|Annaleise's Radical Crossing||
After a good 11 hour sleep I was up and ready to face "the day"! Dad went to Tim Horton's and got me some breakfast. He got me some oatmeal and I just wasn't feeling it! Other than that we just hung out at the hotel all morning. The hotel gave us a late check out so we were in no rush. I got a sandwich at the Starbucks in the hotel and then about 1 pm my whole family and I had a time of prayer together as we held hands! Every one of us prayed for safety and that God's will would be done! It really helped calm me and it was so nice to see all my family just pause and focus on God! Of course, it didn't last long as John our swim master phoned near the end and said there was problems with at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Sailing Club because they apparently forgot they had been told about the "Chuckwagin" being launched there! So, we packed up and off to the club we went! By the time we got there everything was under control! The Toronto Star already had there boats there and Tim was on the dock getting his story! (to be continued...)
So after my media conference my crew and I had a bite to eat at the Erie Beach Hotel and while I was waiting for Marilyn Bell to call me, I got the chance to speak to Rob Blake, my grade 8 teacher (and Rob's brother) Mr.Blake, and the rest of their family!! I got this picture with him and it will go together with my pictures with Rob and I and the Stanley Cup at his parents house in 2004! Honestly, I don't remember it that well, but we have some pretty cool pictures from that day!
The week after my swim was completely crazy! I got to do some very neat stuff though and meet some awesome people! I even got to go on TV! At CP 24 I got to meet singer Victoria Duffield! I had my picture taken with her and she signed a copy of her CD for me! I know it took a while, but here is the picture of Victoria and I!
Colleen Shields was attempting to become the oldest person to swim across Lake Ontario on Wednesday and came so close. With 10 km left she abandoned her attempt. It's still amazing that she is one of the few people who have swam across the lake twice! It really would have been neat if she'd have made it because my coach, Lisa, was standing in as coach for Colleen and she would have taken the youngest and the oldest across the lake in one summer! I believe that is it for the attempted crossing for this year. What a crazy summer it was!
What can I say about yesterday and the wonderful time I had at my day! To be at over $200,000 now raised for Camp Trillium is unbelieveable! The recognition from the county, province and country was overwhelming! And the renaming of the pool in my name just leaves me speechless! All I will say is thank you all so much! I'm not certain I deserve any of it, but I do appreciate it!
Today was my first day of high school and it was amazing! Hard to believe, but my geography class had a quiz and there was a question about me and my swim! Everyone was so nice! it was really fun! I liked it a lot , I actually have friends in every one of my classes! :) That was a relief.. I was nervous I wouldn't know anyone. It took me awhile to get used to the school, actually I'm pretty sure I will still get lost a couple more times! It's a really big school!!! and A LOT of people go there, its crazy trying to get from class to class but i still loved ity!!!!!
After a good night's sleep I wake up and dad and swim master John have been going over weather and wind reports since 6am. Things weren't looking good and John suggested that holding off might be the best bet because winds were forecasted to be favourable on Saturday. It was going to mess up all our plans, but my safety and the best chance I had to make it were going to be first and foremost. John left the decision to dad as he was the manager of the swim and he said he would talk to Dave, Lisa and myself. Dad, Dave and Lisa were talking and Lisa was concerned with how it would affect me. (honestly I was a bit nervous, but only that I wouldn't make it and disappoint everyone). So, dad got me on another phone to talk with everyone. They had me look at the wind forecast hourly for the next 2 days and I immediately said I wanted to go at 6pm on Saturday as the winds were predicted to help me across the lake. So much for the weather forecast as we found out a day later!!! So that was it, the swim was delayed and everyone reworked things to make the next day work. Thanks for that everyone, by the way!!! Everyone was so amazing and just as ready the next day as they were for Friday. I was okay with it, but what happened next was unbelievable! We delayed at about 8 am and when the media found out they immediately wanted to speak to me! I did so many interviews, by phone or Skype, that I had no time to be nervous. It was cool, but I really didn't understand what all the fuss was about...what if I didn't make it!! I found out afterward that mom and dad were very worried that they had set me up to look silly if I hadn't made it by allowing the media access. In all honesty, I believe the interviews calmed me and helped me to relax in a way! We left home before noon because the phone would not stop ringing! I even did a couple of interviews in the van on the way to Niagara-on-the-Lake! We stopped at Jordan Station to do an interview with CHCH and then did a 3 hour interview with CBC for the National to be aired that night! We had rooms set up for the crew at White Oaks Resort so we went down there for the day. The poor Humber College people had come over from Toronto Thursday and had stayed at the resort and now had to stay an extra night. Yea, it was sooo nice of a place they weren't too broken hearted! All the excitement helped me to fall asleep that night and I got an 11 hour sleep Friday nigh
Ontario Legislative Assembly Hansard August 28, 2012:
Hon. James J. Bradley: Mr.
