Last year I was happy to photograph LifePath’s Christmas party; this year I was delighted to take a role in their annual Thanksgiving fundraiser as the official photographer. The event was a ton of fun—everybody was having a great time, I was happy to see a lot of familiar faces from the Lehigh Valley, and I got to meet many new friends.
The highlight of the day, of course, was Bill Walton, the 7-foot-tall keynote speaker. I’ve never seen him play basketball (though I suspect he fortifies his natural talent with an unsurpassed tenacity that made him the star he is) but as a public speaker he was top-shelf. And not just because he’s the only one who could reach the top shelf!
We kicked off the day with a tour of LifePath’s Bethlehem facility, where I got to see some familiar faces.
I would have loved to have spent a lot more time at the facility. I love meeting these beautiful people – some were joyous, others troubled, and others mysterious. But they have such a brilliant range of personalities and stories to tell that it’s difficult to capture everything there is to capture in the whirlwind tour we made.
Still, we had to get to the conference center to begin the speeches!
When Bill took the stand, his height finally sunk in. He towered over the crowd; even the podium was embarrassed to stand next to him!
Mr. Walton is a great speaker; he’s super-charismatic and very clever. The audience was captivated; about five minutes in I was kicking myself for not having set up a voice recorder just so I could take notes! He had so many quotable moments I’m kicking myself for not jotting them down. Such is the photographer’s quandary.
After Bill finished speaking, there was an auction to sell some collectible memorabilia and season tickets and other fun things – the auctioneer was such a character! I’m only going to share this photo, but he was pretty much a hero.
I took, err, plenty of shots of Bill Walton signing things, but this was one of my favorites. Everybody had a wonderful time, and it was a success by all counts. Bill gave us a great presentation, and his sensitivity and optimism were apparent and inspiring.
That’s that for this peek at LifePath’s Thanksgiving event. Keep an eye out for these photos and more in their marketing materials as well as in the Morning Call and elsewhere. For more photos, of course, you can visit my website, shoot me an e-mail, or follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Happy holidays!