Hold That Hug remembers Columbia photographer, friend

Sunday, October 12, 2008 | 5:28 p.m. CDT; updated 10:24 a.m. CDT, Monday, October 13, 2008
Photographer Amy Enderle takes a picture Sunday afternoon of the Smith family, from left: Asa, 5, Melissa, Reese, 2, Jason, and Quinn, 2. The Smith family had their photo taken for free as part of an event held in Stewart Park that was organized in honor of Sarah Becking, a Columbia photographer who died of cancer in July.

COLUMBIA — Sunday afternoon, Sarah Becking's family and friends gathered at Stewart Park to have their pictures taken. The event wasn't just about photographs; it was a way to remember Becking's life and accomplishments.

Becking died from carcinoid cancer in July. A photographer from Columbia, she was known for her photos of families and MU sporting events.

Hold That Hug was a free family photo shoot and a positive day for those that were close to Becking.

"When something like this happens, everybody wants to do something to help," Cindy Messner, Becking's mother, said. "This is a positive thing, getting families together."

Natalie Thomas knew Becking for about 20 years and said Hold That Hug was a way to "keep Sarah's joy and share it with everybody."

"This is something Sarah would have really enjoyed," Thomas said.

Six photographers who live near Stewart Park spent the afternoon photographing friends of Becking with their families. Ashley Turner, one of the photographers, got involved through Kim Wade and Amy Enderle, both friends of Becking who helped organize the event.

"I have very few pictures with my son and husband," Turner said. "I think this is a great way to remember Sarah, even though I didn't know her personally."

Laura Estes and her family arrived at Stewart Park dressed in Missouri Tiger apparel, ready to be photographed. Estes was friends with Becking and said the event was a good opportunity to have her picture taken with her children.

"Something I've regretted is not having Sarah take our picture. It's because of her death that I'm making sure we send out Christmas cards and stay in touch with friends this year," Estes said.

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