There are going to be even more supercars than usual rolling through the North Shore next month.
The Driven Project, which bills itself as providing a once-in-a-life supercar experience for kids battling terminal illnesses, is coming to North Vancouver on Sept. 20.
“I’m a big fan of happiness spreading,” says Elaine Verrier, spokeswoman for the organization.
Verrier has been volunteering with the Driven Project since 2018, after connecting with founder Kevin Gordon at an event.
At the time, Gordon shared with Verrier how he’d been spreading joy and fun to people in his life – including some strangers – in his new Lamborghini. After Verrier saw a friend’s post on social media that showed her son, who was living with a terminal illness, touring supercar factories in Italy on a Make-A-Wish trip, Verrier had an idea. She asked if Gordon would mind giving the boy a surprise ride from the airport.
To Verrier and her friend’s son’s delight, Gordon agreed – and the idea for a new charitable initiative was formed.
“At the beginning we were really just a rag-tag team of volunteers. It’s been fine-tuned,” says Verrier, adding that the Driven Project has since expanded to a full-on “supercar therapy” initiative involving dozens of vetted drivers, a Vancouver Police Department escort and events held throughout the Lower Mainland.
“We’ve gone through the Tri-Cities, we’ve done Burnaby and Maple Ridge. This time we want to hit North Van,” she says.
Another successful #supercartherapy parade in the books. 😁 Thank you to everyone involved in yesterday’s @drivenproject event: our special VIP’s, our drivers, our team, and the @vancouverpd. We would also like to thank all the supporters who showed up on the street with signs and other ways to express their support for our initiative. These events are filled with so much love and dedication, and this one was no different. We surprised kids from all over Greater Vancouver, and are honoured to have given them the magical experience of being in/around supercars. Our next event is coming up quick on September 20th - nominate a loved one who could use a supercar therapy session in the near future by visiting the link in our bio. Photos by @kwong_kevin
So far, the Driven Project is scheduled to roll by the homes of 10 kids in North Vancouver who are living with a serious or terminal illness. It’ll be the fifth such event the Driven Project has done in the Lower Mainland so far this year.
While the events originally included giving the kids rides in the high-octane vehicles, physical distancing requirements in the era of COVID-19 have forced organizers to ditch the rides in favour of drive-by parades instead.
While the specific locations the supercars will be driving to remain confidential, in order to protect the privacy of the kids they’re there to surprise and delight, a general parade route will be provided on the Driven Project’s Instagram account 24 hours before the Sept. 20 event.
“This is why we have to do these parades. We go to the kids’ places and surprise them,” says Verrier. “It’s a chance for these families who are dealing with unimaginable challenges … to bring a bit of joy to their day.”
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