"Tonight we celebrated the contributions of our Local Heroes and their commitment to our community at Portraits of Giving. A huge thank you to Robert Horst, Marc Neeb, Jackie Playter, Maria Racco and Tim Jones for making Newmarket even better. Thanks also to the many generous sponsors."

Tony Van Bynen

Thanks for all your hard work Karen.  I see how much effort you put in to ensure these tributes make it all around York Region.  Any event that helps to promote giving back, and helps to bring people together is a success.  We accomplished that yesterday.  Thanks for the honour, and the opportunity.


Best regards to all the efforts for all of you on this list.  Thank you.


Janine Purves, CFP®, CPCA, CCS                               

Senior Financial Advisor                                                                          

Assante Capital Management Ltd.

"Karen's Portraits of Giving is a testament to those individuals who tirelessly give back to the community in many special ways. The Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce is pleased to support and participate in the Portraits of Giving by nominating those individuals who selflessly contribute to the betterment of the Richmond Hill community. Always working behind the scenes Portraits of Giving through its exhibit introduces these individuals to the community."

Elio Furlan
Executive Director - Richmond Hill Board of Trade

"Portraits of Giving inspires us by celebrating and honouring some of the meaningful contributions of our members who give back to our community. Karen's Portraits recognize business leaders that make us proud! We applaud your efforts!"

Brian Shifman
President & CEO - Vaughan Chamber of Commerce

"Our three years of being the beneficiary of the Portraits of Giving exhibit was an amazing experience that helped to raise our profile in the community, as well as supporting our Slap Shot Newcomer and Low Income Hockey Program. We are most appreciative of the over $20,000 raised by Karen Merk and her team toward the work we do to engage individuals and organizations in positive character development.!"

Karen Addison, Executive Director, Character Community Foundation of York Region


"The Portraits of Giving at Upper Canada Mall looked like a huge Success - congratulations and thank you for all you do."


Morag Wilcox — York Professional Pet Sitting

"Karen! Thank you for making me a part of this - it was awesome and I am forever grateful!"

John Amendola — SNAP Vaughan East, Woodbridge

"Thanks for all of the work you did to make this happen last night. You must feel good as to how it all came together. The display looked amazing."

Marj Andre — On Richmond Hill

"Thank you and well done. Great night indeed"

Rob Clark — RC Design

"What a terrific night!"

Mike Smith — Smith Financial

"You were super last night. Loved your speech and your photos were very impressive. What a lovely event!"

Ellen Cameron

"Amazing job! it was a thrill to go! So happy for you, you talented folks."

Kathleen Redmond

"Great to hear from you and it was so lovely to finally meet you. Your photographs were beautiful and the public really seemed to enjoy your concept and the event."

Marion Morris — Idea Workshop

"What a wonderful event. Kudos to all."

Kathy Constable

"What an honour to be among such amazing community representatives! Thanks to POG & UCM for the opportunity!"

Tim Jones

"Thanks guys. I am so honored by this... really... I have no words."

Maria Racco

"I went to the Mall just to see it. Congratulations!"

Zoe Clements

"We are ALL so blessed to have these phenomenal community leaders in our midst... making our area a fabulous place to live! Thank you for all that you do!"

Kathy Elliott Proudfoot

PORTRAITS OF GIVING: A Legacy of Social Responsibility in York Region

© 2018 Karen Merk [Merk Photography].