Herbert Lewis, father of organ donor Devron Lewis works on his son’s floragraph in preparation for the Rose Parade. Devron’s floragraph, will among those featured on Donate Life’s entry “”Seize the Day.”
Organ, Eye, and Tissue Recipients Fly Magical Kites
To Remind Us to Savor Life’s Dreams, Friendships and Memories
No one knows the value of a single day better than those who have experienced the life-changing impact of organ, eye and tissue donation. Transplant recipients, living donors, and family members of deceased donors will join together in celebration and remembrance as they Seize the Day! on the eighth Rose Parade entry by Donate Life, a partnership of more than 60 organizations dedicated to inspiring people to save and heal lives through donation of organs, eyes and tissue.
The float design brings to life the 2011 Rose Parade theme, Building Dreams, Friendships & Memories, with colorful kites soaring in the wind as donor families, living donors and transplant recipients make new memories through a precious moment. The tails of the kites are adorned with 54 memorial ‘floragraph’ portraits of deceased donors whose legacies lift the kites and hopes of those in need of transplants. The float’s 24 float riders, led by three walkers, honor all donors and the everyday dreams they make possible through the gift of life. Thousands of organ, eye and tissue donors nationwide will be memorialized with roses dedicated by loved ones; each rose bears a vial with a personal message of love, hope and remembrance.
“With this year’s parade theme matching so closely with the inspirations of donors, recipients and transplant professionals, we wanted to create a particularly memorable float that would resonate with people everywhere,” explained Bryan Stewart, chairman of the Donate Life Rose Parade Float Committee and vice president of communications at OneLegacy, the nonprofit organ and tissue recovery organization serving the greater Los Angeles area. “Dreams, friendships and memories are built through life’s little moments, including the joy and beauty of flying a kite with friends and family.”
Originally envisioned by lung recipient Gary Foxen of Orange, Calif. to celebrate the gift of renewed life in one of the most-watched events in the world, the Donate Life float has become the nation’s most visible campaign to promote organ and tissue donation. “Each year, our riders and floragraph honorees inspire millions of spectators, viewers, and people in their home communities who hear about Donate Life’s meaningful participation in the Rose Parade,'” said Stewart.
“Americans should be proud that each year more than 28,000 organs, 40,000 corneas, and one million tissue allografts are donated to people in need,” said David Fleming, president and CEO of Donate Life America. “However, the circumstances that allow for organ donation are very rare, and increasingly so because people are living healthier and longer lives. Because every donation opportunity is so precious, we hope that those who see the Donate Life float on New Year’s Day will ‘seize the day’ and join the more than 90 million Americans who have registered as organ, eye and tissue donors, helping us reach our national goal of 100 million designated donors.”
The 2011 Donate Life float is being built by Phoenix Decorating Co. from a design by Dave Pittman and is coordinated by Donate Life America member OneLegacy. The Donate Life float campaign is supported by more than 60 official partners from coast to coast, including organ and tissue recovery organizations, tissue banks, state donor registries, transplant centers and affiliated organizations. Joining OneLegacy as top-level benefactors are Astellas Pharma US, Inc., a sixth-year sponsor of five float riders through its “Ride of a Lifetime” contest and supporter of 1,000 volunteer decorators; the Dignity Memorial(r) network, North America’s largest network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers; the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB); Donate Life America; and UNOS and the National Donor Memorial. All Donate Life float partners encourage parade viewers to save lives by registering in their states to be organ, eye and tissue donors and donating blood in their communities.
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that annually hosts the Rose Parade(r), Rose Bowl Game(r) presented by Citi and various associated events. The 122nd Rose Parade, themed Building Dreams, Friendships & Memories, will take place Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011, at 8 a.m. (PST) featuring majestic floral floats, high-stepping equestrian units and spirited marching bands. Following the Rose Parade, the 97th Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi will kick off at 2:10 p.m. and feature an exciting match-up between two of the top collegiate football teams in the nation. For additional information on the Tournament of Roses please visit the official website at www.tournamentofroses.com.
For more information about the Donate Life Rose Parade Float, visit the official float website at www.donatelifefloat.org.