A caravan of luxury cars and Vancouver Police motorcycles rolled through Langley Sunday, all to surprise a few local seniors.
It was part of an initiative called the Driven Project, where a team of volunteers – lead by founder Kevin Gordon – provides what he calls “supercar therapy” – usually for children fighting various physical and mental health issues.
The idea for Project Driven came when Gordon, the founder, was volunteering at the Global BC’s BCCHF Miracle Weekend two years ago, alongside Elaine Verrier. He shared the story of how he was spreading joy driving family, friends, and strangers in his 900hp Lamborghini Huracan Performante.
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After seeing a friend post pictures of her ailing son’s Make-A-Wish trip to Italy visiting supercar factories, Verrier asked Gordon if he would surprise the boy with a ride from the airport.
“From that special ride day, Driven Project has blossomed into VPD escorted multi-supercar ride days,” Verrier explained.
Since 2018, the Driven Project team of volunteers have been providing “supercar therapy” for dozens and dozens of children that Verrier says are facing “heavy life challenges.”
“The Driven Project has always been about inspiring people and helping fulfill dreams,” Gordon said.
As a result of the social distancing guidelines put in place because of the coronavirus, Driven Project organizers have had to adapt.
“During COVID, we have… had to adapt by hosting supercar parades, surprising these deserving kids at their homes,” Verrier said. So in recent months, they’ve literally taken their show on the road.
Amid this pandemic, there was another first during this past weekend’s parade. They made a stop at their first seniors home – at Avalon Gardens supportive seniors living facility in Murrayville.
In addition to a series of extreme luxury sports cars (including a 900hp Lamborghini Huracan Performante, Audi R8, 458 Ferrari, Nissan GTR, supercharged Range Rover SVR) rolling into Avalon’s courtyard, the parade also featured 22 VPD officers on motorcycles and cruisers.
The VPD team joined forces with Driven Project in early 2019 and are now, what Verrier called, an integral part of Driven Project events.
“The incredible VPD officers have ensured our rides are safe for all these special kids, our drivers, and our communities,” Verrier said. “Knowing how the police have been enduring some challenges the past few weeks, it reminds the public that not all cops are bad.”
And without question, the parade of police and “supercars” through the front of the local seniors home was well received, said Avalon’s activities coordinator Lauren Ang.
This spring, Avalon’s general manager Anita Tito-Wormald wrote the Driven Project team, asking if they would and could consider visiting their seniors.
“We were looking for activities and events that our residents could enjoy from their balconies,” Ang elaborated.
Verrier received the requests. “I thought…why not? Although, we mainly drive for kids dealing with severe physical/mental illness, these seniors have given to our communities and deserve some fun.”
After the fact, Avalon posted on Facebook: “A very special thank you to the @drivenproject for stopping by Avalon Gardens on their Lower Mainland Tour… Thank you for spreading joy!”
“It brought a lot of joy to a lot of residents,” Ang told the Langley Advance Times.
“They brought five luxury cars with a full police escort and pulled into our court yard for the enjoyment of 30 of our residents, who were seated on the sidewalk to watch the show. Lots of the Avalon team came on their day off to watch the show.”
Even more residents watched from their balconies.
“It was a real honour as they usually only visit children. We feel extremely lucky to have been included,” said Ang. Sunday’s parade also went through Pitt Meadows and Surrey.
Verrier said their visit to the Langley seniors home may have been a first for the “supercar” team, but it won’t likely be their last as they strive to brighten people’s lives.
“It was so great to see all the seniors sitting in their chairs (socially distant, of course) and happily wave as we drove around their front entrance,” Verrier concluded. “The staff were waving, had snacks and drinks for the residents. We had 22 VPD on motorbikes and in a cruiser on top of our supercars. It was quick, but we could see the smiles on many faces.”
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