Gemma MacPherson was named the first recipient of the newly established MADD Antigonish Chapter Bursary which was created as a way to honour RCMP Inspector Tony Perry who passed away last fall.
“He was an inspirational and influential man in this community and our chapter thought this would be a great way to keep his memory alive and honor him,” Kyla Neary Griffiths, chapter member, said.
“We worked with his wife Heather in getting this set up for this year. MADD is also, gladly, accepting donations made to MADD Antigonish to be put towards this bursary and keep it going long term, or even increasing the award, if we were able to financially,” she added, noting folks interested in supporting the bursary can contact her.
“Tony will always be remembered for his hard work ensuring our local MADD chapter thrived,” a release regarding the bursary noted.
“He would recruit local RCMP members, come to each meeting getting to know members while giving an update on impaired driving charges or community events. Tony was a reliable ear to listen when someone needed advice and he was more than willing to lend a helping hand or connect with community partners to help the chapter succeed with our mission to stop impaired driving and to support victims of this violent crime.”
MacPherson said she is “extremely honoured” to be the first recipient of the bursary.
“He was a very positive and active member of our community and that is something I feel is really important,” she said.
“I have worked to get involved with, and give back to, the community of Antigonish which has provided me with so many opportunities. I believe the Perry family was involved with MADD Antigonish in the selection of the bursary which makes even more special to receive.”
She talked about the privilege of meeting Perry’s daughter Melanie during her graduation ceremony, from Dr. J.H. Gillis Regional High School, last spring.
“It was an emotional presentation,” she said.
“I greatly appreciate all the support I have received throughout high school from my family, my teachers and my coaches. I also appreciate the support of MADD Antigonish. I am excited to be heading to St. F.X. in the fall for a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Health.”