The 2016 Donate Life Float, Treasure Life’s Journey, as it makes its way down Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, Calif. on New Year’s Day.
Since its debut on New Year’s Day 2004, the Donate Life Rose Parade float has become the world’s most visible campaign to inspire people to become organ and tissue donors. In addition to the 40 million viewers who watch the Rose Parade on TV and along the parade route, hundreds of events are held in cities and towns around the country to complete the “floragraphs” (floral portraits) of donors that adorn the float.
The 2017 float depicts a spectacular Polynesian catamaran, which will be propelled by a team of 24 transplant recipients rowing in unison with strength gained from their donors. The sails of the vessel will feature 60 floral portraits of donors interwoven with Polynesian designs and patterns. Just as the donors’ gifts empower the lives of others, the sails help power the catamaran on its journey. Twelve living donors will walk alongside the float carrying flowers in celebration of the life they have given to others and the quality of life they continue to enjoy themselves. The ocean waves will showcase 1,000 white Akito roses, individually dedicated in memory of specific donors. Vibrant i’iwi and ‘amakihi birds perch amongst a lush landscape of tropical flowers and palm trees while a pair of tikis, representing light and life, abundance and peace, peer out of the jungle. The float will exude life with colorful, exotic blooms grown in Hawaii especially for the occasion.
“The Rose Parade gives the organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation community an opportunity to come together as a team to inspire millions of viewers to support their fellow Americans by registering as donors.” said Tom Mone, Chairman of the Donate Life float committee and CEO of OneLegacy. “Millions of Rose Parade watchers will make an emotional connection to the ideals of community and cooperation our float will depict. There is a clear symbolic association between the team effort needed to propel the catamaran and the selflessness of deceased donors and their families providing life-saving gifts to grateful recipients. Organ donation and transplantation is truly a team effort, and our 2017 float conveys that beautifully.”
In the last 12 years, the float has become the world’s most visible campaign to inspire donation. It began as an idea from lung recipient Gary Foxen to express gratitude to donors who make life-saving transplants possible. Now in its 13th year, the float’s mission is celebrated at hundreds of events nationwide where families finish floral medallion portraits, and sponsors too are honored for making donation possible.
To registered as an organ and tissue donor registered through the state’s driver’s license renewal process or go to www.DonateLifeNewEngland.org to register online now.