By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – What started as a way to give a troubled teen a role model became an unbreakable bond between Big brother Corey Willard and his Little, Mik.
Willard, 26, was named Big Brother of the Year at the Ramada Inn on Nov. 1.
The coveted accolade was one of many awards presented at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cornwall & District 41st annual banquet.
The unlikely pair stood beside each other at the podium as Willard, a Cornwall native who moved to Ottawa where he now works in a law firm, delivered a powerful impromptu acceptance speech.
At first glance it was hard to know which one was the Big brother. Now, 18, Nick is basically the same height as Willard, but he’ll always look up to him. That will never change.
“One of the first things I wanted to do when I turned 18 was to become a Big brother, because I had two sisters,” said Willard as the crowd laughed.
He continued: “So I went over to the office and I remember seeing a wall and I’ll never forget that day. There must have been 90 pictures. I asked, what is that? And they said, ‘oh those are people who are waiting to be matched.’ And to this day I understand the list is about the same.
Willard encouraged the crowd to reach out to their fellow colleagues to help get that list down to zero.
“So I jumped on board. And how cool – I get to choose my little brother,” he said. “We’ve had an interesting experience. I think I’ve learned more than Nick has and I can tell you that, I still don’t know if I want kids. Why would you want kids if you can have a brother?”