Combining a passion for capturing the world around you through the lens of a camera and home-town pride is something Chatham-Kent is embracing whole-heartedly.
Amateur photographers and hobbyists have flocked to a social media site that encourages photographers to take pics of all things Chatham-Kent and post them on-line for votes. Run by Chatham resident and photographer Tina (Marie) Dekievit, the Facebook page is called Chatham-Kent Through Our Lenses, is open to the public and currently has 1,078 members.
Dekievit gives photographers a forum to share photos, ideas and techniques with each other. Each week, she said, people can submit a photo on whatever theme is chosen and group members vote on the photos. A winner is chosen and gets to pick the next week’s theme.
“This group is meant to be fun and a place to share in the beauty that we call home. Please don’t take it too seriously, just relax and enjoy the photos. Happy shooting,” Dekievit tells people visiting her page.
To showcase the talents of the local photographers and scenes from the municipality, Dekievit has teamed up with Kate Staley with Big Fix TNR/Grassroots Rescue to create a calendar of winning photos and sell them to raise money for the feline trap, neuter and release program. The program not only helps control the population and health of feral cats, but also helps cat owners with vet costs.
“So many people argue the fact that this isn’t their problem yet complain about seeing sick or dying cats and kittens wandering the neighborhood or damaging property and won’t step forward to help,” Staley said. “Almost 400 trap, neuter and releases have been done since we began doing the transport a few short months ago. Imagine in a couple years how many lives we will have saved; we just need people to know who to come to. I like to say we’re the little rescue doing big things.”
“The cost of each calendar will be $20 and will feature photos right here from our members. Part of the proceeds of the calendar will go for the cost of making them, roughly $8 give or take, and the rest will be donated to the Big Fix TNR/Grassroots Rescue,” Dekievit explained. “They help with low cost vetting for cat owners as well as the overpopulation of the feral cat colonies that Kent County has a big problem with.”
Calendar orders will be taken up until Oct. 17 and must be pre-paid. Anyone wanting to order a calendar or learn more about the groups can go to Big Fix TNR or Through Our Lenses page. People without access to Facebook can text Tina at 226-627-8233 or Kate at 226-671-0031.