Valentines for Veterans

Text  & Photos by Christina Lavris

The Southeast Museum of Photography hosted a Family Photo Fun Day event that was a big hit for both valentines and veterans. Taking place Feb. 11, it included free Valentine’s Day photos, craft activities and refreshments. Children and their families dressed up at prop tables, posing in front of one of the many backdrops available at the event, as volunteers took their pictures.

Perhaps the most notable activity was the “Messages of Love” where children were given the chance to create valentines as a special way to say thank you to veterans who served in the armed forces. On Feb. 16, veterans crowded into the first “Art in Action: Veterans Exploring the Visual Arts” class at the Southeast Museum of Photography. After being presented the valentines by SMP staff, veterans happily opened the envelopes containing their cards.

Gerry Corrigan of Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial in Ormond Beach sponsored the Photo Fun Day, providing materials, art supplies and refreshments. A disabled veteran, Corrigan previously took photo classes through a Veteran’s Center and is a strong believer in giving back to the cause.  “I love photography, I’m pretty avid about it,” said Corrigan.
Christina Katsolis of the  SMP Education Department organized the event, saying “It’s been my privilege to create and host our ‘Fun Days’ since 2009 and we’ve had hundreds of families come through the Southeast Museum of Photography as a result. It’s certainly a challenge to plan and produce activities on such a large scale, but always immensely worth the effort.”