HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Sunday afternoon, there was a lot of honking and a bit of a traffic backup on Derry Street in the City of Harrisburg.
But it was all to honor a Harrisburg School Board member who recently died from coronavirus.
Gerald Welch, 56, was elected last May to the Harrisburg school Board and officially sworn-in in January.
“Gerald stood up for the children in the city of Harrisburg and he did it the way he knew best. He knew how to get your attention,” said family friend Portia Bolen-Geter.
Now his wife Donna is receiving the attention of the entire city.
“This whole thing organized was just for her. We just wanted to show her some love and I thank everybody who came out,” Bolen-Geter said.
Bolen-Geter organized the event, but never expected just how great the turnout would be.
More than 100 cars lined the street, from fellow school board members, to friends, family and even the intensive care unit staff who cared for him at the hospital.
“I lost it. I’m a complete basket case, box of fruit loops, looney toons to the tenth power,” said Donna Welch.
The rain dampened the ground, but not anybody’s spirits.
“Today, despite the weather and despite the rain, was sunshine for me. It begins the process of healing,” said Jayne Buchwach, Harrisburg School Board member.
Cards and balloons were collected along the way, showing love from a social distance, which was at times, overwhelming.
“This is so beautiful. Just uplifted my spirits like wow, wow,” Welch said.
As much as it was a showing of love for Donna, it was a tribute to the impact Gerald had on Harrisburg.
“Such an honor to serve with him on the school board because for Gerald, it was righteousness with the kids and it’s a loss,” Buchwach said.
“Thank you so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Welch said.