Sunday, September 21, 2008

A weekend to fight Cancer (a two part post)

One of the best things about what a photographer does with a camera is that it allows the photographer to give something to people that will be a treasured memory. Whether it's photographing a wedding, pet, child or a senior citizen, freezing any given moment that will last for eternity, is what I LOVE!! What I also love is being able to do something that will make a difference in someone's life. Although being a photographer is probably not as life altering as being a teacher or a doctor, it does allow me to help create memories that are immortalized.

This weekend was a powerful one. Saturday I was honored to help the Friends of Day Valley raise money for the American Cancer Society. This is a fund raiser that has been going on for the last six years or so and it was begun by my aunt, uncle and cousins. A few years ago their neighbors wanted to help in the efforts and together these families have raised over $20,000!!!! This years fund raiser was a tremendous success with over 100 people in attendance and nearly $10,000 raised. My part in this fight against cancer was to photograph families. I donated my time and the session fee was donated entirely to ACS.

Every year the Friends of Day Valley's efforts continue to be a rousing success. There is wine tasting, games, raffles, silent auctions, live music and a lot of FREE wonderful food!!! Last night a day cruise on a Lake Tahoe yacht was one of the silent auction prizes. A huge draw for the raffle was the day in a limo for a group of people. Sanrio was a huge contributor with donations in nearly $1,000 worth of products!! I wanted to share some of the portraits I did as well as the candids of the event. Take a look at the slideshow, but please read on to part II of this post, as it's a special story.


As with nearly everyone I know, I, too, have been affected by this disease. My dad has battled several rounds of bladder cancer, Louie had skin cancer removed last year and my sister's childhood friend just lost her battle with breast cancer a few weeks ago. If you have been reading my blog in the last month or so you probably remember Ali's friend Rachel. Rachel's grandmother, Doris, was diagnosed in recent weeks with brain cancer. The other day I found out that Rachel's mom was having a get together for Doris. I guess Doris always wanted to go to Hawaii and since it's not possible for her to visit the islands now, the family decided they wanted to bring the Hawaiian paradise to her! They got about forty family and friends together and had a backyard luau Sunday. Because of having to travel home from Gilroy we didn't get to the luau as early as I had hoped and we unfortunately missed Doris doing the hula :) I did however, arrive in time for what I capture moments for Doris and her family! Last week I told Rachel I'd be honored if her family would allow me to come photograph the family at the celebration. With Doris having some difficult times ahead of her in the coming weeks and months when she begins treatment, I hope that the memories of her family surrounding her will bring her some comfort. I hope when I'm in my 80s that I have as many people care about me as Doris has!! As you know I always spend a lot of time thinking about just the right song. On the way home from Gilroy today this song came on my ipod and I KNEW it was perfect!! There are so many family members who love Doris because "Two People Fell In Love".


John Cole said...

Hi Debbie,

It was great to see your whole family all weekend, and it was certainly a pleasure to have you taking pictures for us. We all truly appreciate it.

Looking forward to next year we hope you're available again to donate your time and awesome talent.

Thanks again!


Donna STewart said...

Debbie ~
Words cannot convey the emotions that crashed through me while watching the video honoring my Mother. You have ultimately captured a keepsake that my family will treasure forever.
Thank you so much!!!

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