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David Grupa, President of PPA Charities (PPACH), has announced that for the ninth consecutive year, PPACH will sponsor Family Portrait Month in October and November. This popular charitable marketing promotion provides PPA members with an opportunity to participate in a nationwide promotion that benefits Operation Smile and elevates the business image of participating studios.

"Family Portrait Month allows PPA members to take part in a high-profile promotion to build family portrait business in October and November, the perfect time to remind families to have their portrait made in time for the year-end gift-giving season," Grupa said.
"Few gifts are appreciated as much as portraits of family members. And when they participate in this promotion, families are making it possible to truly change the lives of children who would otherwise face a lifetime of pain and rejection."

Participating studios are asked to donate at least $30 to PPA Charities for each family portrait session occurring during October or November. Other than this guideline, members are free to decide how much to contribute -- an entire session fee, part of a session fee, a percentage of each sale, or a specified amount of $30 or more. To date, PPA Charities has donated more than $570,000 to Operation Smile, the highly regarded International charity, which is the charitable partner of PPACH.

Interested PPA members can register for the promotion by making a $30 minimum donation for which they will be provided with the following marketing resources:

A 4-color printed Family Portrait Month Marketing Guide, pre-designed marketing resources, and promotional downloads provided by WHCC and Beth Forester of photoDUDS.
Access to a private Facebook Group, where members can ask questions and share ideas with other promotion participants.
Access to a library of promotional suggestions on the PPACH website: www.ppacharities.com.
A listing, by state and city, on the promotion's consumer website, www.familyportraitmonth.com, which allows consumers to find participating studios in their area.

For each $240 donation that a participant makes to PPA Charities on behalf of Operation Smile in 2013, the photographer's name will be entered into a drawing for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to photograph an Operation Smile mission. This drawing will take place at the PPA Charities Celebration on January 11, 2014, the evening before the opening of Imaging USA in Phoenix.

Founded in 1982, Operation Smile is a worldwide children's medical charity dedicated to helping children and young adults born with facial deformities. In as little as 45 minutes, one cleft lip surgery can change a child's life forever at the cost of only $240. Each year, more than 100,000 children are born with a facial deformity in Operation Smile's 26 partner countries. Tens of thousands remain untreated, and at least 10% of these children will die from malnutrition or bacterial infections.

"Recording the smiles of children and their families is what photographers do," says Richmond, Virginia, photographer Mary Fisk-Taylor, fundraising chairman for PPACH, who was instrumental in developing the Family Portrait Month promotion. "It's hard to imagine a more appropriate charity for our members to support. And when parents participate in Family Portrait Month, it's a wonderful way to teach children the value of reaching out to others. Even small children can understand the importance of Operation Smile's work, and they are eager to help these needy children."

Dear PPA Member,

They line the hallways and stairwells of homes, in carefully placed groupings or ramrod single files. Images of children--showing the progression of time, special moments and, often, exuberant joy--are some of the most touching photographs. Whether formal or candid, you can almost hear someone say to these kids, right before the button is pushed: "Smile!"

What if the child couldn't smile?

This week's Vital Signs shares important information about a wonderful opportunity to bring new clients to your studio (or bring existing clients back). Hopefully, it also inspires you to reach out and look at what you can do on a larger scale. Whether you go through Operation Smile and PPA Charities or through your own personal choice of charity or organization, you can use your talent and give your own gift to the world.

The majority of our Vital Signs articles are about making sure that you stay successful in business--and much of the time, they are about staying financially successful. Sometimes, though, it's good to think about success from another point of view. Hopefully, this will inspire you...to inspire others.


Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

Last October, nearly 350 Professional Photographers of America (PPA) members in 41 states and the District of Columbia joined PPA Charities' Family Portrait Month, an annual, national fundraising effort to benefit Operation Smile--raising the total donation to more than $150,000.

On January 10, during PPA's Imaging USA convention in Phoenix, Arizona, PPA Charities presented a check for $50,635.21 to Operation Smile at Alice Cooperstown. The check was presented to Beth Marshall, Operation Smile Senior Executive Advisor for Latin America and Caribbean, and Carmit Bachar, Operation Smile Celebrity Smile Ambassador. Bachar, an American singer and dancer, is best known as a member of the pop group, The Pussycat Dolls. In addition to serving as a Smile Ambassador, Bachar--born with a cleft lip and cleft palate--participated on an Operation Smile medical mission to Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Take a look at the smiles that are created when you participate in Family Portrait Month. By participating in this charity event, you help PPA Charities raise funds for Operation Smile, allowing them to continue their work with children around the world.

Since 1982, more than 115,000 children and young adults have been treated by thousands of volunteers worldwide and thousands of healthcare professionals have been trained globally. For as little as $240 Operation Smile can change a child's life by giving the gift of a surgery. Revenue in excess of surgical costs is invested into our sustainability programs, empowering our partner countries to treat more children on their own and making your investment go even farther. In as little as 45 minutes, one cleft lip surgery can change a child's life forever.

For More information, or to participate, visit www.PPACharities.com.

Slideshow prepared by Angie Weedon for PPA Charities.


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