I was lucky enough to be chosen as a "second shooter" at the DeBartolo Family Foundation's Ninth Annual All Star Charity Gala on Friday, March, 9, 2012. The main photographer was Glenda Madaris Czaplinski of Artistic Photography by Glenda.
A lot of current and former pro athletes were at the event! Two athletes that I was fortunate enough to "get shot" with were Tim Tebow and Joe Maddon. Needless to say Tebow was the star of the gala. Even though the room was filled to the brim with familiar faces, everyone seemed to want to meet the rising Florida Gator! I honestly didn't think I was going to get to interact with him let alone get a photo taken with him since it was such a hectic night, but at the last minute as Tebow was leaving an awesome deputy from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office offered to use my camera to snap the above pic.
Confession: Before that night I never really understood the hype over Tebow. I only really wanted a photo with him to make my pal Meredith a little jealous. Now, after hearing more about him and meeting him in person I can say he is very handsome and seems to be a genuinely compassionate nice guy. He never got mad that everyone was trying to talk to him even while he struggled to eat his dinner. He stopped eating every single time and greeted fans, took pictures and treated everyone as if they were the only ones in the room for those few moments of interaction. It was kind of fascinating to watch the crowd flock to him but I was relieved when they got a couple of security guards to act as a blockade between him and the fans so he could at least finish his meal.
I won't say I'm on the Tebow bandwagon though. Good for him that he is so strong in his values, believes so strongly in his religion and strives to be a great athlete, but I'm not a Tebow fan convert just yet. Maybe its because I can't get over the fact he was once a gator, or maybe the truth is I have never really been obsessed with any athletes...EVER. haha.
On a side note, for USF fans...I attempted to get him to throw the Bulls hand sign in the image he took with me. For a split second he was about to do it, hesitated and then realized what the hand sign was...He said "Hell no!" and then proceeded to laugh about me trying to trick him into it and just smiled for the pic. Glad he didn't get pissed and refuse to take the picture! ;)
The image below is me and Rays Manager Joe Maddon. This photo was taken by Glenda of Artistic Photography by Glenda.