Downtown St. Pete is proud to celebrate: Little Light of Mine – Grand Opening Celebration!
THE EVENT: Please join Little Light of Mine on Thursday, June 30, from 6 pm – 8:30 pm as we celebrate the opening of our headquarters and studio in the beautiful Grand Central District of downtown St. Petersburg.
Mayor Rick Kriseman will be there to help us break grounds with a ribbon-cutting at 6:15 pm. Artwork from previous Little Light Of Mine sessions will be on display that evening and two Little Light Of Mine families will speak about their experiences with the organization.
Tasty treats will be provided by The Avenue, The Lure, Maggie On The Move, Latin Lunchbox, Old Key West Grille, Saltwater Cowgirl Creations, Community Cafe, Creative Soul Coffee Shop, and Love Food Central. We’ll have an assortment of beer (including craft beer from 3 Daughter’s Brewing) provided by Great Bay Distributors, as well as wine, soft drinks and water.
Sonya Barrenger of Crescent Heights Massage Therapy will be offering complimentary massages.
Cindy Stovall, of Beauty & The ‘Burg, will host a live photo booth contest throughout the evening. We will provide some fun props (and you are welcome to bring your own) and the backdrop, and you will provide the zany poses and smiles. A panel of very serious judges will select the best photo just before each raffle drawing and winners will be presented an amazing Winner’s Certficate and a small prize.
There will be raffle drawings throughout the evening and winners will receive gifts from local shops and restuarants who have generously donated to help our cause.
Guests are encouraged to wear black, white and at least a dash of yellow, and all that do will receive a free raffle ticket at the door.
THE VISION FOR THIS NEW SPACE: The space will not only serve as a place to photograph Little Light Of Mine families but Founder Sheri Kendrick sees the space as a hub for local photographers of all ages and skill levels to come together to create, learn and exhibit. “We want to cultivate an environment of encouragement and inspiration, where budding photographers can learn, seasoned photographers can teach, and everyone will gain from the experience,” says Sheri Kendrick, Founder of Little Light Of Mine. Kendrick says the space will offer a variety of classes, including summer camps for kids, and it will be available to local photographers to rent both on an hourly basis and on a more permanent basis. The space will be a participating Gallery Walk stop, starting in September, when all the photography on display at the gallery will be by artists ages 8-18.
ABOUT LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE. Little Light Of Mine is a 501(C) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing complimentary professional photography sessions to families who have a child fighting a life-threatening illness. It started as a solo project but has since grown into an organization of about 20 volunteers, including 5 photographers, and a Board Of Directors. Our program has been embraced by All Children’s Hospital and their staff now offers our services to qualifying families. We also receive referrals from Children’s Dream Fund, several pediatric hospice groups and we receive private referrals as well.
WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO. Families caring for a sick child are often financially devastated and can not afford professional photography services. On top of that obstacle, families worry that the average photographer may not feel comfortable in these delicate situations and fear the photo shoot will be awkward for all parties involved. Our Little Light Of Mine photographers are trained to handle these sensitive situations and are comfortable engaging and photographing very ill children and their families. Our team treats each family with compassion, dignity and respect while providing them with priceless photographs they might not otherwise have the opportunity to receive. All of our families receive all the high resolution images (about 40-50 per session) with a full copyright release, absolutely free of charge.
LOOKING FORWARD. Our goal is to continue expanding so that we can serve any family in the Tampa Bay area that is faced with the possibility of losing their child. Part of that expansion has included leasing a space to serve as a shooting space for our team of photographers, which is only a mile away from All Children’s Hospital so convenient for families coming to the city for out-treatment.
We currently serve about 150 families per year but that has been without a space to shoot in, and with a limited number of photographers available. Based on the expansion of our photography team, and the opening of our new space, we are projecting to be able to serve at least 250-300 families in the next 12 months, assuming of course, that the funding is there to support that goal.
To Learn more about our organization, please visit www.LLOM.org.