The Carriere family loves bringing joy to others. Lessening someone’s burden and encouraging smiles and happy memories are in their DNA and they see volunteering as a truly fulfilling way of life. Mike and Laurie Carriere began as wonderful childhood friends, became best friends and soulmates, and inevitably husband and wife. Mike says Laurie has always been a caring, empathetic, and generous person. Her passion continues to inspire and encourage him and their daughter Crystal Pangman—and they love working together to help make a positive difference wherever they can.
The Carrieres are thankful for the countless memorable moments and extraordinary individuals who have enlightened and inspired them. One such experience is organizing the annual local Terry Fox Run, continuing the efforts of the iconic Terry Fox and his historic Marathon of Hope. It strikes a personal chord for Laurie, losing her stepdad to cancer the same year the Marathon of Hope began. The incredible people they meet during this amazing event, and the journeys shared, truly touch their hearts.
“We all need one another. We each have a choice. We can choose to do nothing and accomplish nothing, or we can choose to do something and make a positive difference. We choose to do something,” is the Carriere family motto.
Understandably, maintaining a balance can be a struggle at the best of times, however, the pandemic made it considerably more challenging. The Carriere family recognized the need to reinvent aspects of their volunteer work and in-person events. They were also reminded of what’s truly important and that all things are possible when we work together.
When the pandemic struck, they were concerned on many levels about the future of their events. They worried about their annual Georgina Terry Fox Run because, despite COVID-19, cancer doesn't take a break! Cancer research is essential to millions. Ultimately, the Terry Fox Run went virtual, and participants accessed online pledges to contribute. With the immense help of local businesses, they held COVID-friendly fundraisers and involved Terry Foxers online.
With their own family community events they brainstormed and recreated their Annual Halloween Haunt for Hunger which provides frightful fun for food donations, changing it to a drive-by, socially distanced spooktacular event. They worked tirelessly for weeks to revamp their many lawn displays to be more visible, engaging, and drive-by friendly. Their efforts continued with their Annual Spirit of Christmas Food and Toy Drive-By, the Valentine’s Georgina Has a Heart Drive-By, the Annual Eggstreme Easter Drive-By, and many more.
Amidst all their charitable activities, Mike and Crystal are employed as fulltime essential workers. Truth be told, the Carrieres could all be considered essential workers when it comes to what they do for the greater good of their community.