Three weeks after Sandy ravaged her home in Rockaway, Queens, Pat Gallagher was on a rescue effort of a different kind. She hoped to salvage decades of cherished photos on the brink of being ruined at a free photo scanning and retouching event held on the peninsula.
Photo Restorers Aims to Help Save Memories Damaged by Sandy
"I was able to save some," she said, through tears, as she held a photo album that was in her flood-damaged basement. "It's just very upsetting."
CARE for Sandy, which stands for "Cherished Albums Restoration Effort," is a group of professional photographers and photo retouchers who gathered after the storm to help save what they could for people who lost nearly everything.
The event Tuesday, held at St. Francis de Sales church in Belle Harbor, is the first of what they hope to be many in-person scanning events for residents in areas across the tri-state.
"We have an opportunity to transform some of those difficult, unhappy memories and take the eraser and make someone smile again," said Lee Kelly, from CARE for Sandy.
Kristin Daly, 29, brought a boxful of photos she found at her 80-year-old grandfather's home in Breezy Point.
"They were in his room and just filled with water," she said. "So I'm doing this behind his back because they're very cherished."
The pictures may be worth a thousand words, but hugs of "thank you" after irreplaceable images were spared spoke volumes.
"They're here in your head, you never forget them, but you can lose them in a matter of time," said Gallagher.