HOMETOWN HERO: Johnnie Tarter

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EDMONTON, Ky. (WBKO) -- A man in Metcalfe County is hoping to encourage students by capturing moments they can be proud of.

Over the last several years, Johnnie Tarter has taken time to show up to all kinds of sporting events for the high school, taking live-action photographs of the students to give to their parents and families -- keepsakes they can look back on for years after graduation.

"He's always at every ball game that we have. He's at every Metcalfe County event, and he volunteers, nobody asks him to do this," said Hannah Brown, a senior volleyball player at the high school who nominated Johnnie for this honor.

Hannah said she has thousands of pictures from her volleyball games that Johnnie has given her over the years, and especially now as a senior, she's understanding how important it is to hold on to those memorable moments.

"My goal is, with taking the pictures, is to help. It's my little way of helping encourage the kids. If I could capture the right moment, them doing something spectacular that they can go back and look at, hopefully that makes them proud of themselves and encourages them a little bit," said Johnnie.

He started taking pictures years ago for his step-son's tee ball team, and his passion for sports photography took off. He's now a staple at Metcalfe County High School events, where is step-son is currently a freshman.

"I love taking the pictures, I take these pictures for the kids so they can have them the rest of their lives to show their kids and grandkids," said Johnnie.

"First of all I saw his pictures online and I was like 'man this guy really takes good pictures' and I kept seeing him at games and I knew that he wasn't employed by us, and this guy was just volunteering his time and that showed a lot to me that he was taking his own time -- and he has a family of his own -- but he was taking his own time to help our kids and make sure that they had memories that they could go back and look at," said Metcalfe County High School Principal Clint Graham.

Johnnie could charge quite a bit for these high-quality prints, but instead, he not only gives up his personal time to come to these games, but he also gives up the extra income he could be getting, as puts the pictures online and on flashdrives to give to the students and their families for free.

"It's just refreshing to me as an administrator to have people like that that we know have the back of our kids and that want the best for them," said Principal Graham.

"I've made some great connections with a lot of the kids and I'm super proud of each and every one of them," said Johnnie.

He admitted it'll be hard this year seeing some of them graduate and he said to be nominated to be a Hometown Hero by one of the students is very humbling.

"He does a good thing for our community and good things don't go unnoticed," added Hannah.

Johnnie said he'll continue to volunteer as the school's sports photographer as long as they'll let him.

For his selfless acts of giving his time and his resources, we honor Johnnie Tarter as this week's Hughes and Coleman Hometown Hero.

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