Friends find unique way to include classmate in a longstanding Grand Island tradition

Grand Island

GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB)–A long-time tradition is happening early tomorrow morning on Grand Island.

Car parades have become popular during the pandemic… but this car parade has been going on for more than 45 years.

Starting tomorrow at 5 o’clock in the morning, the senior class at Grand Island High School will drive their cars through neighborhoods, honking their horns, to celebrate their graduation.

But, one senior won’t be able to participate in person.

Ben Richard has been in the hospital for the past 3 weeks.

He was in a serious car accident on the 290 the day before Mother’s Day.

Ben was a passenger in a car that skidded on black ice.

He was ejected from the vehicle and had emergency spine surgery.

Tomorrow, he’ll be watching by his computer.

But Ben’s father says his classmates are making sure to include him in a special way.

 “He’s got some very, very close friends that are so caring and look out for him via Face time and that they wanted to bring him along with him. So, they got his permission and they actually are making a couple of huge fat heads… you know the kind you see the sports players on the wall? So they took his senior picture and they’re blowing it up and they’re going to bring ben along virtually and with a couple of fat heads hanging out to be seen!” said Jeff Richard.

Ben has a long road to recovery.

Besides the spinal cord injury, he injured his back and fractured his skull.

Right now, he doesn’t have any use of his muscles below his knees… but his father says he is a warrior and is working hard to get it back.

You can donate to Ben’s medical expenses on his “GoFundMe” page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/viking-love-for-ben-richard

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