Adorama, Canon, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation are teaming up to bring a day of fun with a purpose on 18th Street in New York, right in front of Adorama headquarters!
The fun quotient at Adorama is about to go up again. But it's fun with an important purpose.
Last week Adorama hosted a memorable invitation-only party for many of the top professional photographers in New York and beyond. This Sunday, June 12, from 11 am – 3 pm, we're throwing a free street fair, and everybody is invited!
The entire block—18th street between 5th and 6th Avenues—will be closed to traffic. There will be family fun including a petting zoo (bring your tele zoom lenses for close-ups of kids with animals) circus performers (catch the colorful action) carnival games and prizes. You will have chance to meet such luminaries as football great and WFAN morning sports-talk co-host Boomer Esiason and his radio partner Craig Carton, New York Mets pitching legend John Franco, Q104.3 classic rock radio DJs Jim Kerr and Maria Millito, and master photographer Bryan Peterson. By the way, did I mention there will be free food?
What makes this street fair different from all other street fairs? Well, in addition to all of the above, there will be tents where you can meet with representatives from showing the latest cameras from Canon, tablet computers Apple, Asus, Computer products from Gtech & Lexar, and many others. You can take pictures of all the action with the newest Canon cameras, and print your photos on the spot! So while the kids are playing, you can play with the latest high-tech toys. But there's something else as well...
Now, the serious (and most important) part
Before I talk about who will benefit from this fair (besides you!), I have a personal story I'd like to share.
I went to Great Neck South high school in the mid 70s and there was a guy in my class, Lou, who always looked kind of sickly, and was always coughing. It was constant, and sometimes he would almost turn blue because he couldn't catch his breath. Incredibly, some of the kids made fun of him, or more often just steered clear. I didn't. I befriended him and while he never talked about it, it was obvious that he was not a healthy guy. Nevertheless, became good friends.
We went together to Mets games (including sitting in the Nosebleed section of Shea Stadium one windy April day and watched Tom Seaver pitch an opening-day complete-game victory), hung out together after school, ate a lot of Pizza and ice cream, attempted to smoke a cigarette together (fortunately my asthma stopped that habit from forming; Lou's cough just got a lot worse for an hour).
Lou and I remained friends through college and beyond. He kept coughing; once I visited his room and was shocked to see the all of the inhalers, pills and needles littering his desk. I gently pressed him to tell me what was going on, but he wouldn't talk about it. He wanted to be treated as a friend, not the guy with...whatever it was.
Then, when we were both in our mid-30s, I got shocking news. Lou was struck by a car while walking to one of his graduate classes at Hofstra University. He was in and out of a coma for months. A healthy person might have survived the injuries, but Lou passed away before he turned 35. It was only then that I learned from his family that he'd been suffering from Cystic Fibrosis. He kept his CF private, preferring to be known for the content of his character rather than for the disease he lived with. It takes a strong individual to do that.
Boomer Esiason, who as I mentioned above will be at the Adorama street fair this Sunday, has also been touched by Cystic Fibrosis; his son, Gunnar, is living with it, and Boomer has created the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is dedicated to fighting Cystic Fibrosis with new drugs, research, and scientific breakthroughs. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which works with the Boomer Esiason Foundation, will be at the Adorama street fair. Do stop by their booth and learn how you can help support this important cause.
With that in mind, this blog post is dedicated to the memory of my friend, Lou Narcez, who would want everyone to come to the fair and have a great time and not let his (or anyone's) CF drag drag them down; so, if you are in New York City next Sunday, I hope to see you at the fair!
Photo credit: kirschbam/istockphoto.com