Approximately 23 cars of Rotary club members drove by Brian Thomasson’s home on 272nd Street to surprise him May 27. (Cecelia Reekie/Special to the Star)

VIDEO: Aldergrove Rotarians surprise ailing friend with cheerful car convoy and driveway visits

Aldergrove club raises $300 for the food bank while safely visiting past president Brian Thomasson

For a sick member of their close-knit charitable club, 23 Aldergrove Rotarians came out during their lunchtimes to offer some cheer.

They all participated in a drive by for Brian Thomasson, founding president of Aldergrove’s 30-year-old Rotary Club, a retired Langley school district teacher, and a good and loyal friend.

Club member Cecelia Reekie organized the surprise convoy of visits on May 27.

“I wanted to let everybody have a chance to show their support for him and his family,” Reekie said.

At the sight of vehicles lined up on his street, Thomasson didn’t think much of what was going on, Reekie recalled.

That was until members started to shout out his name, and hand his grandkids donations for the Aldergrove Food Bank through their car windows.

RELATED: Aldergrove Rotary gave a $600 boost to a senior’s centre feeding the community during COVID-19

Thomasson stood up, took off his ball cap, and walked out onto his lawn to greet friends he hadn’t seen in months.

“We do so much for the community,” Reekie emphasized, “But this one was for him. And he was thrilled.”

Other club members – including Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese, past club president Rick McMullan, Charlie Fox, and current president Pauline Buck – were just a few friendly faces who came to say “hello.”

Members Gord and Jean Carnes even blew bubbles out of their car windows for their long-time pal.

“Normally we get to see him every Friday over breakfast,” Reekie said.

READ MORE: Aldergrove Rotarians pledge $2,500 in gift cards for food bank families amid pandemic

But the COVID-19 pandemic and Thomasson’s recent health issues have made meeting in person difficult. The club – which contributes to the community by feeding school-aged kids and funding humanitarian projects overseas – now meets virtually, Friday mornings over Zoom.

By the end of the procession Thomasson told a friend, when asked how he was feeling, “I’m up and walking now” – a sign of hope for others in the group. 

Many of his friends, stayed behind to visit Thomasson _ from a safe social distance.

In total, the club raised more than $300 for the food bank during the cheerful car convoy.

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After 23 Aldergrove Rotarians drove by to surprise friend Brian Thomasson (right) with “get well” wishes on 272nd Street during lunchtime May 27, several of the club members got out of their cars to visit with the past president – from a safe social distance. (Cecelia Reekie/Special to the Star)

Members Gord and Jean Carnes even blew bubbles out of their car windows for their long-time pal. (Cecelia Reekie/Special to the Star)

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