My name is Nicole Demarse. I am blessed to be the sister-in-law of Todd and Vicki Giroux and aunt to their daughter, Abby. Todd and his father, Joe, own the Giroux Family Farm that has been a part of our community for over fifty years. Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet and get to know Todd's family at their many holiday gatherings and family functions. They are some of the most kind, caring, humble and selfless people that I've ever known. On top of these wonderful characteristics, they are also the most spiritually and community driven family that I know. Joe, Carol, Todd, Vicki and Abby are very involved with their church, always chipping in and helping out with anything they can for their fellow parishioners and community members. They also are involved with many community organizations including the Farm Bureau, the local Chamber of Commerce, and the NYS Fair Board, just to name a few. Abby tap dances her little heels off and has taught me and many others plenty of dance moves along the way.
As I was driving back to Plattsburgh from Albany this past Tuesday night, July 18th, I received a frantic phone call from Vicki asking if I was in town. She needed me to find Abby because Joe and Todd's barn was on fire and she couldn't get ahold of anybody at the farm. In that moment I felt completely helpless because I wasn't in town and could not help.
This past Tuesday is a day that the Girouxs and everyone close to them will never forget. Their livelihood was stripped away in a few short hours that seemed to last for days. Their barn and most of the livestock inside were a complete loss due to the fire. It is a blessing that nobody was seriously injured while trying to save the livestock and contain the blaze.
Only a Giroux could make such a thoughtful and selfless statement as Todd posted on his Instagram account:
"I've had possibly the worst couple days of my life and somehow at the same time the best. We may have lost our barn and a bunch of cows but one can never understand the love of a farming community and how it can come together in your time of need! I would like to thank all who came to our aid in any way and definitely the fire departments for their unbelievable efforts. And there are a couple of angels out there (Sara) you are some truly great people and friends. #farmstrong #farmlove #cabotfarmers# farmerscometogether"
The Girouxs have a long road ahead of them. I know the family well enough to understand that they will not allow this unfortunate event to effect them in the long term. Their spirits will simply not be broken. That being said, there will certainly be difficulties for them in the short term. With no milk, the cash flow stops. There will be demolition and disposal expenses that will need to be paid prior to insurance settlements. On top of that, there is the cost of living, which does not decrease even after such a tragedy.
As I said before, last Tuesday I felt helpless, as I know many others did. For all those who love the Giroux family or have a special place in their hearts for hard working farmers, some of us have now set up a platform to provide a way to help. Let's pull together and pay it forward as each and everyone of them do, day in and day out. Every little bit helps and will go a long way toward bridging the gap between this loss and a new beginning—whatever that might be.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU all so much for your help. Words can't express our gratitude.
- Justin, Ilona, Yamilette, Oscar Lowry/Flores
- joan hoffman
- Ellen Bergman
- Rob Wheeler
Organizer and beneficiary