Hurricane Katrina

Photo rescuers plan return trip to Coast

Last weekend I wrote about a volunteer organization that restores photos damaged in natural disasters.

Operation Photo Rescue has done hundreds of restorations and the response of our readers was great.

Unfortunately, there was no phone number or address for folks to make inquiries.

So I e-mailed the contact at the Web site to find out what was what.

I received a response from Dave Ellis, co-president of Operation Photo Rescue, who said he, too, had a huge response from the column about their organization.

He writes, in part, "So many requests in fact, that we are considering sending down a team to your area to do digital copy work. Once we have digital copies of the damaged originals, we can get our restoration volunteers working on them."

The way Operation Photo Rescue works is they make digital copies of the damaged photos and then work on those to complete the restoration.

But OPR also needs help, too. Ellis said usually, the group will send a team to the area to set up shop, copy damaged images and then upload them to its Web site, where a restoration volunteer can repair the photos. Once they are restored, a print of each is made and mailed to the owners of the damaged photos.

Ellis recommends damaged photos be kept in a clean, dry place; avoid handling them to keep them from further damage.

He also said he would contact the Sun Herald when plans are finalized to send a team to South Mississippi. Ellis said he hopes a trip can be made within a month.

We'll let you know more when details are available.

In the meantime, Ellis said anyone who wishes can contact him at

Labat fundraiser a success

I received a very nice note from John and Tricia McDonald of Coastal Impressions last week.

McDonald donated 250 prints of his watercolor of Labat's B-B-Q in the Pass to help defray medical expenses as Robert Labat is treated for Hodgkins.

McDonald writes, "A note of thanks to you and the Sun Herald staff. Sales of the Labat print have truly exceeded our expectations.

"There's no more than a handful of the initial 250 donated prints available at the time of this writing, (and those may have been spoken for as I'm typing this e-mail.) We will continue selling prints from the remainder of the first printing of 750 through this weekend at Art in The Park. Proceeds from sales will continue to be passed along to the Labat family."

The prints, which sell for $20, are beautiful and the generosity of the McDonalds to help the Labat family is heartwarming. Check out their booth at Art in the Park if you're in the Pass today.