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Photographers teaming up for Smiles for St. Jude

Marci Gore • Aug 7, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Valerie Arrington has been organizing fundraisers for area families in need for several years now.

And this weekend, Arrington will team up with two other local photographers for Smiles for St. Jude, marking the fifth event of this kind Arrington has hosted.

Jennifer Wyman and Cathy Bentley will team up with Arrington from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at Grogan Park in Gate City to take photos of families, individuals, even pets, for a cost of $20. All proceeds will be sent to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"What everybody gets for $20 is a 30-minute photo session with unlimited poses. They will get to see their pictures that day. You get to decide right then if you like your photos. If not, we'll take you right back out there and get more. We don't have a limit on the number of people who can be in the photos. You can even change your clothes if you want to. I have props for babies or you can bring your own props. Now is a great time for back-to-school pictures. There is no limit to what we will do," Arrington said.

With a gazebo, a playground, trees, baseball fields, a creek and railroad tracks nearby, Arrington said Grogan Park offers some good options for photography settings.

"These photographers can get really creative with all there is to choose from at Grogan," she said.

Arrington will edit all of the photos taken on Saturday, put them on a disc and have them available for pickup in about two weeks.

"The photos will have no copyrights. They can be printed or shared online. You can do whatever you want with them," she said.

In addition to raising money for St. Jude, Arrington said she hopes an event like this will help raise awareness of what the children's research hospital does.

"Through this event, we want to make people aware of what St. Jude is all about. Almost everyone knows someone, or at least knows of someone, who has been to St. Jude. St. Jude depends on donations. No child is ever turned away because of a family's inability to pay," Arrington said.

Although appointments for photos are not required, Arrington says they are recommended.

Grogan Park is located just off of Park Street, next to the Gate City Little League baseball and softball fields.

For more information or to schedule an appointment for Smiles for St. Jude, call Arrington at (423)360-2672 or visit Smiles for St. Jude on Facebook.

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