583 Park Avenue set the stage for the 18th Annual Valentine Salon Luncheon, an event that raises money and awareness for East End Hospice’s Camp Good Grief, a summer camp for children experiencing bereavement. Sarah Merians, a member of the Valentine Salon Committee, was recognized with the Valentine Salon Image Award for her work as a photographer and philanthropist. Merians was honored alongside Lauren Manning, an author and 9/11 survivor who suffered from damaging wounds during the World Trade Center attacks. The event featured an auction with companies such as Celange, Pologeorgis, Jennifer Miller Jewlery and Marina St. Barths donating to the worthy cause. A special shout out to LPB Graphics for designing the event logo and invitation and a very happy Valentine’s day filled with love to all of our Facebook friends. #valsal2017
Sarah’s award acceptance speech:
“Throughout the last three decades, I have had the honor and good fortune to be invited into my client’s lives to capture their once-in-a-lifetime events. Approximately ten years ago, I was introduced to an amazing woman who hired me for her children’s Mitzvahs. Her name is Ellen Lowey. At the time I was looking for ways to stay connected with my clients that I loved and give back to communities that were important to them. My dad had always said that we can’t only take withdrawals in life, but we need to make deposits as well. Ellen introduced me to East End Hospice and I am proud to say that this is my seventh year working with Camp Good Grief.
I suppose, through my personal reflection, that it is no surprise I migrated to this organization because as a two-year-old, my father was diagnosed with cancer. Throughout my entire childhood, we had his illness as a dark cloud over our family until his death at the young age of 54 years old. It is not ironic that my journey in life has brought me here; to a group of women coming together to make a difference in children’s lives dealing with the tragic loss of a parent and helping them to feel they are not alone as they share Camp Good Grief with other kids just like them. I only wish I had a “Camp Good Grief” when I was a child. The work we do is so important and I am humbled to work side by side with all of you and to help any way I can!
Having photographed hundreds of award recipients over the years and endless corporate and social head shots, I have constantly preached “your image is everything.” Here I am today in front of all of you as the first recipient of your Image Award!!! I am so proud to be recognized by this incredible organization and all of you. Thank you for this honor from the bottom of my heart.”