VIDEO: Port Alberni’s Cruise for Care draws 150 cars

A line of classic cars cruises past Echo Village on 10th Avenue as part of the 150-strong Cruise for Care on Friday, April 24, 2020. The event was put on to salute health-care workers at Port Alberni’s long-term care facilities and its hospital. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
A car is decorated to the hilt, complete with an alien doctor in the passenger seat, for the Cruise for Care that cruised through Port Alberni on Friday, April 24, 2020 to salute health-care workers. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Staff members at Echo Village are grateful for the personal protection equipment and masks that someone provided to them, and show their appreciation during the Cruise for Care on Friday, April 24, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Residents at Echo Village on 10th Avenue gather at the long-term care home’s windows to watch the Cruise for Care pass by on Friday, April 24, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
People waved signs and shouted ‘thank you’ from their cars during Port Alberni’s Cruise for Care on Friday, April 24, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

More than 150 cars paraded through the street of Port Alberni on Friday, April 24 in a salute to frontline and health-care workers.

The idea for the parade, which wound its way past all the long-term care homes in the Alberni Valley before making its way to West Coast General Hospital, 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 cruised through Port Alberni “to show support for all of our brave and tireless health-care workers.”

The number of cars that turned out exceeded Mallory’s expectations—she and Lightfoot thought about 60 would show up at the Boston Pizza parking lot to start off.

“It was amazing,” she said afterward. “What a great turnout.”

She thanked all the people who brought their classic cars, hotrods, trucks and family vehicles out to show their support. Many cars had signs or people waving signs out the windows as they drove past; some decorated their vehicles.

At Echo Village, residents were lined up in front of the windows and out in the garden to watch the Cruise for Care.

Mallory said before the cruise that if it was successful, organizers may look at doing another one.

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