Over the course of the Pirelli World Challenge race weekend May 26-27 at Lime Rock Park, professional sports photographers will volunteer their time and expertise to train military veterans in the art and science of photography. Organized by ace sports photographer Dan Burns for the Wounded Warrior Project, the two-day Canon-Lime Rock Park Photo School is part of WWP's overall effort to integrate U.S. veterans back into civilian life.
It’s not uncommon for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to have issues with motivation and socialization, two areas that this unique photo school can address, says Nancy Schiliro-Beetstra, outreach specialist with Wounded Warrior Project.
“Motivation and socialization skills are often lacking in those suffering with PTSD,” Schiliro-Beetstra says. “Event photography is a mechanism we’re using to help vets with these issues, because we’re certain that having our warriors participate in Lime Rock’s exciting, real-world, bigtime racing event will be tremendous motivation to get themselves out of their comfort zones.
“By ‘graduating’ from the *Canon-Lime Rock Photo School, they will find it easier to then volunteer their new skills with local charities where they live. This is the re-socialization aspect that is so important – getting our warriors back into their communities. We try to pave the way for smoother transitions into civilian life.”
Debbie Horne of Special Olympics Connecticut will speak to the vets at lunch on Friday about the value of volunteering.
In addition, David Maffucci, owner of Visionary Computer, Lakeville, Conn., a private business specializing in Apple products, has volunteered to bring photo-processing support gear – computers, card readers, software – to the Lime Rock school to allow the vets to download and edit images over the two days. *Many thanks to Canon Professional Services, which is donating the use of camera bodies, lenses, flashes and other imaging gear worth more than $100,000 to the WWP/LRP photo school -end The mission of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP connects wounded warriors and their families to valuable resources and one another, serves them through a variety of free programs and services, and empowers them to live life on their own terms. WWP is a national, non-partisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. WWP is an accredited charity with the Better Business Bureau, is top rated by Charity Navigator, and holds a GuideStar Platinum rating. To get involved and learn more, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.