Wetumpka drive-thru parade

Daniel Dye / The Herald

A group of motorcycles makes it way through a drive-thru parade held Sunday for Wetumpka Health and Rehab residents.

The Wetumpka community came together for a drive-thru parade Sunday to brighten the spirits of Wetumpka Health and Rehab residents. 

The facility’s employees and residents held up signs along the sidewalk around the front of building and waved at the cars, motorcycles and first responder vehicles that drove through campus.

“The minute this began I just started tearing up that people would want to do this for our residents,” activity director Diane White said. “This right here made their day. When you talk about older people, they may not remember what day it was or what always happened, but they remember how you made them feel.”

The idea for the parade was the idea of Ginny Lambert and her sisters whose mother Thelma Johnson has spent the last two years at the facility.

Lambert and her family have not been able to see her the past two months other than through a window. She said she wanted to do something for her mother and all the residents of the facility.

“Some of them in there do not even have family,” Lambert said. “We just wanted to show them we care for them.”

Event coordinator Pam Breedlove expected a large number of events participants.

“With this community, I did expect a large group would show up,” she said.  

The parking lot at Quail Walk Country Club used as the parade staging area was filled with motorcycles and automobiles and many showed up to attend.

“A lot of veterans are here to represent the veterans staying in the home,” she said. “We’ve got the mayor, city workers and family members here. We are just thankful for the community to help with this event.”

Pam Taylor Breedlove helped organize the event and said it was a good way for families to express their love to family members at the facility and to show appreciation for healthcare workers.

“We wanted to put this together to let them know we love them and we are here for them,” Breedlove said. “They are going through wondering why they cannot see their families. We also wanted to make sure the people working there know they are our heroes too.”

At the parade progressed in front of the building, residents of the facility blew kisses and waved to honking cars and revved-up motorcycles.

Scott Whetstone waited until the parade ended and stood on the other side of the parking lot from his grandmother Joan London to let her know he missed her.

“This is the first time I have seen her in over two months,” he said. “It was great to see her. She was excited to see us and she’s in good spirits.”

Breedlove was thankful with how the parade turned out.

“The residents had fun; they were waving, crying, laughing,” she said. “Thank you to our healthcare workers. They are our heroes during this time. Thank you to the community for coming out and doing this and thank you to the City of Wetumpka.”

White said most residents have taken the COVID-19 lockdown in stride.

“They have done really good,” she said. “They miss their families, but for the most part they understand pretty well, have good attitudes and we are proud of them.”