Importance of Community Involvement
So community give back, things we do, for our leagues, for our schools, that drive value to doing work with us. We talked about not just giving money, but giving services. These are all things that we photograph for districts and accounts that we work with. Lions Open and Heart of the Arts, these are both with a charter school that we work with. They are, charter schools are different than traditional schools, I don't know if you guys are familiar, if charters schools are everywhere where you guys are. But a charter school essentially is, it's a small... Like a teacher or an educator will form a school with a different view, a different outlook on education. This school is an incredible school that has focused on classic education. So it's very, it like, when you go, that's such a cool school, it's such... They don't have a bell that rings. Each hour has a different, like, 15 seconds of a classical song. So it's like, classical music comes over, it's peaceful, kids wear uniforms, they ...
call me sir, it's amazing. I love, love, love that school. Charter schools are public schools, okay. So they do get public funding. But they get 70 percent. So they loose a lot of like, the levy's, the area stuff, that a traditional public school would get. They get 30 percent less. Which means that charter schools have to do one of two things. Do the same job with substantially less money. Or fundraise. So fundraising at charter schools is kind of a different spirited... It's necessary. They need it to maintain a quality environment. So their two big ones is Heart of the Arts and the Lions Open. The Heart of the Arts is in the winter, it's a big silent auction, they rent out a hall, they sell a bunch of items. I go and I photograph it, I bring an assistant. We shoot for hours, for free. I walk around, I talk to everyone, I shake hands, and I buy stuff. The Bird Bash is for an account that we do almost no work with. I literally do like, almost nothing, at this district. Every year, we show up, we donate a photo booth. We donate a couple of people to work. I donate another photo booth for them to auction off. We donate high school senior portraits and we donate family sessions. Every single year. Because I'm obsessed with giving to the community. I wanna be that guy. It's okay to be guy who's giving all of that because eventually, all of that's gonna come back. It's gonna come back in tens. And so we just give, but it's every year. The Tour de Tonka is a massive bike race, in our district, it's run by the community ed. So is the Firecracker Run. The Firecracker Run, we go... The bike one's rough, because some of those bike routes, are 100 and something miles. And so when I do the bike one, I have to like, go to the start, it's kinda like an amazing race episode. I go to the start and I shoot some stuff, and then I like, get in my car, to have to drive to the next location. You have to like, you have to go way far routes, because all the roads are shut down for the bike race. But it's a huge, huge, huge thing in our area. It's a big thing. So we go out, we photograph it, for free. We charge them nothing. Firecracker Run is the one mile, 5K, 10K. The first year I did the Firecracker Run, I wanted to get more involved in donating stuff. So I signed my wife up for the 5K and I did the one mile. My wife is more physically fit than I am. So, she got up... But the real reason why, was the one mile started 10 minutes before the 5K. And I knew that on sheer will and determination, I could run a 10 minute mile. I finished the race and I took a ton of pictures of what was going on in the community, for free. I gave them a slide show, we're gonna talk about it, I'm gonna show it to you in a little bit, for free. Since we started being so generous and donating our time, we've established better relationships with the key people within that company. Now we photograph a bunch of stuff for them. A bunch of stuff for them. It's become a very good account. But I went into it selflessly just giving. Knowing that it would come back, eventually. It's gotta be 51/49. You always gotta give more than you take. All the time. Drives me nuts, if someone has one up on me. I can't handle it, personally or professionally. I wanna give, give, give. I don't like owing anyone. And as long as you keep giving more than you're taking. The relationships you have with people are always positive. They just wanna keep working with you, they like you, you're not selfish. Enjoy it.