After looking through some 4,000 photos I shot of the first year Miracle League games, I am a little bleary eyed and some of that is not just from looking at images. I can remember holding back tears as I hid my face behind the camera while shooting a lot of these and that same feeling came back tonight.
If you are not familiar with the Miracle League concept, it is a baseball league for disabled kids and adults. The field in Cary, at Henry Adams Elementary School, opened 10 years ago. The field consists of rubberized turf that allows wheel chairs to roll and is laid out with the lines and infield already marked. Each player gets a buddy assigned to them that will help with running bases and playing their positions in the field. At the end of the each game, the score is miraculously a tie every time. I still can’t figure that out after 10 years, but in reality the winner is everybody in Miracle League.
If you are around Cary on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 11am, come check out the 10th Anniversary Celebration at the field on Cary Town Boulevard.
Last weekend I was asked to help photograph the Tour De Cure again after a couple of years away from this ride. Hats off to the participants, some of whom rode both days from Cary to Aberdeen on Saturday and back on Sunday. I saw lots of familiar faces and was truly astounded by the fundraising efforts of the champions who are are pictured here.
This weekend I had to pleasure to photograph my niece Raven and her boyfriend Andrew on the way to their high school prom. She will hate me for this, but I can’t resist the opportunity for a before and after comparison.
The photos from this year’s Step Out walk are located here. Thanks to all of the volunteers, walkers and sponsors for making the event a success. All photos at my PerformancePixel.com may be downloaded for free/no charge. So don’t use the order prints feature unless that offers a convenient means for you to get them. The prices for prints that are ordered is the cost that the lab charges with no markup from me. Again, thanks for your support of the walk. It was great to see so many families supporting loved ones with diabetes.
It was a busy weekend for photography. So much so that I had to call in the reserves (my wife & father-in-law) to help. The first event was the Raleigh Police 5K Run For Our Heroes in downtown Raleigh. The other event was the first annual Bed Race held by the Caring Community Foundation. If you are looking for the images, you will find the 5K photos here and the Bed Race photos here. As always thanks for your support of these great charities, the Raleigh Police Memorial Foundation and the Caring Community Foundation.
The memorial foundation has been working hard over the past few years to raise funds for a proper fallen officer memorial for the Raleigh Police Department. Sadly eight officers have given their lives while protecting the citizens of our capital city, but they are finally recognized through the memorial which was dedicated Friday night before the 5K on Saturday. If you get a chance, please visit the Raleigh City hall to pay your respects at the memorial.
The Caring Community Foundation continues to be the little cancer charity that can. While many cancer charities raise funds for research, CCF is unique in that the funds raised are used to assist cancer patients in our area that have financial needs which are many times identified by their oncologist. The goal last year was 365 patients assisted and that goal was met and this charity has raised over $1 million in the 10 years since its humble start with a backyard BBQ.
Many thanks to all of the folks that came out and supported the Raleigh St. Baldrick’s event (updated totals at the link) this year. The numbers shared with volunteers prior to the event were: over $200,000 raised and 400+ shavees and another 100+ volunteers. I am sure the actual numbers will be higher with the number of groups that showed up and the last minute challenges from the stage. This was my first St. Baldrick’s event thanks to my friend of 40 years Evelyn Putnam who recruited me to help since I already shoot for some other local charities. I am trying to get locations of the other photographer’s images and will share links if they placed theirs on the web. My shots are located here. Many thanks to the two returning photographers, Carter Pettibone and Haley Bohn; and thanks, as well, to ShellyBooker, Evelyn Putnam and one other un-named shooter who had her head shaved as well helping with photography. While I have shot many charity events, there is no doubt when you hear from the families that are currently fighting for their child with cancer or the parents that lost their child to cancer; it’s a wake up call that there has to be something we can do and we did it today! Whether shavee, family member, or friend supporting them; the funds raised will support research like that of Dr. Oren J. Becher, from The Becher Lab At Duke University. And we know we make a difference with the success stories of cancer battles won that would not be possible without funding more children’s cancer research.
I decided to to take a week of vacation to do some photography up in Boone where my folks are originally from and hoped to catch the tail end of the fall leaves. I did get some autumn shots, but it seems most of the reds were gone and the weather was rainy with 40 mile an hour winds the day I got up early to try and catch a sunrise; but the images I did get that morning, while not a sunrise, were worth the effort. Click here or the image to visit the album.
I also got to spend about an hour or so with my aunt who has all of the Brown family history recorded in a notebook. Once I deciphered how the book was set up, I was able to confirm my family ancestors on the Brown side back to 1750’s in the Wilkes County (later it became Watauga County) area of North Carolina. One book on the early history of the area record that the Brown family came from Holland or Germany and my research on familysearch.org records the father of the first Brown (1750) as a German family Braun.
Once back in town on Friday, I went to visit the Nascar Hall of Fame in Charlotte with my wife’s relatives from Michigan who are in town to go to the Martinsville race this weekend. Saturday, I was up and out early to photograph the local American Diabetes Association’s Step Out walk for Diabetes. This is my second year shooting this charity event for Jim and Paulette. It was great to see some of the same folks again this year. The photos can be viewed and downloaded here: http://www.performancepixel.com/stepout2013/ The videos are at: http://www.youtube.com/user/performancepixel?feature=watch
The next shoot was of my nephew’s four year old photos who was also in town visiting. Super cute kid and the new “used” lens – the Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 on my D600 was amazing. For this shot I had a umbrella soft box with a SB-800 to his left and the main SB-800 on the camera to try and fill in since the shot was backlit.
The last two weekends kept me busy shooting for two charities. On April 27, it was the Raleigh Police Memorial Foundation’s Run for Our Heroes 5K. This is my 5th year shooting this event and I am glad to have the opportunity to serve as one of their photographers as I worked for the Raleigh police department in the Summer of 1997 when Detective Paul Hale was killed in the line of duty. With this year’s run, the funding goal for a new memorial to be located in front of city hall has been met and should be in place for next year’s event.
My most recent shoot was for Band Together and the culmination of a year’s hard work for Matt with Band Together and Sarah from the Tammy Lynn Center with the concert at Koka Booth Amphitheater featuring Mac & Juice Quartet, Chatham Co. Line, Delta Rae and Lyle Lovett on Saturday may 4th. The final total for funds raised this year was around $852,000. This money will go the Tammy Lynn Center for developmental disabilities to provide much needed enhanced technologies at the center.
The day started out with dropping Debby off and photographing her starting a 62 mile charity ride, the Tour de Femme at Cycling Spoken Here; then it was off to Garner to shoot a standard high school senior drape portrait, then back to shoot Debby at the finish. Then the evening shoot was the first reunion of the NCSU Marching Cadet Fraternity (MCF). The MCF was a Pershing Rifle Drill team formed in the early 1960's by some NCSU students and the organization continued until the mid-1990's. The reunion featured several of the original brothers and many brothers (which includes some ladies BTW) from the 30+ years of the MCF. This butterfly happened to catch me with my camera at the ready on the way in to shoot the senior portrait.