UAB dental student using viral photo of snowy downtown Birmingham for good cause
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- There were thousands of photos of last week's snow storm in Alabama shared on various social media sites, but one in particular has and continues to stand out over all the rest.
AJ Fennell, a 25-year-old student at UAB's School of Dentistry, captured a sensational, bird's eye view of downtown Birmingham shortly after a significant snowfall transformed it into a glowing, winter wonderland. The photo, which was taken atop the City Federal Building on 2nd Avenue North, went viral not long after he tweeted it to our very own James Spann, who retweeted the picture to the his 125,000-plus followers, better known as the @Spann Twitter Army.
As the image quickly grew in popularity and continued to circulate online, Fennell was soon overwhelmed by various requests asking for a digital copy of the photo. Those contacting Fennell included local artists, area residents end even a Birmingham tourism company. As the demand increased, the dentist-in-the-making recognized an incredible opportunity to use his picture for a good cause -- raising money for Dr. Ned Wikle, a dental school resident and father of three who is battling lung cancer.
Fennell wrote the following about his sudden realization on his newly-created Fundly fundraising campaign page called "Downtown Birmingham Snow Picture for a Cause":
"How amazing would it be if everyone who liked, favorited, re-tweeted, or instagrammed my picture contributed whatever they could for this cause?"
For a monetary donation, Fennell will send you digital copy of the original picture, which he describes as "a little better quality" than what you would get if you saved it off the web.
"I couldn't think of a better way to use my picture's popularity than for this exact cause," Fennell added on his campaign page.
In an effort to raise awareness and donations for Dr. Wikle, Fennell joined Spann and Pam Huff on Focus@4 Tuesday to discuss his viral photo. You can watch video of his appearance above or click here.
ABC 33/40 Chief Meteorologist James Spann, left, and UAB Dental School student AJ Fennell, right, pose for a picture during Focus@4, Tuesday, February 18, 2014.