Professional Photographers of America Establishes $200,000 Disaster Relief Fund for PPA Member Photographers Affected by Hurricane Katrina

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As America struggles to cope with the devastation and loss caused by Hurricane Katrina, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) has taken unprecedented steps to assist photographers in the affected areas. Yesterday the PPA Board of Directors guaranteed up to $200,000 for the recently established PPA Disaster Relief Fund, as the Association continues its fundraising efforts.

"With more than 250 PPA members in the stricken areas of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, PPA knows firsthand of the destruction caused by this hurricane," said Ann Monteith, PPA President. "We all watched in shock and sadness as the scope of the damage unfolded, and we felt compelled to find a way to directly help PPA members affected by this disaster as soon as possible. We will continue fundraising in hopes that we can surpass the $200,000 mark."

PPA's relief fund was established last week through PPA Charities, a 501(c)(3) organization. The original intent was to disburse the money collected to disaster relief agencies. PPA's Board of Directors, in response to requests from PPA members, voted this week to shift the focus of the relief fund so that it will now be used to provide direct aid to PPA member photographers. The fund will distribute $1,000 to each PPA member studio directly affected by Hurricane Katrina.

"PPA's members have a long history of pulling together to help each other in times of crisis," said PPA CEO, David Trust. "PPA's Disaster Relief Fund is another example of our members' commitment to one another and their spirit of generosity and compassion."

In addition to directly assisting its members, PPA is contributing $10,000 ($5,000 each) to its two state Affiliates in the hard-hit areas, Professional Photographers of Louisiana and Professional Photographers of Mississippi-Alabama. These Affiliates will use the contributions to directly assist their members.

To request a studio grant, PPA members in the disaster areas should call PPA at 1-800-786-6277 and ask to speak with a Disaster Relief assistant. They will be asked to provide information and details including name, studio name and address, temporary location information, brief description of damage/loss, where the grant money can be sent or wired, and how they can currently be reached.

How Others Can Help
PPA is challenging its other members, along with vendors and suppliers in the industry, to join forces with PPA by contributing to the relief fund. Contributions can be made by sending a check payable to PPA Charities to Disaster Relief, c/o Professional Photographers of America, 229 Peachtree Street, Suite 2200, Atlanta, GA, 30303. Please note "Disaster Relief" on the check.

PPA also needs your help getting the word out about the Disaster Relief Fund. If you know of anyone who has been directly affected by the hurricane, please do whatever you can to get information to them about the relief fund so they can receive assistance right away. Please also encourage photographers with useful information to share it on the Hurricane Katrina Forum on OurPPA.com.

PPA Charities is a charitable, non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization that allows imaging professionals to combine their individual efforts to make an impact on the lives of children and families everywhere. It also allows PPA to become a force for positive change in our society and to make a difference in the lives of others. For more information about PPA Charities, visit charities.ppa.com.

Professional Photographers of America (PPA), the world's largest and most influential photographic and imaging trade organization, exists to assist its more than 14,000 members in achieving their professional, artistic, and fraternal goals; to promote public awareness of the profession; and to advance the making of images in all of its disciplines as an art, a science and a visual recorder of history. For more information about PPA, visit www.ppa.com.
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