By Larry McGuire, Of The Spirit

PUNXSUTAWNEY — During this time of social distancing and staying at home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there are many members of our community who have been bravely serving the public throughout this time. And as we are transitioning from the red phase to the yellow phase of Gov. Tom Wolf's stay at home order, we now have an opportunity to say thanks to all of them on the first ever "Essential Heroes Thank You Ride." The ride will be this Friday, May 8, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Punxsutawney Area High School (PAHS) High School parking lot.

The ride is sponsored by SPLASH and was created to thank and recognize all essential workers who have stayed open and serviced the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is inviting families decorate their vehicles with signs saying “thank you" and join the ride to the various essential work locations, beeping their horns and yelling out their car windows, "thank you!"

Participants will be asked to follow Gov. Wolf's orders, even with the yellow phase activated, and SPLASH asks everyone who wants to participate to pick up the map and directions, which are published on Page 3 of The Spirit on Wednesday, and meet at the high school on May 8 at 2 p.m. Once attendees arrive at the PAHS parking lot, everyone is asked to find a parking spot and wait for the lead vehicle to start the ride, and then follow accordingly. Face-to-face congregating will not be permitted. The ride will be held rain or shine.