A growing group of Port Alberni’s car enthusiasts will parade through the city on Friday, April 24 to salute frontline and health-care workers. And the idea came from a 28-year veteran of the health-care field.
Angela Mallory has been in the health-care field for nearly three decades. “My whole family works in health care,” she says. Her daughter recently graduated as a registered nurse. Her sister, niece and nephew are all care aides. Mallory is also a car enthusiast, and was in Nanaimo last week for Cool Cars for COVID.
“To witness that and see all the support, I thought ‘we need that in Port,” Mallory said.
“As a health-care worker, seeing things like that, it does boost you…It’s a hard job right now.”
Hosted by Mallory and Ron Lightfoot, the Cruise for Care will cruise through Port Alberni on Friday, April 24 “to show support for all of our brave and tireless health-care workers.”
Drivers intend to go by all care homes in the Alberni Valley and end up at West Coast General Hospital. The route will start at Boston Pizza and travel down Johnston Road, right onto River Road toward Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens), then back along Victoria Quay to Roger Street, right onto 10th Avenue to pass Echo Village. The entourage will turn right onto Wallace Street to go by Fir Park Village, then left onto Ninth Avenue to pass by the RCMP station and Abbeyfield House, before heading back onto Redford Street and east toward West Coast General Hospital.
Cars may disperse once they have passed the hospital, Mallory said.
She asks drivers to be respectful of residents in the long-term care homes and neighbouring areas. “No burnouts, no smoke shows. I have informed the RCMP this is going on, so they are aware,” she said. “Social distancing is a must. We cannot forget that.”
Mallory and Lightfoot expect at least 60 cars, including some nursing staff who have said they will decorate their family vehicles in order to participate. Ace Flagging has also been contacted to participate.
“People are getting excited,” she said. “I’m getting messages like crazy.”
Car enthusiasts are meeting at the Boston Pizza parking lot at 6:30 p.m. and departing on the cruise at 6:45 p.m. Drivers are asked to stay in their cars and observe social distancing.
All vehicles are welcome, from motorcycles to hotrods, muscle cars, vintage cars, family vehicles and trucks.
The cruise will happen weather-permitting. If it is raining, they will try and choose another day, Mallory said.
If the cruise is a success, organizers may look at doing it again another time.