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December 06, 2016
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Take a picture; it’ll last longer!

Before each Mysteryland festival, organizers host a “10,000 hours community day” in which volunteers donate 10,000 hours of service to a local charity/cause. This year, they teamed up with the Allyson Whitney Foundation and assisted in their 5K charity run through Bethel.

After months of anticipation, my calendar informed that the Allyson Whitney Foundation ( 5k run/walk was about to commence and I arrived early at Kauneonga Lake to set up my equipment (I mean remember to turn it on) and prepare to get some action shots as 880 registrants and more than 150 volunteers showed up for the third annual fundraiser, dedicated to Allyson. Founded to “empower and fight for the interests of young adults with rare cancers,” the organization provides “emotional and financial support to patients in order to ease their financial burden so that they can concentrate their energy on healing.”

Since I’m living proof that anyone can take a decent picture, I wasn’t surprised to see social media playing a huge part in the event, which raised over $70,000, and everywhere I looked, folks were taking “selfies,” tweeting, (@allyson4rare) and posting pics to Facebook and Instagram (instagram/allyson4rare) as the incredibly successful day unfolded. Using the hashtag #awf5k, a few hundred photos popped up on Instagram in real time, while I took sixteen hundred pics. I’ve posted some of them (Thanks, Ansel!) to our own social media page ( for sharing, tagging and reliving the day. A real photographer, the incomparable Michael Bloom, ( created the AWF photo-calendar (May-to-May, in honor of Ally) with graphic designer Bobbi Jo McCauley (, which is available now. Purchasing one supports the cause and is a good example of what genuine talent can accomplish, so I heartily recommend snagging one, before they’re gone.