What a night! Photographing the 2019 Annual CELEBration "The Next Chapter" Dinner & Program fundraising event for Warrick Dunn Charities (WDC) was gratifying and encouraging! The more I understand what WDC does, the more I appreciate them and what they do. The founder, Warrick Dunn, is a former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver and one of my personal all-time favorite athletes. He is as genuine in person as he is in public. (Read his story Warrick Dunn, Founder of Warrick Dunn Charities.)
I photographed a WDC "Home for the Holidays" home in December in connection with the Atlanta Habitat for Humanity after being introduced to them through my volunteer work with Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity. I photographed the "big reveal" when Warrick Dunn and WDC worked with Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity to fully furnish two GHH homes last summer. These same two families were highlighted during the CELEBration Dinner earlier this month. Seeing those families be surprised with fully furnished homes was a delight to see. I was so encouraged as a photographer to see the pictures of the "big reveal" I had taken for them in the slide show before the CELEBration Dinner.
I was so proud of the young men I had met a few months ago and how they then stood in front of a large audience to represent their families. They talked about how generous and kind Mr. Dunn and his charity were to them and their families. Mr. Dunn had definitely made an endearing impression on these young men! It is very clear that he is a family man and he wants to make a difference. Seeing him with his nephew shows how caring he is and why he is so dedicated to helping single parent families obtain a home and filling that home with furnishings, appliances and food.
WSB-TV's anchor, Jovita Moore, was the emcee, and the keynote speaker and author was Dr. Matthew Desmond who gave a compelling speech about the plight of eviction. During dinner, I was seated with former football player William Floyd and his son (pictured together in white jacket and black jackets, respectively), and numerous other football athletes were in attendance supporting WDC. You could easily identify the football athletes by their height and broad shoulders. The wonderful WDC Board of Directors was in attendance as well.
Mr. Dunn was gracious to take a picture with me and even thanked me for photographing the event. That made the evening for me. Well, that and winning Julio Jones' signed Atlanta Falcons' jersey in the silent auction, too.
A big "thank you" to Whitney Jackson, executive director of Warrick Dunn Charities, for allowing me to photograph this worthwhile and amazing event.