The donation came from the Jamieson Foundation in San Francisco, founded in 1984 by her grandfather. The family business has been in sand and gravel since 1903, and was prominent in much of the rebuilding of San Francisco following the 1906 earthquake.

Jennifer graduated from Santa Clara University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and earned her masters degree in business administration from the University of San Francisco. After working as an Enterprise Account Manager at Wyse Technology in San Jose and an Account Manager for Microsoft, Jennifer decided to follow her dream to become a professional photographer, opening her studio in 2009.

“I became excited about PPA Charities after spending time with Britney Fullgraf at the PPA Charities booth in Nashville and attending the Charitable Marketing classes presented by Sandy Puc and Vicki Taufer. I love the integration of the passion of photography and what we do to make people’s lives brighter with our talents. I am excited about our role with Operation Smile and helping those less fortunate and blessed to be a part of such a wonderful experience.”

…and PPA Charities is blessed to have Jennifer Jamieson. Thank you Jennifer for your generosity!