A loyal city bus patron was surprised at her residence by an entourage from Marion Transit after months of not getting to ride the bus due to health precautions from COVID-19. Roberta “Bertie” Harris would normally take the city bus routinely and enjoyed visiting with the staff and Director of Transportation, Jeff Edwards.
At 10am on Tuesday, June 16th, four bright white Marion Transit buses pulled up to Miller’s Merry Manor where Harris resides. Miller’s staff assisted Harris to the front lobby of the building so that she could view the surprise that awaited her. Nearly a dozen friendly faces from each bus met her from outside the glass window, waving and blowing kisses at her. Miller’s staff members witnessed her reaction. Senior Health Facility Administrator, John Velasquez, was by her side as she looked through the glass. “I could not only hear how delighted and surprised she was but also saw her positive reaction seeing all those faces. When the gentlemen, Jeff, came out in front of the crowd, I heard Mrs. Harris say, “Oh my, there is Jeff,” and to hear the excitement in her voice was wonderful. She started waving her hands. She was really surprised to see so many familiar faces and mentioned all the buses lined up outside, “For me?” and, “All of those people are here to see me?”
Velasquez expressed his appreciation to the City of Marion and all of the Marion Transit employees who took time out of their day to coordinate and spend a few minutes to say hello to Mrs. Harris. “I appreciate the compassion and energy that the employees shared with our resident today. Thank you so much for bringing a bit of extra joy to our resident.”
Harris was interviewed afterwards. She explained that she doesn’t have anyone but one nephew who comes to visit her, and the surprise visit from the City team made her entire year.
Edwards planned the surprise to send cheer her way and show they were thinking of Harris and missing her. “It made my day, and I know that she was really happy, so that made me feel wonderful. I won’t forget that moment.”
Marion Transportation has been operating under strict rules to date, following the health crisis. The surprise visit is one of many ways they show appreciation for their riders and the citizens of Marion on top of providing the free transit service.
Jeff Edwards: 765.668.4405 / firstname.lastname@example.org
*More photos & video @CityofMarionIN on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter