Photojournalists Receive NPPA-NPPF Katrina Relief Funds

DURHAM, NC – NPPA past president Bob Gould said today that six photojournalists and their families who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina and suffered losses because of the storm received funds today from the NPPA-NPPF Katrina Relief Fund.

“Several of these folks have relocated, and their lives are still not back to normal,” Gould said. “Thanks to NPPA fund raisers (such as print auctions) and to individual contributors, when it’s all tallied we raised close to $10,000 for this effort, along with money from some companies who matched contributions.”

The fund was established to help photojournalists who lost their homes, or lost their jobs, or may have been separated from their families because of Hurricane Katrina. NPPA and the National Press Photographers Foundation solicited donations from the journalism community and the public to create the fund. The NPPF, often referred to simply as “the Foundation,” is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) charity; all donations to the NPPF and to the Katrina Relief Fund are tax deductible.

“We asked the photojournalism community to respond, and they did. The Foundation and NPPA are thrilled to be able to provide this much-needed assistance. We’re sure these grants will be definitely welcomed, especially at this time of year.”

The relief fund checks were sent out via overnight express by Foundation treasurer Frank Folwell, and the recipients received the funds on Friday, December 23. Four of the six recipients are NPPA members, and Gould says the four will also receive a one-year complementary renewal of their NPPA membership as part of the relief package.

“This was a great opportunity, and the NPPA really did the fund raising, and the Foundation was able to provide the vehicle to get funds to the people who really need them,” Folwell said today. “Alicia (Wagner Calzada, NPPA president) and Bob (Gould) really did a great job of pulling this together.”

Earlier this year a committee was established to receive and review the requests for aid. Those on the committee were Gould, of WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, MI; John Ballance from The Advocate in Baton Rouge, LA; Tim Mueller from The Advocate; and C. Thomas Hardin, currently the Foundation’s vice president who also served it as president, and who is the retired photography director of the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Detroit News.

Gould said that funds were distributed based on need, affiliation with NPPA, and how much money was in the relief fund. NPPA members were going to be given first priority by the review committee.

During the 48th annual NPPA Flying Short Course, print auctions in Boston, Austin, and Eugene raised cash for the relief fund. The print auction in Eugene raised $1,854 according to NPPA vice president Tony Overman, and the print auction in Austin raised $1,425 according to NPPA president Calzada.

New York and New Jersey news photographers raised $1,325 at a fundraiser in late September when eight metropolitan-based photographers showed their photographs of the destruction and human suffering in New Orleans and Mississippi caused by Katrina. The money was presented to NPPA Region 2 director Harry DiOrio, who placed it in the NPPA/NPPF Katrina Relief Fund.

For more information about the fund, and what you can still do to help photojournalists and their families who are in need, please contact Gould at [email protected].