Drive-by parade graces Kaua‘i Care Center

  • Submitted by Kaua‘i Care Center

    Waimea High School staff members drive by Kaua‘i Care Center Thursday in support of their team member, currently at the Waimea facility for rehabilitation therapy.

  • Submitted by Kaua‘i Care Center

    Kaua‘i Care Center staff member Trisha Perpose covers Jose Bulatao with an umbrella during the ‘Ohana Drive-By Parade for residents at Kaua‘i Care Center Thursday.

  • Submitted by Kaua‘i Care Center

    Francisco Balisacan holds up his sign during the ‘Ohana Drive-By Parade for residents at Kaua‘i Care Center in Waimea Thursday.

WAIMEA — Residents and their ‘ohana were treated to a parade at Kaua‘i Care Center on Thursday in which family and friends of residents drove by the venter with signs, balloons and decorated vehicles.

Families cheered and waved at loved ones as they drove by, and kupuna held signs of their own with messages like “I love you” painted in bright letters.

After months of social distancing and strict safety protocols at the center, the ‘Ohana Drive-By Parade was geared toward raising spirits and allowing families and friends a few moments of connection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Such a wonderful day,” said resident Jose Bulatao. “I miss my family so much, but it was great to see them in all their glory, waving to me like I was Miss Kaua‘i.”

Resident Sakiko Okihara added: “So beautiful to see my family, and the wonderful signs they made. It was such a nice event.”

Live music was also provided for the residents by Nick Castillo and Frank Cruz, with all social-distancing precautions in place.

Staff member Terri Pinkston, a licensed practical nurse, said the day was special, and not only for the residents at Kaua‘i Care Center. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” Pinkston said. “It was wonderful to see all the residents light up when they saw their families.”

Aunty Hana Montgomery said she also enjoyed the “most wonderful” and “uplifting event,” but had a suggestion or two for organizers. “Just for the future, my son can sing, too,” she said.

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Jessica Else, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.

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