Portraits of Giving

Writer Melony Teague

Biographer, Melony Teague Photo by Merk Photography

Karen Merk, LPPOC, PMP, an award winning York Region photographer, was personally inspired by people in our community who contribute their time and resources to the benefit of others. These are people who give back for the right reasons and don’t want to be in a spotlight, but felt honoured to be celebrated. Karen developed the concept for Portraits of Giving and has continued to produce and organize the exhibit for the past six years.

In 2014 Karen invited writer, Melony Teague, to contribute the very touching stories behind the acts of giving of York Region people, adding another dimension to this photography exhibit. These stories will inspire you. In 2014 the theme was A Lifestyle Of Giving and this year’s theme: The Benefits of Giving Back.

 “I feel honoured and privileged to be able to sit down with these extraordinary individuals in order to tell their stories and share them with readers. Over and over again I am inspired by the honourees, their principles and giving hearts.”  – Melony Teague, Portraits of Giving Biographer 2014 – 2016

What people are saying:

In writing about the recipients who were honored in ‘Portraits of Giving’, Melony communicates the motivation behind each of these remarkable people who have given back to their community. In a unique way, from her first sentence onward, Melony engages the reader’s interest from the beginning to the end.” – Claudia Loopstra, Author of “Redemptive Love: Living with an Alcoholic Father.” (June 1, 2015)

“Melony Teague is an excellent biographer. She is able to get to the heart of the individual’s story and tells it in such a way that the reader fully understands what motivates, educates, entertains, strengthens and weakens him/her.” – Glenda Dekkema, Writer and Author (May 29, 2015)

“This year’s gala was a another great success. Congratulations to you and Karen Merk in producing the 2015 Portraits of Giving publication. The photos and profiles captured each honouree in a unique way. This helped the reader understand them as a person and their reasons for giving back to their community. Well done.” – Carol Ford (May 29, 2015)

“It was a great pleasure to work with Melony on the 2015 Portraits of Giving project. Melony has a gift for assembling a large amount of information, and then translating that information into a concise and meaningful piece. I’m very proud of the biography that she wrote, and would most certainly recommend her talent to anyone.” –  Matthew Waddington, Vice President at Canadian Plastics Group Ltd. (May 28, 2015)

“Thank you, Melony for your support, enthusiasm and talent for writing. Your passion for this event made it all the more special. Looking forward to coffee one day soon!” – Michelle Risi-Anagnostopoulos (May 7, 2015)

“Thank you, Melony for the wonderful event and your amazing stories-biographies you’ve written. It’s past midnight and I am still reading…
You are really talented!!!” – Emily Paskarou (May 7, 2015)

Melony was thoughtful and insightful in her work. I appreciated working with her and how she asked the right questions in order to generate something interesting out of something seemingly normal to me. Thanks Melony! – Robert Horst, Property Manager at Scarborough Town Centre Oxford Properties Group. (Previously at Upper Canada Mall) (March 3, 2015)

“Melony Teague recently wrote ten biographies and also assisted with PR for my 5th Anniversary Portraits of Giving exhibit about York Region People who give back to their community. Melony is extremely professional, detail oriented, has accomplished interviewing and writing skills. She has a gift for drawing out stories from each participant as to why and what inspired them to give back to their community. I would not hesitate to recommend Melony for other writing projects and look forward to working again with her on biographies for next year`s Portraits of Giving exhibit. Limited edition copies of the exibit book are available for sale – please visit www.merkphotography.com or contact Melony to order your copy and be prepared to be inspired!” – Karen Merk (August 2014)

“As a writer for Portraits of Giving, Melony interviewed me as someone being recognized in this event with comfortable questions. She drew out experiences and highlights of what I believed were my most memorable community volunteer involvements and captured a number of meaningful examples which were concisely summarized for the Portraits of Giving event. I was one of ten synopsis’s Melony assembled, each with the same care, accuracy and passion. Sensational work!” – Tim Jones (former Mayor of Aurora, Ontario) Director of Development at Community & Home Assistance to Seniors. (June 25, 2014)

2015 RECAP


Listen to the 2016 Honourees’ stories here. (Scripted by Melony Teague)

Portraits of GivingTo find out more about the exhibit tour and book visit Merk Photography


Let Melony Teague to tell your story