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UW-Eau Claire students to volunteer at Dec. 1 Help-Portrait event

November 28, 2012

HelpPortraitEAU CLAIRE —The fourth annual Help-Portrait charity event will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 1 at the L.E. Phillips Senior Center in Eau Claire. Members of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Public Relations Student Society of America chapter will volunteer at the event, which aims to provide professional-grade photographs for families and individuals of all ages who could not otherwise afford them.

"PRSSA is getting involved with this event because we have skills (to offer) and it's a great cause," said PRSSA member Allie Lawler. "I'm really happy that we can find events like this to not only help others, but to do something we're passionate about."

Photographers and volunteers from throughout the world congregate at local community centers each year to help run Help-Portrait events so that individuals, regardless of their income, can have professional photos taken.

"Even if things are difficult financially for them right now, this lets them see that they look beautiful," said Dan Thompson, who has organized the Eau Claire event for the past three years. "It's about giving them hope, dignity, pride and a sense of worth and letting them know they matter."

Event participants will have several different photos taken and can provide input for image editing. The photos will be printed at Sharp Photo in Eau Claire on high-quality photo paper and returned to the senior center in 20 minute intervals. Participants will receive two pages of free prints in addition to a CD of the images.

Three hair stylists from Fantastic Sam's of Eau Claire will offer their services for the event. There will be activities for children as well, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be available for photographs.

The UW-Eau Claire PRSSA chapter will help in several areas of the event, from greeting guests to transporting photos back to the senior center. Lawler said that students can benefit not only from having their photo taken, but also by volunteering their time.

"Students and the volunteers from around Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley can benefit from the event in many ways," Lawler said. "Students are not only finding an opportunity to volunteer, but they're learning so much about the community outside of the university. Many volunteers say that this event has been a real eye-opener for them, and even an emotional ride."

For more information about the Eau Claire Help-Portrait event, contact Dan Thompson at dan@thesidestreet.com or Allie Lawler at lawleral@uwec.edu.

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OJ/DW

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