"The parade will be led by Westside Scouts, SMPD and SMPA. After parade pasts St. John's, .... The participants will drive to UCLA to show their gratefulness," the group said.
A parade of cars wound around St. Johns early in the evening of Saturday May 2nd. It was intended to show support and say "Thank You" to the Frontline workers at hospitals of St. John's and UCLA. Participants met at McKinley Elementary School parking lot on Chelsea Avenue.
Supporters stayed in cars but were invited to "cheer, honk, have noisemakers, signs, flags, decorate their cars to show appreciation for the nurses and doctors," said a message to potential participants.
"The parade will be led by Westside Scouts, SMPD and SMPA. After parade pasts St. John's, .... The participants will drive to UCLA to show their gratefulness," the group posted.
Krista Strauss explained how she and a friend, Kimberly Lancaster, came up with the idea of a thank you parade for First Responders around Providence St. Johns Hospital, and to UCLA hospital.
"Kimberly and I discussed how the Boy Scouts had paraded around UCLA hospital recently. We thought that's great, what about our Santa Monica Community. We started talking about this 3 or 4 days ago, I'm always just a let's do it kind of person. We started blasting emails out to our friends, also on Facebook, Instagram and NextDoor.com."
"When my girlfriend and I talked about this it didn't take long for us to think we should show our support to our front line doctors and nurses. They are putting their lives on the line, and putting so much at risk. The least I can do is show them how much I appreciate what they're doing, and I knew a lot of other people felt that way."
"I called the Santa Monica police and fire departments, and let them know our plans. In addition to the Westside Scouts, Police, and Fire leading the parade, we were so happy to have Santa Monica Protection Association too. (SMPA)."
"My husband gave me the idea of using the parking lot at McKinley Elementary School as the perfect staging area," she said. "For safety, of course everyone stayed in their cars, it was more of a motorcade event, the Fire trucks and police led the parade."
"Since we didn't know how many cars would be there, we thought it was best to stay in the cars and keep moving. The Boy Scouts started in the back, so I believe it was about 80 cars, 60 in my group starting in the front of St. Johns, and probably 20 in the back."
"We were able to go in the front of the hospital of St. Johns and be up in the round about, and I felt that it was a really meaningful experience."
"I have a kid at Lincoln, a 6th grader named Julia, and Mikey Strauss who is a Samohi freshman. I've always been involved with the community, I've been on the executive PTA board for the last 10 years, I organized the big dinner auction at Lincoln Middle school."
Do the Strausses feel isolated at home?"
"No. We built our dream house and moved in about 3 years ago, so it's not hard to be home at all, and my 92 year old mom lives with us. I feel so blessed and fortunate, I feel like I want to give back, I've always been a doer," she said, noting that her son has also tried to help first responders.
"It's like war time, these are like war nurses. It's incredible to me the amount of courage that they have," Mrs. Strauss said.