By Connor Beach
After Harry Schuessler’s daughter was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma five years ago, Schuessler was determined to do something to fight back.
“We both decided to turn our energies towards creating a positive experience,” Schuessler said.
Schuessler, a member of the Huntington Camera Club, turned to his fellow photography enthusiasts for help. Schuessler approached the clubs board of directors with an idea to auction off any old photographs that the membership might have gathering dust in basements or garages as a way to raise money for cancer research.
“The Huntington Camera Club enthusiastically got behind the idea,” Schuessler said.
In 2015 the first Photography Fights Cancer Auction was held at John Glenn High School in Elwood, and, although his daughter is now a cancer survivor, support for the auction has grown every year.
Last week the Huntington Camera Club hosted the fourth annual auction at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, and Marc F. Alter, the event’s director of publicity, said between 75 and 100 pictures where supplied by the camera club for the auction.
“It has just grown and grown,” Alter said. “We are getting much better images, more people are becoming aware of it and the Cinema Arts Centre has been a fantastic host.”
Schuessler said the event has raised over $25,000 for cancer research. This year the money will be donated to Memorial Slone Kettering Cancer Center.
Both Schuessler and Alter said the membership of the Huntington Camera Club has been extremely supportive of the event.
“Everyone in the club has been either personally or has had a family member who was touched by cancer. It’s one of those diseases where everybody knows somebody who was affected,” Schuessler said.
A committee of members from the camera club meets each year around January to start planning ways to make the event more popular and raise more funds.
This year Alter said an online auction site was set up where people could also purchase photographs to benefit cancer research.
Schuessler said the auction’s success is a result of the hard work and generosity of the Huntington Camera Club’s members.
He said, “They are very generous and are always looking to get involved in outreach and community activities.”
Plans are already underway for next year’s auction, and Schuessler said he is hoping it will be the most successful yet.