In an exclusive, one-night-only gallery event at the Union Square Ballroom in Manhattan on August 17, Adorama joined forces with photographer Tamara Lackey for a charity auction to support the incredible work of Beautiful Together, a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned children in Africa, Syria and the United States.
"This is what it looks like when photography makes people care," said Beautiful Together co-founder Lackey (below at the huge turnout last Thursday, while glancing around the room at the over 100 metal, canvas and mounted prints she photographed in Africa of children who are waiting it out in institutional care facilities, hoping to be adopted by a loving family. "Most people don't know all the reasons kids are in orphanages and most of these children will age out anywhere between 14 and 18 years old. But there are three concepts behind why Beautiful Together cares to help the quality of their lives while they are waiting for a family—that no one should ever have to be so alone; that every child deserves a family; and that we are all truly more beautiful together."
In the true spirit of the power of print, adds Lackey, the event helped to raise both money (through print sales) and recognition for the charity. And the outpouring of help and support truly humbled her as well. In addition to Adorama, event sponsors included Nations Photo Lab (who donated all the prints), Animoto, Nikon, Profoto, WPPI, Imagely, Macphun, Ultimate Bundles, Fundy, On1 and Triple Scoop Music, and attendees were eligible to win prizes from additional sponsors—Photo Plus Expo, Westcott, Think Tank, Kelly Moore Bags, Alien Skin, Finao, Daisy Grip, Creative Live, Tamara Lackey Workshops, and Rescue Chocolate.
The event may be over but the bidding is still going strong online, at biddingowl.com/beautifultogether, now through Friday, August 25. And if you don't see anything you want to buy on the spot, you can still help by making a tax-deductible donation on the auction site. Even better, you can continue to donate to the cause here even after the auction ends, as well as shop here for related apparel, calendars, cards, and other items that will go to support feeding, educating and helping to liberate orphaned children.