Speaker, I believe we have unanimous consent that up to five minutes be allotted
to each party to speak in celebration of Annaleise Carr being the youngest
person to swim across Lake Ontario.
The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bas Balkissoon): The
government House leader has asked for unanimous consent. Agreed? Agreed.
The member for Hamilton
Mr. Paul Miller: It’s my
pleasure to stand in this House today and send our best, and we’re so proud of
Annaleise Carr, and from our leader, Andrea, and from our whole party. It’s good
to rise today in recognition of a determined and triumphant young woman:
Annaleise has accomplished
something that few women would even dream of and even fewer would dare to
attempt. On Sunday, August 26, she became the youngest person ever to
successfully swim across Lake Ontario. It took 27 hours, in cold water, high
winds, through dark, through 52 kilometres of water.
To read the detailed accounts
of all the training, logistics and dedication of both Annaleise, her family and
team to get her to this day and the year that led up to this humbling event, to
give you a small sense of the planning and teamwork that was needed to
accomplish this amazing feat, here is a small excerpt from a Toronto Star
“The flotilla consisted of six
boats, each with his own role and driver. Extra gas has been packed and each
driver understands his place for the crossing. A Zodiac boat will ride on either
side of Annaleise, close enough to talk to her but keeping a safe distance. The
kayak will serve as her navigation aid and constant companion, but must stay at
least three metres away to avoid any chance of accidental touching, which would
bring the swim to a halt, according to rules established by Solo Swims Ontario,
the governing body of the swim.”
This is only one small part of
the story. Annaleise did all of this, spent a year intensely training and
planning for this day, all for one reason: to raise money for a cause that she
thought was worthy. This camp is Camp Trillium, a camp for children affected by
cancer near Waterford, Ontario. Through all of her efforts, she has raised more
than $145,000, and this number continues to grow as Annaleise gets local,
national and international media attention.
On Monday, a parade in her
hometown will be celebrating her accomplishments and those of all the people who
supported her along the way. Annaleise accomplished something that very few of
us could or would even dream of, but she provides a lesson to all of us: that
dedication, hard work and the duty to give back is something we can all do and
be part of.
She also provides an amazing
example of dedication and sport. She is a role model for youth in our country. A
14-year-old girl swam across Lake Ontario: simply amazing. If this doesn’t get
our young people involved in sports, I don’t know what will. This is amazing for
Canadian youth. This young lady should be immortalized for what she did.
Having just seen the Olympics
and our ladies’ soccer team accomplish what they did—questionable refereeing, I
might add—and as well, I’ll wait for the Paralympics to begin tomorrow. This is
an example of great sportsmanship that is closer to home but is just as worthy
of our attention and praise. It is good to have the opportunity to rise in this
House today to send our congratulations to this amazing young woman.
On a personal note, my aunt
would be extremely proud of Annaleise. She’s no longer with us, but my aunt
taught a few Olympians. She also was, in the 1930s, probably one of the best, if
not the best 200 breaststroker in Canada. She taught at the Jimmy Thompson Pool
in Hamilton for 40 years. I’ll tell you, my aunt would be so proud of this
Thank you, Annaleise. Thank you
for this incentive to the youth of Canada. We are very proud of you.
The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bas Balkissoon): The
member for Pickering–Scarborough East.
Ms. Tracy MacCharles: It is my
distinct pleasure to rise today on behalf of our government to recognize
Annaleise Carr, a remarkable young woman from Walsh, Ontario, who just at 14
years old, the same age as my twins, has captivated people from all over the
world, becoming the youngest person to ever swim across Lake Ontario. The very
fact she was able to accomplish a gruelling 27-hour, 52-kilometre swim is
nothing short of amazing. This feat required extensive training and planning
that began in February, with preparations that included a 10-kilometre swim in
Lake Erie. Faced with four-foot rolling waves, 20-kilometre-an-hour headwinds,
boat traffic and water temperatures of 13 degrees, her will and determination
was nothing short of amazing.
