Long Island Photo Gallery, Help-Portrait and Christmas Magic come together at St. Patrick’s Parish in Bay Shore to deliver an electrifying and unimaginable night like no other!
The holiday season can become a busy and overwhelming time of year, sometimes making it difficult to focus on what truly matters most; our family and friends.
On Thursday, December 16th several of our members took time out of their busy schedules to volunteer and enjoy a night out with 19 loving families from Bay Shore, New York. Held at St. Patrick’s Parish, Long Island Photo Gallery teamed up with Help-Portrait and Christmas Magic to create a mystical and memorable night for everyone involved. Help-Portrait is a movement of photographers who donate their time and creative abilities to give back to those who are less fortunate. Help-Portrait’s Long Island chapter was held in conjunction with St. Patrick’s annual Christmas Magic, a night where families throughout the community come together to enjoy a holiday meal and spend time with Santa Claus himself. It turned into a night that genuinely enhanced the magical sensation of the holiday season.
A number of volunteers and community members took part in the gathering including Deacon Frank Keach and and hospitality center director Katherine from St. Patrick’s. Multiple volunteers dedicated countless hours of their time to plan and coordinate the event. The evening kicked off with a delicious assortment of steaming hot meals and savory desserts followed by individual family portrait sessions coordinated by participants from our own Long Island Photo Gallery, included co-founders Joanne Henig and Jessica Hirschmann. Kim Pace, Mark Stumpf and Joe Cubiotti joined in and teamed up with non-LIPG members and photographers Bob Palmieri and Rod Franklin to deliver extraordinary moments captured forever for each of the families. “We didn’t just give families a meal and a toy, we gave them a memory”, boasted Long Island’s Help-Portrait Event Coordinator Joanne Henig.
Following dinner and portraits on the first floor , everyone made their way upstairs to enjoy Disney Radio entertainment where DJ’s contributed to the vibrance of the night by playing a variety of engaging songs and sing alongs before hosting a series of family oriented games. Before anyone realized how quickly the night was flying by, Santa Claus stole the show and surprised everyone with what seemed like endless bags of gifts specifically organized for each child. One by one, each and every patient child was called up to the stage to meet Santa and unwrap one gift. At the height of everyones awe and excitement, each boy and girl was given a titanic bundle of gifts, all of which were brought by Santa Claus himself. The heart warming night at St. Patrick’s Parish served as a great way to celebrate the holiday season in a way that no one will forget.
Visit Help-Portrait for more information on the movement and for ways for you to get involved!
Also visit Long Island Photo Gallery to learn more about the artists who donated their time to Long Island Help-Portrait
~ Joe Cubiotti, InFocus Blog Post Contributor