Pay It Forward: Life Through the Lens

Local News

“It’s just a moment in time that’s captured that can never be replayed.”

Rick cleaver has captured millions of moments — from the thrill of victory — to solemn reflection — to the simple joys in life.

“I’m a whole lot better on the backside of a camera than i am in front of one,” Cleaver said through a slight chuckle. “Back in high school, a friend of mine talked me into joining the annual newspaper staff.”

Nearly 40 years later, Cleaver’s love of photography continues to grow. He uses every opportunity from sporting events to house fires to a quick tennis match between friends to hone his craft.

But here’s the thing: he posts all of his photos — for free.

“Mainly, it’s the feeling I get when one of the ex-students, their parents or grandparents come up to me and say that I gave them something that they could’ve never had before,” Cleaver said.

Donna Brewster has been on the receiving end of a few of Cleaver’s priceless moments as she’s watched her kids climb through Burkburnett athletic programs.

“I think we’re fortunate that he does it for everybody, people who can’t afford the photos, and just shares them with the community for free,” Brewster said.

That’s why Brewster wanted to pay it forward so Cleaver can continue to use his hobby to capture moments that stand the test of time.

“It’s really just the thanks,” Cleaver said. “The thanks I get from them means more than money.”

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