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Something to Brighten Your Day

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Message Dane Swank
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     I am so impressed by the work of one particular high school youth that I felt compelled to share her story with oped members. There is so much negativity in the news today that this one bright and shining star, and her efforts to contribute to her Florida community, has really lifted my spirits.


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Her name is Risa Ortega. She has been showing up at school sporting events for the past couple years capturing phenomenal pictures. I have seen her lighting up the sidelines of high school football games and other sporting events for no other reason than to capture the memory, returning it to the players and their families free of charge.


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 I was equally impressed when I discovered that her webpage,   or , (for those flakey browsers that don't like the site) was created in her spare time, all on her own. I am not sure I would have had the where-with-all for such a task. To see such passion in one of today's youth compelled me to share her story with you all.

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    After visiting her facebook page, , and viewing over 45 different albums of images, scrolling through literally hundreds of amazing action pictures, I was stunned. I can only imagine the time it took to compile them all, arriving at games between homework assignments, editing images, watermarking them, and posting them online for players and their families.  I even found images from where she has donated time at the local animal shelter, and where she had created little banners to help support animal adoptions, and according to her webpage she is also a JROTC member. That in itself is commendable.

 I know I am not the first one, and I doubt I will be the last, but I just wanted to take a moment to say, "Good job, Kid! I hope to see your work in Sports illustrated or National Geographic one day". I will be just one of the many fans who will say, "I knew that kid when"  

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According to her webpage, she has been hoping to find someone to sponsor her, maybe someone who would be willing to contribute towards her expenses in exchange for advertising their products or company name. She has a donation button that reflects donations, which at the moment appear sparse. She does not charge for her efforts realizing that many, if not most, of the students cannot afford to pay for these memories. Those that wish to donate towards the cost of gas or that special night lens she has been wishing to get for the night games, or perhaps a chip large enough to capture some video shots, can do so on her web page.

Times are tough. Hopefully, her efforts will be noticed by someone who would like to encourage her in her contributions to her community  

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About Dane Swank: Author of new fiction release, "The Census." I am originally from Virginia, I currently reside in Florida, yet actively seeking to escape its decaying clutches. Being a single parent, I am able to appreciate the simple gifts in (more...)
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