Yet when you just thought that
was more than enough, this inspirational story is even more touching as a result
of the reasons why Annaleise decided to take on such an intense personal
challenge. Annaleise was swimming to raise money for Camp Trillium, a childhood
cancer support centre that brings children with cancer and their families
together while helping to enhance the quality of their life. Having visited the
camp as part of a fundraising effort her swimming and running team organized,
she decided she wanted to do more to help send kids to Camp Trillium. At the
time, she was only 13 years old and too young to volunteer. So instead, she
decided to raise money by attempting to become the youngest person to swim
across Lake Ontario. She visualized the gates at Camp Trillium any time she
found herself tiring.
Incredibly, when she entered
the waters at Queen’s Royal Park in Niagara-on-the-Lake to begin her marathon
journey, she had already reached her fundraising goal of $30,000. During the
swim, she would learn that her fundraising totals nearly quadrupled, and by the
time she got out of the water at Marilyn Bell Park in Toronto, donations had
reached over $115,000. That’s fantastic. With donations still coming in, she has
surpassed $127,000, an amount that will pay to send 135-plus kids to Camp
Trillium for a week. The fundraising drive continues until Labour Day, shortly
before she starts grade 9.
We understand that on September
3, as my honourable colleague mentioned, Norfolk council has decided to throw a
parade in Annaleise’s honour in downtown Simcoe, which is a lovely tribute to
all that she has accomplished. I also want to mention that she was once a
legislative page right here at Queen’s Park.
In so many ways, Annaleise is a
role model for all of us. She is focused on setting goals and overcoming
challenges, no matter what she confronts along the way. Her achievements, like
many achievements, were supported by a fantastic team around her: Coach Lisa
Anderson; general manager Dave Scott; ground crew Bill Martin; family physician
Dr. Ghesquiere; the kayakers; the pacers; her parents, Jeff and Debbie Carr, of
course; her grandparents Ken and Sharon; and her role model, the wonderful role
model of Marilyn Bell, who in 1956 became the first person to swim across Lake
Myself, as a survivor of
childhood cancer, I want to say thank you, Annaleise, to you and your team. Camp
Trillium is a wonderful place where kids with cancer can go and forget about the
medical procedures and all the tests and just have fun, which is so important
when kids are battling cancer.
Your province is proud of you,
and it’s my distinct pleasure to stand in the Legislature today, on behalf of
the government of Ontario and say, thank you very much, Annaleise, for all that
you have accomplished and for becoming the new Lady of the Lake. We wish you the
very best as you embark on the next milestones of your life. Congratulations,
The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bas Balkissoon): The
member for Haldimand-Norfolk.
Mr. Toby Barrett: It was just a
few short months ago that I rose in the House to introduce to all of us the
legislative page from my riding and her plan to become the youngest person to
swim Lake Ontario. That day we all gave her a standing ovation. I’m obviously
proud to stand here today. As we know, Annaleise did it—14-year-old Annaleise
Carr, the new Lady of the Lake, as was indicated, as of 9:04 p.m. August 19.
You know, over the years, we as
MPPs meet so many wonderful people. They tirelessly contribute to their
communities, and every so often we meet someone who’s head and shoulders, even
at 4 foot 10—I think she was 4 foot 9 when she was a page—above the rest. People
across Ontario have been brimming with pride, happiness and love for
Annaleise—it’s making headlines across Canada and abroad—not only for her
athletic abilities but her infectious smile. I consider her Ontario’s Mighty
Mite. She’s not only the new Lady of the Lake; she’s now Canada’s new
Near the end of her stint as a
page, we had the traditional lunch in the dining room. She talked a great deal
about what she called “Annaleise’s radical crossing.” It was an exciting
conversation. I don’t think we really fathomed the impact it would have on
people once she was successful.
She swam 51.5 kilometres and
touched the wall at Marilyn Bell Park here in Toronto. She had been in the water
for 27 hours. The beauty of this doesn’t lie so much with the athleticism of
this very tiny little girl, but the reason that she worked so hard to do this.
Why? Very simply, to raise money for children with cancer to attend Camp
The camp is blessed. It’s in
our riding. It’s at Rainbow Lake in Waterford. She did a swim with some of her
colleagues to raise money. She went to the camp, had a tour and said that she
wanted to help out. They told her she wasn’t old enough. So she thought, “I’m
going to swim across Lake Ontario and raise some money.”
It was her younger sister,
Larissa—her grandmother tells me that Larissa is just as accomplished a swimmer
as Annaleise. Larissa told Annaleise she could do it; she could swim the
Her goal was $30,000—that
seemed like an awful lot of money; well on the road to $150,000. I think all of
us here can spread the word of that. I think we can keep putting that up a
I might mention that Larissa,
her sister, will be joining us in October as a page.
