Every Tuesday, the Jason Taylor Foundation dedicates the day to spotlighting one of our partners, volunteers, or celebrity friends that have supported our tireless efforts toward building a brighter future for the youth of the South Florida community.
This week the JTF would like to spotlight a special individual that has contributed to the foundation’s growth since its infancy, Michael Hopkins, for our #SpotlightTuesday segment.
Since the foundation’s inception in 2004, Michael has contributed countless hours of his time and talents, photographing every one of the Jason Taylor Foundation’s marquee events, including 12 Jason Taylor Celebrity Golf Classics, 11 Ping-Pong Smashes, 11 Cool Gear for the School Years along with so many others, while also editing the priceless memories he has captured for more than a decade.
With his roots beginning in darkroom photography over 35 years ago, Hopkins has built one of the most consistent and longstanding partnerships the foundation has ever worked with. The powerful synergy between the Dan Marino Foundation and the Jason Taylor Foundation allowed for a fluid dynamic that sparked Michael’s involvement with JTF back in 2004.
“God gives you a talent and sometimes you just have to know when to give it away,” Michael expressed. “My job isn’t to be the star of the show – it’s to be the fly on the wall, observe and keep people with people.”
Michael has been the recipient of numerous accolades including Nova Southeastern University’s 2001 Partner of the Year, Honorable mention for the 1999 Governor’s Committee Investment Award, and was voted Best Children Photographer by South Florida Magazine since 1997. When asked which award he was most proud of, he humbly responded, “I don’t think about the award as much as I think about the people that I’m with. I’m most proud of customer satisfaction and the ability to make things look easier than they really are.”
When he is not volunteering his time to various foundations, he is managing his successful photography studio, Gerlinde Photography, where he works with his mother, Gerlinde Hopkins, and fellow photographer, Joseph Gallagher.
“Michael is so much more than just a vendor donating his services…he’s a part of the JTF family,” said Seth Levit, Executive Director of the Jason Taylor Foundation. “He’s been at nearly every event since the beginning and never asked for a dime. By lending his talents, he’s allowed the preservation of our organization’s history, and helps us to tell the story of our work.“
It is especially important to know how much Michael Hopkins’ unwavering support to the foundation means to not only the JTF family, but more importantly to the children and the community it serves. The still moments he so beautifully captures represent much more than an isolated charity event. They document and catalog the good work of the Jason Taylor Foundation, its dedicated volunteers and the corporate partners that support us.
Please join us in thanking Michael Hopkins for his dedication and commitment to the betterment of the South Florida community and the children that live here.