A caravan of exotic cars and Vancouver Police motorcycles rolled through Maple Ridge Sunday, all to surprise a few special kids.
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” 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.
LEARN MORE ABOUT GORDON
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.
PAST DRIVEN PROJECT EVENT
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 not been bringing children, and have had to adapt by hosting supercar parades, surprising these deserving kids at their homes,” Verrier said.
So, they’ve literally taken their show on the road.
Verrier did, however, note that some parents – due to their child’s status – allowed their kid to ride inside the car during the parade.
Sunday’s parade visited 11 homes and 23 children (most from the Tri-Cities and Maple Ridge) – including a special visit to Amy Davis.
The 14-year-old Albion girl is not a typical Driven Project child. In fact, her older sister, 19-year-old Melissa Powell is.
Melissa lives with Cystic Fibrosis. But Sunday’s stop on their family’s street was not about Melissa.
This time, it was about Amy – one of five siblings in the family. Mom, Lisa Lockett, describes her youngest daughter as a relatively shy and quiet girl, who all too often has been overshadowed by her outgoing older sister – who is usually in the limelight and whose life has been filled with constant visits to doctors, specialists, hospitals, and the likes.
“It was so awesome,” Lockett said of the parade. “She was so surprised…”
Amy initially thought the visit was for her nine-year-old brother Nathan, because it was his birthday last Tuesday and he’s been a huge Driven Project fan since its inception.
“She was completely astounded that she was the focus and being recognized,” said Mom. “She is quite quiet and often doesn’t like attention. But today, she wore a smile ear to ear and totally enjoyed the VIP treatment.”
Surprising Amy with a Driven Project visit was a way of thanking her for her “heroic efforts” through all the years, said Verrier.
“To me, it’s about the siblings who support these children. They’re heroes,” she added. “And we want to say, ‘we know what you’ve been going through’.”
Amy was given a special Driven Project “challenge coin” and other swag including a T-shirt, lanyard, and a VPD backpack.
”The whole Driven Project team were warm and praised her for being an outstanding sibling, despite the challenges she has to have faced over the years,” Mom acknowledged. “The VPD commented on her grace and her strength and told her to be proud of herself. It was truly heart warming!”
Amy’s home was one of five stops made in Maple Ridge on Sunday afternoon.
In addition to a series of extreme luxury sports cars rolling onto their street, the parade also featured about a dozen VPD motorcycles.
The VPD team joined forces with Driven Project in early 2019 and are, 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.”
The next parade is set for Aug. 9.
Recent Supercar Parade in June 2020
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