Annaleise is a hero in the
purest form. Just ask those little ones at camp. They can forget about being a
cancer kid for a while.
There were a few times during
the swim when Annaleise hit the wall a couple of times on that Saturday night.
The swells of up to five feet were taller than she was. She says, “During the
night, I thought about getting out because in the water it’s dark, it’s cold;
you’re all by yourself in the water. When the waves were that big, you couldn’t
At 7 a.m. Sunday, she’d been in
the water for 13 hours. Her tiny body had endured a battle. She got some protein
at that time. Some swimmers had come in to swim alongside. The sun came up, and
her doctor said she could keep going.
There was a press conference
down in Port Dover. She was quick to point out that all of this would never have
been possible without her family and the team that was mentioned earlier. Even
during the darkest moments of her swim, she was able to stay positive.
Also, it’s no surprise,
Speaker, that this young lady was valedictorian at Walsh Public School this
year. In her speech, she reminded her classmates of all the things they should
be thankful for and she encouraged them, “Take this opportunity to write an
unforgettable chapter filled with the fulfilment of your dreams and desires. Let
us build on our experiences here at Walsh to better ourselves and others around
us. There is a lot of power inside all of us waiting to be unleashed.” And as
she foretold, in a few short weeks she would go on to be known as a role model
for all ages.
It’s tough to put the right
words together to articulate how proud all of us are of Annaleise Carr making
history, making us proud and making the world a whole lot brighter. Thank you,
Annaleise. You are an inspiration for all of us.
What a whirlwind this has been! I've done a lot of interviews! Being on TV has been fun...especially TVO Kids when I got to answer kids questions and received their "Super Citizen" award... very cool!!! I still can't understand all this!! It's been so great to get the word out about Camp Trillium!! As they say, "until there's a cure, there's Camp Trillium!" We'd all love to see a cure for cancer, but a place like Camp Trillium is so important to the families of childhood cancer, and if I could show you all the letters and e-mails with the stories from people who have been affected by childhood cancer, you would see why! It's been fun getting to meet new people and everyone has been SOOOO nice! It was also cool meeting Victoria Dunnfield at CP24 last Friday, and if my dad would get the picture off his cell phone I would post it :/ It looks like I will be doing some speaking engagements...including "We Day" at the ACC in late September! I still can't imagine anyone would want to hear from me! This weekend will be very cool as we swim the 10k on Sunday and the parade on Monday! It should be so much fun, but it's so weird! Norfolk Council gave me a scroll on Tuesday at their meeting and one is on it's way from the City of Toronto!! Anyhow! Stay tuned!! School starts Tuesday! So I want to post a blog about things that happened on my swim in the next few days!! Can
It's been a week since my successful Lake Ontario crossing and I still have a hard time believing we got across! The stories we have to tell sometimes make me think I was crazy to finish! Those stories will come out as time goes on!
I'd like to thank all of my crew and the many sponsors and donators to Camp Trillium! You've made this young girl's heart flip! I wish I had the space to name you all specifically, let alone the time!! I would hate to miss anyone!!
I'd also like to thank the media for their respect toward my family and myself!!! Especially you Tim!!! You are incredible, a new close friend, and someone we consider to be part of the crew/family!!
Finally for now, I'd like to thank the kids and their families at Camp Trillium, as well as Marilyn Bell, for being my inspiration for this idea! To my sister Larissa for her help in convincing my parents to let me do this! To my parents for not letting me do this until they knew I would be completely safe (and for not coming on the boat so that they didn't have me pulled when the going got tough :), then committing the last 8 months to putting together and managing the best crew to every help a swimmer across Lake Ontario! People have no idea the things they did and work they put toward this...mostly to make sure their little girl would be safe! To Larissa, McKenna, & Ayden for giving up their summer and helping me so much!! To my crew who gave me the "push" I needed whether on the water or the incredible news that kept coming from shore! Finally, and mostly, to my Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave me the strength to continue, even when I had none left...Ephesians 3:14-21!!!
Keep watching because I will have much more!! :)
Well, I'm well rested after sleeping 11 to 12 hours last night! Dad says he thinks I have ice in my viens :) I guess we'll find out because the lake flipped yesterday and I'm looking at very cold water in Toronto now! I'll do my best to deal with anything that cames my way...not just the cold! 6pm is when I will be entering the water! I can't wait to get this thing going now! Donations have been unbelievable so don't stop! I can't wait to update everyone on the total early next week! If I don't get another blog off before I start, I just want to thank everyone who comes here to Niagara-on-the-lake or meets me at Marilyn Bell Park!!