Parade of 1st responders at nursing home brings tears to eyes of Hope Mills residents

Cumberland County News

HOPE MILLS, N.C. (WNCN) — First responders helped put on a parade for residents at Hope Mills Retirement Center Friday afternoon.

Members of the Hope Mills Police Department, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, local firefighters, the Blue Knight Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, and family members and friends drove by waving and honking to show their support for the residents.    

Residents waved and cheered from outside the building.

“It’s wonderful to see all the people,” said resident Barbara Cullen.

“It’s inspiring to see how the law enforcement rallies around the community, and how the community rallies around law enforcement,” said Christian Palaita.

Palaita works for the sheriff’s office so she came to show support with them, but more importantly, she got to see her grandmother for the first time in weeks.

“She’s been here for a few months now,” Palaita said. “She has dementia but I wanted her to recognize me so I put her name on it, and once she saw it she started crying so it did what it was supposed to do.”

Pat Baros also came to see Palaita’s grandma.

“You’re isolated, but hey we’re here, we’re saying ‘hi’,” Baros said.

Baros’ daughter Patrice works on the frontlines as a sheriff’s deputy.

Baros is doing her part by making masks for first responders and nursing homes. She’s made more than 700 so far.

“You have to be part of the solution, not part of the problem,” Baros said. “It’s good every day to have something to do that you know you’re helping other people.”

“It’s wonderful, I’ve enjoyed it,” said resident Joan Dalrymple. “We’re ready for it to open up.”

“He just waved at me and they tooted the horn at me they saw me,” said resident Dottie Parnell, who got to see her son.

Terry Bentley says it’s bittersweet getting to see her mom, Kathy.  

“I want to hug her,” Bentley said. “We’re southern, we don’t know that rule about not hugging.”

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