Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Seniors’ Community Services and Jill Woodley Photography hosted a successful fundraiser at Curry Park on September 26 to raise money for the Medical Transportation Service. The fundraiser sold out almost two weeks ahead of time. The Times spoke with Jill Woodley to learn more about the event, the purpose of which was to support the subsidized Medical Transportation Service which provides reduced-cost transportation to seniors who may not otherwise have access to their critical medical appointments. This helps to ensure that there are no barriers for any client, especially clients who are living on lower fixed incomes.
Highlights of the event included photo outtakes of children acting silly, photographs of a three-week-old and a six-week-old baby, and many families bringing the family dog for their photos. Jill was also very moved by the kindness of a 10-year-old boy named Cameron, who donated $1.10 of his own money, declaring “that’s for the seniors” as he dropped the money into the donation bin.
Medical transportation needs for seniors increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as loved ones became less involved in seniors’ lives in order to protect them from the virus. Combined with a decrease in volunteers, also due to the pandemic, the need for subsidized medical transportation reached an all-time high. Jill expressed her gratitude for the volunteers who were willing to help with the fundraiser, telling the Times, “We had these incredible volunteers who just stepped up and did more than we could have ever asked, and we were tremendously grateful to them.”
A local multi-generational family was even granted a separate photo session with Jill on October 8, as they had not been able to register for the original session on September 26.
Jill does not plan to change much about the fundraiser for next year, because no problems were encountered. She is considering making it a two-day event next year to accommodate more people, given the popularity and busyness of this year’s event. “I felt like I had run a marathon,” Jill joked. “You squat so much when you’re a photographer that I could barely walk, but it was all worth it!”