Okanagan motorcyclists spread positivity, one retirement home at a time

A group of motorcycle riders have taken on the task of spreading positivity around the Okanagan amid COVID-19, and on Saturday they visited Penticton’s Haven Hill Retirement Centre. The riders did so with the goal of bringing joy to the residents confined to their homes, and to thank frontline health workers. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)
A group of motorcycle riders have taken on the task of spreading positivity around the Okanagan amid COVID-19, and on Saturday they visited Penticton’s Haven Hill Retirement Centre. The riders did so with the goal of bringing joy to the residents confined to their homes, and to thank frontline health workers. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)
A group of motorcycle riders have taken on the task of spreading positivity around the Okanagan amid COVID-19, and on Saturday they visited Penticton’s Haven Hill Retirement Centre. The riders did so with the goal of bringing joy to the residents confined to their homes, and to thank frontline health workers. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)
A group of motorcycle riders have taken on the task of spreading positivity around the Okanagan amid COVID-19, and on Saturday they visited Penticton’s Haven Hill Retirement Centre. The riders did so with the goal of bringing joy to the residents confined to their homes, and to thank frontline health workers. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)
A group of motorcycle riders have taken on the task of spreading positivity around the Okanagan amid COVID-19, and on Saturday they visited Penticton’s Haven Hill Retirement Centre. The riders did so with the goal of bringing joy to the residents confined to their homes, and to thank frontline health workers. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)
A group of motorcycle riders have taken on the task of spreading positivity around the Okanagan amid COVID-19, and on Saturday they visited Penticton’s Haven Hill Retirement Centre. The riders did so with the goal of bringing joy to the residents confined to their homes, and to thank frontline health workers. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)

A group of motorcycle riders have taken on the task of spreading positivity around the Okanagan, and on Saturday they visited Penticton.

Just before lunch, frontline health care workers gathered out front the Haven Hill Retirement Centre in anticipation of special guests soon to arrive. Residents sat looking out their windows.

Neutral faces quickly turned joyful as numerous motorcycle riders with the Southern Interior Christian Riders, Chapter 49, turned into the parking lot, honking and revving their engines. Parked, they displayed signs which read, “Gratitude,” “Our prayers,” “Care staff,” and more.

Residents and bikers waved to each other through their windows. Care workers made a heart symbol with their hands.

READ MORE: Under mounting pressure, Henry says reopening B.C. will happen ‘safely, slowly, methodically’

Many riders took a moment to say a few words to thank the frontline health care workers for their service.

Haven Hill was their fourth and final stop in Penticton Saturday, and from there the riders continued on to other Okanagan towns including Summerland and West Kelowna.

“We had to think outside the box, about how can we show support for residents that are cooped up in homes, and at the same time how do we show support for the care workers that are looking after those people,” said rider Paul Kozjak.

“We wanted to bring a little bit of the outside world and the joys that we have, we wanted to bring it right to their homes.”

Saturday served as the group’s inaugural support ride, but already the response has been so positive, the group has been asked by each home to return soon.

“We’re going to hit Summerland and West Kelowna, we’re not limiting ourselves to just Penticton,” said Kozjak. “We’ve got a great group.”

The majority of the riders are from Summerland, but also hail from West Kelowna and Oliver.

Haven Hill general manager Alexander Cook said Saturday’s salute served as a reminder that community spirit is alive and well in Penticton.

“The community spirit in Penticton is alive and well in these uncertain times,” he said. “This gives both team members and residents alike hope and encouragement.

“What a nice gesture of goodwill and thankfulness… God bless them.”

READ MORE: Thank you to Penticton’s essential workers

READ MORE: Okanagan residents show off their new hairdos during COVID-19

@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

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