I very rarely shoot event work, the type where photographs are printed and sold on the night and when I received an e-mail from Charlie a couple of months ago this job was to be no exception. She was looking for a photographer to cover a charity dinner at the start of March, might we be available? I responded to Charlie saying that this isn’t something that we do, however as I help to run the local region for the MPA and BIPP I could easily put the word out for the job on our Facebook page.I asked her to give me an idea of timings, the venue and what she was hoping for in terms of a donation back to the charity (maybe also which charity) and I promised to put it in front of as many photographers as possible. This was Charlie’s response to me:
We’re a group of friends who joined together to raise money and awareness in honour of our dear friend, Thomas Fleetwood who suddenly passed away in October last year. Tom’s death was unexplained and the corner’s verdict was SAD (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome). Tom’s death has devastated us all as friends, especially his devoted wife Elise, and their daughter Lacey Belle (now 2).
Since Tom’s passing, Elise has come to rely on the wonderful charity C.R.Y (www.c-r-y.org.uk) who have supported her throughout the last year. They have provided invaluable emotional and physical support for her and the whole Fleetwood family. The charity continues to raise vital awareness for young people with undiagnosed heart conditions, and to provide support for the affected families. This is invaluable for those who have lost a loved one under these terrible circumstances.
To give a little something back Elise and Richard (a close friend of Tom’s) are running this year’s Virgin London Marathon in Tom’s honor. To help boost the £3,500 target set for them we are hosting a dinner and dance on 1st March 2013 at the Royal Tiger, Old Southend Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 8EE. This day would have been Tom’s 30th Birthday. It’ll be an emotional day for all that knew Tom but we will do our best to celebrate in his honour.
And everything changed. Because I know Elise and Tom and Richard and their families and friends, from having photographed numerous weddings over the years. I also knew that Elise had lost Tom and I had often wondered what we could do – and now I knew.
Denise and I were honoured to be a part of Tom’s 30th Birthday Dinner last Friday. It was a fabulous night and raised in excess of £3,300. Elise had made us a great backdrop that was CRY’s version of the Bafta’s and we photographed all of the guests at the start of the evening and sold the prints after dinner with all of the proceeds going back to the charity, while the fantastic Old Hat Duo kept everyone dancing.
For all of you there, there’s a second chance to buy prints through the gallery (including black and white versions) at Team Tom to help raise the total further and for anyone who couldn’t make the evening but who wants to contribute, Elise and Richard’s marathon fundraising page is here.
Tom as we remember him:
Elise & Richard
Old Hat Duo