TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The VA Medical Center in Topeka is holding a surprise “drive-by parade” for veterans on Friday afternoon.
The parade will pass by the Community Living Center.
The drive-by parade will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, at the VA Medical Center at 2200 SW Gage Boulevard in Topeka.
Veterans living in the CLC have not seen family, friends or outside volunteers in-person since March. Nurse Manager Sarah Lueger said they wanted to organize this parade to make their veterans feel special.
“We wanted to do something to celebrate them and give them something to look forward to,” Lueger said. “We’re hoping that we have lots of community turn out, that families are able to decorate their vehicles and show support for their loved ones.”
Staff at CLC has tried to be creative during the pandemic.
Veterans have had virtual visits with family. They’ve also seen some family members through windows while talking on the phone.
CLC Medical Director Dr. Courtney Huhn said this social interaction is critical to these veterans health.
“For every older adult we know that social interactions slows the aging process,” Huhn. “It improves mood, it improves cognition and it just helps people live better, quality lives longer.”
The drive-by parade will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the VA Medical Center at 2200 SW Gage Boulevard in Topeka.
Visitors are asked to decorate their cars and be ready to shout and wave.
Drivers will enter through the 21st Street entrance, drive past building six and exit on to Gage Boulevard.