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Here Milton is featured in the Starphoenix:
The power of "all in"
Professional photographer Milton Taylor's longstanding involvement in the Saskatoon business community has served as a natural channel for his many volunteer pursuits. He spearheaded this vegetable garden project which is managed by the Food Bank.
Photograph by: Photo Courtesy Of Imagery Photography , The Starphoenix
Maybe he won't hang from a tree to get a photo (he'll do the next best thing) but professional photographer Milton Taylor is willing to get 'down and dirty' to spearhead a vegetable garden project for the Food Bank. It's part of his longstanding volunteer philosophy, otherwise known as a lifestyle.
"I've done a lot of volunteering in the past, Kinsmen, K40, that kind of thing. But I've gotten into volunteering moreso in the last few years because the community has been good to me, they come to my door and have their pictures taken, so I like to give back," he says. Imagery, Taylor's photography business, was established 37 years ago, and these days, focuses primarily on commercial style work, as well as a range of portraiture, including large family groups.
Being in business in Saskatoon over many years has led to numerous volunteering opportunities. "If you've been steeped in the business culture and you're observant, you do those things, it just comes natural to you," he says.
Taylor was the instigator of "100 People 100 Reasons" when Saskatoon turned a hundred. He's in his third year on the board of the Saskatoon Golf & Country Club where he oversees two committees. He's been a Jazz Festival volunteer for 15 years, serves on the board of the NSBA (North Saskatoon Business Association) and with the Club Connect committee. He just completed a couple of two-year stints with the Tourism Board.
Taylor's general approach seems to be "all-in" no matter what he does. But some opportunities tug at the heart strings in a special way. Like Care and Share, an organization that seeks to ensure all children have the same opportunities. It serves 17 inner-city community schools, addressing their wish lists of goods, services and programs that would best fulfill the students' needs.
Taylor has been on the board of Care and Share Saskatoon for about 12 years. "We have a dignity fund and each school is allotted so much money and the coordinator can take it and buy underwear or rubber boots or a swim suit if they go to swimming classes," he says. In many cases the children don't have these kinds of necessities.
"Many things in life will catch your eye, few catch your heart - pursue those," quotes Taylor, who is so committed to Care and Share he says they'll have to throw him off the board, because he's not leaving anytime soon. Everybody deserves a chance and Milton believes education is the key to the answer. "If we can have a generation of kids who stay in school, learn to be productive, and have positive role models, then we may have to close down a jail or two. That's wishful thinking but you've got to shoot for something," says Taylor.
The Food Bank vegetable garden on Third Avenue is another project that Taylor spearheaded. "I saw the toboggan at the top of the hill and I gave it a shove and got her rolling." The plot is in view from his current business location on the corner of 3rd Ave and Duchess Street. After getting permission from the mayor, some aging housing was removed, the plot was levelled and potatoes were grown the first year. When blight set in, the crop changed. "Last year they planted a lot of corn and squash and root vegetables and things like that, and harvested 19,500 pounds of produce from the three acre plot," says Taylor, who volunteers by going and picking things when they need it.
Taylor and Kearny Korchinski were asked by the Chamber to help form a new Junior Chamber of Commerce and we helped form a club which is now known as SYPE (Saskatchewan Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs).
Professionally, Taylor has served on the provincial and national boards of the PPOC (Professional Photographers of Canada) as president and in other capacities. He's also done speaking, competition judging and mentoring for various groups and individuals.
"There's people in our society that are stuck between a rock and a hard place, and dignity is important. Helping them to help themselves or giving them a chance to move forward, helping them get into society a little more and be their own person, don't we want that for people?" asks Taylor.
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