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Editor’s note: This is one in a periodic series called Stepping Up, highlighting moments of compassion, duty and community in uncertain times. Have a story we should tell? Send it via email to with the subject “Stepping Up.”

They pumped themselves up with air in the nearby empty parking lot of a Ravenna pub and then carefully crossed Northeast 65th Street. The group of mostly animals and birds that has dubbed itself “The Puffy Pandemic Parade” marched around Ida Culver House Ravenna for half an hour on Wednesday, led by a retirement home staffer Lisa Mawhinney — not in costume — holding a small speaker blaring tunes like Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” and Los del Río’s “Hey Macarena.” The animals encountered only one small glitch, after a penguin lost some air and needed a refill.  Parade organizer Jean Bryant (that penguin) describes the group as all Northeast Seattle friends, “mostly moms.” The group has marched one other time and the goal is to spread cheer during the coronavirus outbreak. Fourteen turned out for this march, but others have participated, including kids. Many residents and staff waved back at the group. “I was tearing up when I was doing this,” said Bryant, who saw “lots of smiles, dancing and waving.” The group plans to keep marching. In a follow-up text Bryant said “We will definitely continue as long as the pandemic is around.”