I had the privilege of photographing Fitness for the Cure to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital last weekend. You might recall that my stepmother Paula is involved with this group and I photographed this event in 2006. I was unable to attend the 2007 event so I was excited to see how much the group had grown in two years!
Fitness for the Cure is the brainchild of Sherri Laffey Sarrouf, a fitness instructor at Gold's Gym, wife and mother of two (I photographed her children's holiday card portrait). She has no professional dance training, but 9 years ago she organized a group of friends who liked hip-hop and decided to spread their fitness message to those in need. The group has grown to include school children and adults, and they meet once a week to practice.
Each year they have a formal show, both in the afternoon for kids (with ice cream, coloring and tattoos) and in the evening (with a formal dinner, silent and live auctions). This is the second year that they have performed in both Nashua, NH, and Andover, MA. The Andover show raised $132,000 and the Nashua show is later this month. Sherri is $170,000 away from reaching her goal of having raised $1 million for St. Jude's! If you would like more information on how to donate, **click here.**
You can get a better sense of the day by clicking **here** to view the slideshow. But I'll post a few images as well:
This is Sherri. She has the most kind soul...
... and killer abs!
All of the dance routines are high energy, and include lots of fun moves!
When not on stage, the other performers cheer their fellow dancers on (second from the right, front, is Sherri's daughter Elizabeth).
The younger kids all wore Red Sox hats in one number. I loved this little boy waiting for the music with his Boston hat, St. Jude shirt, and hope angel necklace.
Sharing the love.
Waiting their turn.
The day included a Locks of Love hair cutting.
This is John Moses, the CEO of ALSAC (the fund-raising organization of St. Jude). A lawyer by trade, Mr. Moses is passionate about sharing the importance of St. Jude.
A few facts about St. Jude's:
- The daily operating cost is $1,267,349.00.
- 85.3% of every dollar received goes directly to the hospital.
- St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where no child is ever denied treatment because of the family's inability to pay.
- St. Jude has developed protocols that have helped push survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20% to more than 70% overall.
Photographers: I encourage you to volunteer your talent to an organization that might not have the funds to hire a professional. The slideshow I put together from the 2006 show brought in a lot of additional money for this charity simply by passing a url around to friends and family via emails. I also donated portrait sessions for this silent auction as well as a St. Jude benefit through my local Pottery Barn. One person can make a difference!