06 November 2011

Liz Logelin Foundation : Minneapolis/ St. Paul Event Photography

I remember reading a story a few years back about this dad Matt, his wife Liz and their newborn daughter Maddie in the Star Tribune. Matt and Liz, a couple who were so excited to welcome their daughter Maddie into the world and only a few precious hours later, Liz passed away. Matt Logelin started a foundation to give financial assistance to recent widows, widowers and their families - to help people in the same way people helped him. I tucked it away in the back of my head and although I was really moved by the story, I didn't think there was much I could do. I was in college at the time and didn't have enough pennies to make a difference.

A few years pass and it's the summer of 2011 and I'm running like a million miles a week and being this fanatic runner. I made it my mission to run the races that gave the registration fee to a non-profit - if I could help people and be an insane must-run-person, then the crazy would equal out the good-heartedness. [Right?]

I wanted to fill a 5K spot for September and found a non-profit called the Liz Logelin Foundation. I read about the foundation on their website and vaguely remembered Matt Logelin's story from 2009. I was about to sign up for the 5K and got a call from my day job about needing a foundation to volunteer with for the company's month of service.

A few lightbulb moments later and we were emailing with these fabulous women, Rachel and Lindsay, at the Liz Logelin Foundation, begging them to let us help with their annual Celebration of Hope fundraising weekend featuring a gala and a 5K the next morning. They told us to bring as many bodies as we could to help.

Reading the stories of the families helped by the LLF moved me to become a bawling baby at my desk every week as the event approached. I couldn't just simply be a body at their event - there was something else I had to do. Fast forward and I was begging Rachel and Lindsay to let me volunteer my time taking photos at the event. I've been given this talent and wanted to use it to bring more attention to this fabulous organization. The ladies immediately said yes and there we were, downtown Minneapolis in mid-September at Solera for the dinner and auction.

After that weekend, after meeting Matt and thanking him for allowing me to help (only to be met with a NO, THANK YOU!), I made a promise to myself and to the LLF that I would volunteer with them in any way they needed me. Part of having this gift of "seeing" is using it to help others. It's not about the recognition or the thank yous but it's about serving people.

If these images can bring light to the amazing work of the LLF and they can help more families in 2012 than they did in 2011, then the work has done its job. I am so proud of these images, more so than any other work I've ever done. They represent people helping people, coming together and making a difference. Recognizing a need and filling it. Using talents, time and blessings to make the world a better place. Isn't that really what it's all about?

Matt wrote a book entitled "Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love" and I bought a copy after the 5K, read it in a day and bawled my eyes out. Such beautiful, honest words and they only cemented my promise to help. So many people from across the world reached out to Matt after Liz passed away - and this year, the LLF raised a record-topping $46,763.42 to help families on their waiting list receive the financial assistance they need. WOOHOO!


1 comment:

  1. Awesome pictures! Thank you for everything!!! ~Becky