BY DEBORAH MOON
Love was in the air as about 100 vehicles took a Joy Ride through Cedar Sinai Park on April 26 on an unexpectedly sunny Sunday afternoon.
A steady stream of cars, police vehicles, a fire truck and even a bicycle brought families and friends to the senior living campus to bring joy to the residents and express gratitude to the caregivers who keep our elders healthy and safe. Many cars looped through the parade route multiple times.
Residents and caregivers stood on sidewalks or patios and sat on benches (marked One Mensch Per Bench) outside Rose Schnitzer Manor, the Harold Schnitzer Center for Living and Robison Rehabilitation Center to wave, applaud and smile.
“Yesterday’s Joy Ride around Cedar Sinai Park delighted residents, staff and our community,” said CSP CEO Kimberly Fuson the next day. “What a heartfelt and much needed afternoon of fun! Todah Rabah and shout out to Cedar Sinai Park’s Nancy Heckler, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland’s Caron Blau Rothstein and Nadine Menashe, the Portland Police and Fire Departments, and all of our Portland Joy Riders! At least 100 families and friends of Cedar Sinai Park joined in the festivities!”
People drove by with signs, music, balloons, pets and warm greetings.
While the residents and staff enjoyed the support, the chance for an outing and the ability to see family (even from afar) also resonated with those driving by.
Grandchildren waved signs that read We Miss You Gram, We (heart) Our Gram and I (heart) Gram. Sorry You’re Alone – I Miss You.
Other signs decorated with hearts and Stars of David included Hello Friends, Together We Will Survive … Keep Smiling, 3 Cheers 4 Caregivers!, We (heart) RSM & Robison Residents and Staff, Joy Ride, Thank You: Be Safe/Healthy, Stay Safe, Thanks Staff: We (heart) You!, Keep Smiling, Shalom Friends and many more.
“Thank you for the wonderful opportunity today to participate in the car parade,” wrote Michelle Koplan, BB Camp executive director. “What a great mitzvah day! In the car on the way home, Lizzie, my 8-year-old, said, ‘That felt good to make people happy. That was a true mitzvah!’ Ali, my 13-year-old, said, ‘That was awesome! My mouth hurts from smiling so hard.’”
There were plenty of smiles on the faces of residents too (even if they were hidden behind masks).