Emily Little

Youth achievements preserved thanks to group’s efforts

Whenever I attend community events in Highlands County, I normally see many familiar faces. However, there is one particular group of faces I see consistently – those who work with Mountain Top Productions. Mountain Top is an organization that began in 1993 with the goal of creating an archive of community events. At first, this organization may simply seem like a small photography project someone started, but it is much more than that.

For the last 21 years, Mountain Top has been at every community event or activity you can imagine. The first time I ever encountered Mountain Top was at my very first FFA competition in the sixth grade. I was competing in parliamentary procedure, and I was extremely nervous. I noticed a man taking pictures of everyone and everything there, and I wondered who he was. Later on in the day, he handed me a business card that said “Mountain Top” and encouraged me to add them on Facebook.

The next day, I went home and decided to check out their Facebook. I added them as a friend, and a few minutes later I was looking at over one hundred pictures from the competition. There were pictures of my team with our ribbons, as well as the other teams there that day.

Since then, Mountain Top has been at almost every event I can remember. Having pictures of important events is something we often take for granted, but Mountain Top certainly does not. From parades to school events, Mountain Top always seems to have a presence. Something I am especially grateful for is their attendance of the fair each year.

Fair week is one of my favorite weeks of the year, specifically when I am showing livestock. During fair week most of the exhibitors, including myself, tend to be running around like chickens with our heads chopped off. This leaves very little time to stop and pose for pictures for our parents. However, Mountain Top is always in the middle of the action snapping candid photos for us. They even make the early morning trek to the fairgrounds during animal weigh-ins, arriving before 5 a.m.! Many of these pictures turn out a bit comical, since most of the people there have been up since 3 am.

It can be fun to come home from an event and see pictures immediately being posted the next day or looking back on them a few years down the road. Mountain Top pictures can also be a great way to catch up on a community event you may have missed. Mountain Top takes the time to attend all of these events, but the work does not stop there. Then comes the long process of uploading the photos, which can be extremely time consuming. Yet, you never hear Mountain Top complain. They simply enjoy being able to give back to the community.

It seems hard to imagine our community without Mountain Top. Many events that take place would go undocumented, leaving no trace for future generations to look back upon. From homecoming football games to triathlons, Mountain Top is there for it all. If it weren’t for the long hours that Mountain Top puts in taking and posting pictures, many memories would be lost. A big thank you is in order to Mountain Top for all they do for our community. Thank you for being such a big presence in our community. I am incredibly grateful for all that you do!