Valerie Earle, in admissions, left, and nurses Rebecca Dick and Kailee Mann were among the health-care workers outside NRGH waving as the Cars 4 COVID cruise passed by the hospital’s emergency department on Saturday night. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Valerie Earle, in admissions, left, and nurses Rebecca Dick and Kailee Mann were among the health-care workers outside NRGH waving as the Cars 4 COVID cruise passed by the hospital’s emergency department on Saturday night. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Car cruise offers a roar of support for Nanaimo’s health-care workers

Cars 4 COVID event Saturday saw 130 vehicles make their way from south Nanaimo to NRGH

Classic cars and other awesome autos honked for health-workers last night.

The Cars 4 COVID cruise happened Saturday, starting at Southgate Shopping Centre and arriving at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital in time for a 7 p.m. salute to health-care workers.

Earlier this week, organizers had heard interest from more than 60 motorists, but by Saturday, the turnout ended up being somewhere around 130 vehicles.

“I knew there’d be quite a bit of cars show up because I know how good Nanaimo’s car community is, but I didn’t realize there’d be 130 cars,” said Chris Thibert, organizer of Nanaimo’s Cars 4 COVID event.

The cruise happened simultaneously in four B.C. communities – Victoria, Comox Valley and Burnaby also held events – to raise money for the Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Hospital Foundation’s COVID-19 Response and Research Funds.

The Nanaimo cruise didn’t go exactly as planned, Thibert said. Some motorists didn’t physically distance as well as he would have liked at the start of the cruise, and miscommunication about the route resulted in the vehicles packing the drive to and from the emergency department.

However, Thibert saw afterward that nurses had posted video of the cruise on social media and responded positively to the motorists’ show of support.

“Great positive feedback on it, which is what made me happy, because I was a little bit worried about the whole situation, because it took about 15 minutes for all the cars to pass through there and then more than three-quarters of them went through emergency. I didn’t want to upset the hospital and their functions,” Thibert said.

The next cruise is tentatively planned for May 2. For more information, visit the Cars 4 COVID Facebook page.

This feel-good story is part of the #WereInThisTogether campaign by Black Press Media. Have an uplifting story that you think would bring joy to readers? Email your story, photos and videos to wereinthistogether@blackpress.ca.

READ ALSO: Cool cars will cruise through Nanaimo to raise money in COVID-19 fight



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