It Takes a Family . . .
Supporting PPA Charities and Operation Smile has become a family affair for Ralph, Sr., Cindy, Ralph, Jr. and Ryan Romaguera. Here's how it all got started:
Each year the Romaguera orchestrates the photography of degree recipients at Imaging USA. Several years ago some recipients began asking if there was a way to receive the image files. Ralph, Sr. decided that this would be a great way to fulfill this through a donation to PPA Charities and Operation Smile. By now the Romagueras have the process down to a science. Ralph oversees the event, while Ralph, Jr. and Ryan work the computer, posing and moving of the line as the degree recipients are photographed with the PPA President. Ryan sets up and photographs the group picture. Cindy, along with the help of other PPACH Board members take the names and email addresses of the recipients who wish to receive a digital file of their individual picture for a $25 donation. In 2009, the operation raised $1,800, bringing the total contributed by degree recipients to nearly $6,000!
The photographs are made possible with the help of many vendors that the Roma Gang works with. They include Joe Paglia of Eastman Kodak who is the main sponsor of the photographs to the recipients; Rich Parker of the MAC group; Henry Oles of Virtual Backgrounds; Jerry Ward of Canon, USA; and Paul Schulz of Photolynx. In essence, the photographing of the
Ralph and Cindy are bringing awareness to PPACH and Operation Smile throughout the year at their speaking engagements for professional associations. At the Connecticut PPA convention, they sold lighted necklaces for $20.00 each, with the donation going to PPACH. The necklaces were the centerpiece of a "backwards raffle," which occurred throughout the program, during which they drew numbers. When a number was called, the person had to turn off their light. At the end of the program, the last four people were called to the stage and the last four numbers were called. The person whose number was called last won a 3-DVD set from the Romagueras - a $150.00 value. A total $580.00 was raised for PPA Charities in the name of the Connecticut PPA, which was enough to fund two surgeries for Operation Smile. Judy Sirota Rosenthal from Hamden, Connecticut went home with a 3-DVD Romaguera set.
Ralph and Cindy plan to conduct a similar fundraiser at each of their programs this year, and the Romaguera family would like to encourage every photographer to get involved with PPA Charities by participating in Family Portrait Month or raising money your own special way to give back to PPACH and Operation Smile!