By Michelle Poirier

Merk Photography’s annual Portraits of Giving award reception at The Briars Resort & Spa, held on August 11, honoured Laurie and Mike Carriere and their daughter, Crystal Pangman.

The Carriere family were recognized for their ongoing contributions to the Terry Fox Run in Georgina.

The award was sponsored by Dave and Anita Haynes, owners of Sutton Home Hardware and last year’s recipients.

Though the event was small due to COVID-19 restrictions, the support was strong, with Mayor Margaret Quirk and MP Scot Davidson attending and sharing their appreciation for the Carriere family’s work to support the community.

“If you don’t know Laurie, you haven’t lived in town very long,” Mayor Quirk said at the start of her speech.

“You have [Terry’s] spirit; you really truly do. I know you’ve been through a lot on a personal basis and family basis, and you persevered, you have his strength, and you’re making that dream live on. It’s families like you that make our community what it is.”

Councillor Mike Waddington and Mayor Margaret Quirk present Town certificate

MP Davidson had a surprise for Mike and Laurie.

He was shocked to learn that they had never been to the Terry Fox Memorial in Thunder Bay, and they never had a honeymoon.

“I’m going to send you and Mike up to Thunder Bay for a weekend. You’re going to have your honeymoon, and then you’re going to see the Terry Fox Memorial,” he said during his speech. “I just wanted to say thanks on behalf of everyone in York Simcoe.”

Mike Carriere started the acceptance speech for the family.

“This is quite an honour for us. We are definitely not used to this, and we don’t do it for recognition. We do it for the fun, we do it for the people we get to meet, and somewhere along the line, we hope that what we do benefits people,” he said.

“If you ever see someone with a red Terry Fox t-shirt on, it means they are a cancer survivor. And when we do these Terry Fox runs, and we see people with the red shirts on, it means that science has helped them get through.”

Laurie followed with a very personal story about her father’s long and hard battle with cancer.

“My dad died in January, the same year Terry ran, and I was furious because he hadn’t got out there quick enough to save my dad,” she said.

“It took a little bit, but I ended up falling in love with this kid that lost a leg and wasn’t just thinking about himself. He was thinking about everybody else, and he reminded me a lot of my dad.”

She thanked her husband and daughter and the community for showing up to the events and fundraisers they run.

“It’s you guys that inspire all of us to keep going, keep pushing forward, keep putting smiles on people’s faces. Thank you,” she said.

The Portraits of Giving Exhibit is headed to Richmond Hill next and will be on tour throughout York Region until December.

To register for this year’s virtual Terry Fox Run on Sept 19, visit http://www.terryfox.ca/terryfoxrun/

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