Dig Pink

The girls volleyball programs at Naperville Central High School and Wheaton Warrenville South recently teamed up for Dig Pink, an evening of breast cancer awareness, fundraising, guest speakers, and of course, some great volleyball games. Each one of the girls wore a jersey with the name of a family member or friend who has been impacted by cancer.
Naperville girls highschool volleyballThey raised $36,000 for breast cancer research this year. Over the six years that they’ve held this annual event, the two teams have brought in a little over $180,000.
Naperville girls highschool volleyballBefore the final game of the evening both varsity teams lined up, standing side-by-side, while breast cancer survivors shared their stories and thoughts with the crowd. It was a powerful and inspirational evening for everyone. Congratulations to the schools for putting together this wonderful program– especially the teams and their supportive families. Plus, I was happy that so many of the local businesses got onboard to help out and make donations. It’s great to see what can happen when a community gets together to help fight something that affects so many people. Naperville girls highschool volleyball


RIC SkyRise 2013I’ve been honored to be the official SkyRise photographer for the past five years. SkyRise benefits the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the top Rehab hospital in the US for the past 20 years or so.
RIC SkyRise 2013
Starting around 5:30am, it’s always a pretty emotional day. Thousands of people participate in the worlds tallest indoor stairclimb. It’s a challenging event to photograph; trying to take photos of tired, sweaty people in cramped stairwells with little room. Plus, after a few hours those top stairs get pretty hot and humid. I was joined this year by photographers Joanne Spyridakos, and Courtney Penzato. Joanne said that her camera lens was fogging up at times.
RIC SkyRise 2013
It’s 103 floors to the top. And while there are many athletic types involved, you’ll mostly see regular folks just trying to raise some money and make a difference. You’ll also see firefighters doing the climb in full gear. But most strikingly, you’ll see lots of former RIC patients. Chip, the guy you see below, was the last person to finish. He suffered spinal damage after being hit by a car seven months ago. Each step was a struggle, and it took him around 5 hours to finish, but he still made it to the top. Skyrise1_sm

Indonesia pt2

Textile shop in Bandung, IndonesiaWhile driving down a skinny backroad in Bandung we passed a building with the most amazing front doors. It turned out to be a small textile shop. Inside were about 15 women sewing shirts together. They laughed at us outside with our cameras, and kept yelling that we should come in and hang out for a bit. But there was a schedule to keep! One of the stops this day was at a local school.
School in Bandung, Indonesia
The kids were hilarious! A few of them kept playing hide-n-seek with me. But these two girls couldn’t have been less interested in what was happening. They were finishing up their lunch on the floor mat while everyone else was running around playing games.
Two schoolgirls in Bandung, Indonesia
Traffic in Jakarta is beyond crazy. There were labor protests going on, in addition to the regular traffic issues, which resulted in our car being stuck in traffic for five hours. It makes Chicago gridlock seem like a breeze. Scooters really are the only way to get around. And the fearless drivers get quite creative when they’re boxed in. They’ll even take to driving along the sidewalks, through the pedestrians and street vendors.
scooter1_smIndonesia scooter
And yes, I did see many, many families riding on a scooter together. It looks like the most dangerous thing to do, but it was so common, and nobody ever seemed concerned. This is how some people got their kids to school or to daycare every day. Although this little guy doesn’t seem thrilled.
Family on scooter, Indonesia