Local boy gets a shoutout from guv

Courtesy Photo Alpena resident Gavin Carr is pictured at home with the rubber bands he uses to make bracelets, like the one worn by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday during a press conference in Lansing.

ALPENA — Alpena resident Gavin Carr was recognized briefly by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday for giving her a bracelet made from rubber bands.

Whitmer showed off the bracelet during a press conference, saying it was sent to her because Carr said everyone needs “to band together.”

Carr just happened to be watching the press conference when Whitmer gave him the shoutout. He said today the governor made him happy, “because I was on TV.

“The reason why I made a bracelet for the governor is so she has a smile on her face and for good luck,” he said.

Carr said he sent a total of three bracelets to the Governor’s Office. Whitmer was the first person other than his friends and family to receive bracelets from him. He said the bracelets take about 10 minutes to make.

Courtesy Photo An example of the rubber-band bracelets made by Alpena resident Gavin Carr are pictured here by family members in Chicago.

The 10-year-old is the son of Casey and Katelyn Carr and has two sisters, Madelyn, 7, and Macy, 6. He will be a fifth-grader this fall at Besser Elementary School.

Katelyn Carr said her son has Tourette syndrome, and learned how to make the bracelets from his counselor last winter.

She said Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder that gives Gavin Carr tics — essentially movements he can’t control in his face and shoulders — that can be a little uncomfortable at times. She said they try to focus on being positive and engaging in positive activities.

“We’re just into positive hobbies — keep your mind, keep your hands busy,” she said. “And it’s probably been the best hobby he’s had, and we’ve just been super excited for him.”

Katelyn Carr said they originally planned for Gavin Carr to sell his bracelets for 50 cents at a garage sale, but the coronavirus changed their plans.

Courtesy Photo The Carr family is pictured here, including Katelyn and Casey Carr, from left to right in the background, and Macy, Madelyn, and Gavin Carr from left to right in the foreground.

Gavin Carr has enjoyed his moment in the spotlight. He said people said a lot of nice things on Facebook, which made him feel good.

In the meantime, he is waiting for a shipment of white rubber bands so he can make patriotic bracelets for Alpena firemen, whom Gavin Carr said have a hard job.

“They really don’t have time to rest, and they’re in a big situation where it’s probably really tough on them,” he said.


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