It was at approximately 5:30 p.m. Saturday when health care workers at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center received some unusual visitors.

The Mooresville Police Department escorted nearly 100 classic cars as they drove past the hospital to honor health care workers who are treating COVID-19 patients.

They first met at Bruster’s Real Ice Cream at 5 p.m. and then made their way toward the hospital. As the cars drove past medical staff, people honked their horns, waved American flags and displayed signs thanking hospital workers.

The Bruster’s Cruisers sponsored the event. Event organizer Linda Rahtes said the group wanted to honor all of the hospital’s health care workers in a manner that was safe for everyone.

“It was a thank you from all of us to all of them there,” Rahtes said. “It was our way of saying thank you for what you do.”

It took several weeks to organize the event. In addition to making sure that enough people could participate, Rahtes said she needed to coordinate with the MPD and the hospital to make certain that the event ran smoothly, with proper social distancing.

“I didn’t want to do anything without the permission of the hospital,” she said.

The group is known for hosting its Oldies car shows at Bruster’s during the summer and fall months. Many of Saturday’s participants have been longtime members of the Bruster’s Cruisers.

Carol Feiste and her husband, Glenn, said they were honored to participate in the special event because it was a great way to show their appreciation for health care workers.

“My husband Glenn and I own a 1966 Oldsmobile Delta 88,” she said.

“It has 36,000 original miles; we are only the third owners. We call her The Rocket! We wanted to participate in the Health Care Heroes parade to thank all the healthcare professionals in our area.”

Hospital administrators said the event was a great way to bring the community together during these challenging times to honor health care workers.

“Lake Norman Regional Medical Center appreciates this tremendous outpouring of appreciation and support from Bruster’s Cruisers to pull together such a special display for our health care family,” said Leigh Whitfield, director of marketing and public relations.

The Bruster’s Cruisers have hopes that Saturday’s event will be the first of many special events to come. If you want to participate in one of their classic car shows when N.C.’s stay-at-home order is lifted, you can reach out to the group on Facebook for more information: 106315426070759/about/.

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