Each year I allocate time and resources to give back to the community. I am fortunate in my personal life and my business, and I try to do my part to help others. A few weeks ago, I helped photograph the Special Olympics of Arizona Tennis Tournament, held at the Tucson Racquet Club. If you haven’t worked with the Special Olympics you are missing out. This event was expertly organized by Holly Thompson who has over 2 decades of experience working with Special Olympics. It’s not only a well-orchestrated event, but it is also a gathering of people who are passionate and kind.
The athletes were skilled and focused. They brought their A-game. They loved the competition and the sport. Some showed up with big hopes of winning, but all were there to have fun.
This event was one of many they organize. If you would like to get involved, browse their events page and contact them. They would love the support and it might mean the world to someone you haven’t even met yet.
As planning for the 30th Great Tucson Beer Festival in Tucson is well underway, I will share photos from the event last October. This fundraising event is put on each year by the Tucson chapter of Sun Sounds of Arizona. They are an organization that has been around since 1979. They provide audio access to print media (newspapers, magazines, books, etc.) to people in the Southwest who cannot read print because they have a disability. The services are crucial to helping people keep up with current events and continue pursuing their goals and dreams.
This cause is near and dear to my heart because my wife has visual impairment. She knew how to read braille when she was young and used audio assistance to get through college. Fortunately her condition hasn’t degraded enough to inhibit her day-to-day activities.
My wife often jokes that my longest client since living in Tucson, the Beer Festival organizer, has never seen one of my photos! I am guessing others have told her I do a decent job.
Become their friend on Facebook. Be part of this year’s band search contest. Join the celebration this year, October 1, 2016. Purchase your tickets today to support a great cause!
A couple of weeks ago, I was in Phoenix, getting ready to photograph a headshot, when I stumbled upon this fantastic band, Riverside Cathedral. They are a lively and engaging group. The accordion player, Tatiana Crespo, was making a guest appearance and was a delight.
I always feel lucky to stumble upon great entertainers!
Thank you for the great show!
The fall and winter months are busy and bustling with photo projects. I focus my time on photographing and editing and don’t spend a moment on updating blog posts or sharing all the great things I am working on. I save that for the beginning of the year when I have a little more time to breathe. Let’s begin with an important one!
Every fall the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona hosts a couple fundraising events. This year they did something new and put on their annual wine event at The House. People were able to tour the lobby, kitchen, dining and outdoor areas of the Ronald McDonald House. They were able to get a feel for the care provided for the families that stay there. They were able to meet some of the staff that create the warm, nurturing and loving environment that make the Ronald McDonald House so essential to children who are healing.
They always put on a lively event, with food, music (Adara Rae & the Homewreckers), a silent auction and a space to mingle and enjoy the evening. Sean and Amy Miller, along with other local “heros”, are long-time supporters and often in attendance at these important events.
To learn more about this great organization, to volunteer, to donate or to attend one of their spectacular events, visit their website at: http://rmhctucson.org/.
Happy 30th Anniversary to Sun Sounds of Tucson! On Monday, I had the privilege of photographing The Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce ushering in the ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate with Sun Sounds.
“Sun Sounds of Arizona is a radio reading service serving the state of Arizona. It is an outreach service of Rio Salado College in Tempe, Arizona, with additional offices in Tucson, Flagstaff and Yuma.
Sun Sounds was founded in 1979 to allow visually impaired people in Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun access to print media. It expanded to Tucson and southern Arizona in 1979, adding northern Arizona in 1995 and southwestern Arizona in 2011.
It was named as one of George H. W. Bush‘s “thousand points of light” in 1992.
Sun Sounds can be heard on specially configured radios provided to its members, as well as on a telephone access system and via podcast. Sun Sounds’ central and southern Arizona feeds can be streamed worldwide on the Internet, while the southwestern Arizona feed is available on Time Warner Cable‘s Yuma system. The central Arizona feed can also be heard on sister station KBAQ‘s third HD channel.” -Wikipedia
They are an amazing group of people who have a passion for the work they do and they people they help.
All Photo: © 2015 Urban Abstrakt, Inc
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona is a group I adore. Their work is important, meaningful and necessary. They are a “home-away-from-home” for families of critically ill or injured children receiving medical treatment in Tucson. They provide housing for families at little or no cost. Not only do they provide a place to stay, but they also give the families comfort, understanding and compassion.
I have been photographing for RMHCSA since I moved to Tucson several years ago. There are few jobs that are more fulfilling and inspiring. The families that have stayed at “The House”, who tell their stories at the events, are some of the most courageous people I have met. Some have suffered great loss and others have overcome huge challenges. What they all have in common is that they were surrounded by the hope and love that radiates from the RonaldMcDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona.
During the past year, they have put on 3 big fundraising events. The first was the wine event at St. Phillips Plaza. Guests were invited to enjoy tastings of select wines, samples from Tucson’s premiere restaurants, take part in the exciting live and silent auctions, and listen to live entertainment.
The second event was Chalk Talk at the U of A, with Head Coach Sean Miller and the U of A Wildcats basketball team. Guests got a behind the scenes overview of the UA Men’s Basketball team, as well as learned little-known tricks and tips. There was an interactive session with past players and a Q & A to wrap it all up.
The final event of the year was the first annual Walk for Kids at the U of A Mall. Walkers came together for a day of fun, fitness, and fundraising. The Walk will also feature appearances by the UA Pep Band, Ronald McDonald, and the amazing Kids’ Zone, offering the Home Depot Kids Workshop, the KVOA-Rural/Metro Fire Department Mini-Muster, the Tanque Verde Soccer Club Zone and more!
If you would like to learn more about this wonderful organization, or find out how you can help, visit their website at: http://rmhctucson.org